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Jul 9, 2013 12:09 AM

Sweet Wine Tasting - Guidance on Portion Size

Hi All,

I'm trying to plan a pre-lunch tasting of aged Alsace late-harvest pinot gris, three VTs and three SGNs.

What would be an appropriate-sized pour for each guest? Post-tasting, we will (somehow) cleanse our palates and proceed to a conventional lunch, so I am not budgeting for the guests to take any excess wine to lunch.

I am mindful of not having stingy pours, but also of the potential sugar overload that may come with so much sweet wine.

Any thoughts and suggestions will be gratefully received.

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  1. I'd say about 2 ounces. Less and you can't really smell it.

      1. Another for two ounces. Much more, and it ceases to be a "tasting."

        1. Thanks all for your thoughts, which are greatly appreciated.

          It looks like it will be two ounces (60mL), but as Maria took the perspective of "shouldn't be any less" and June took the view that it should be no more, I'd be interested in discussing the merits of smaller pours.

          Dry wine tastings here in Asia often do not exceed 60-70mL per pour. My initial gut feel (subject to the influence of your collective wisdom :)) was that the pours should be smaller than this, because of the richness and sugar, and the fact that a meal follows afterward with dry wines.

          I should also add that this domaine does make very rich, sweet wines (Jason, I think we briefly discussed this producer before), so the VTs average out around 90g/L residual sugar, and the SGNs around 175g/L. If we went 60mL per person, the guests would, in effect, have drunk a half-bottle of very rich, sweet wine prior to lunch.

          Does the added information have any bearing on your recommendations, or am I still going 2 ounces? :)

          Thanks so much again!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Julian Teoh

            l assume from your description you are speaking of Zind-Humbrecht, and while those wines are indeed rich, l do not find them overwhelmingly sweet, especially if they have 5 + years of bottle age and especially if the Clos Jebsal is one of them .The newer SGN's are sweeter than their counterparts of a few decades ago but generally have sufficient acid to mask it. Regardless 2 oz sounds right as that would make a total of @ 12 oz., which is a rich two normal glasses and thus enough for anyone. As an aside l drink Weinbach Inedit, a riesling of similar richness with sushi and it works fine, to drink three or even four glasses.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Thanks so much, DCM.

              No doubt that the wines are beautifully balanced on the palate, but I was also concerned about the heaviness in the gut that one invariably feels after drinking wine with high R/S. It sneaks up on you, in that no one expects it based on the sweetness registering on the palate.

              The L'Inédit is a marvellous wine; we actually drank the 2009 with some sushi earlier this year during a Riesling Week lunch. But I wouldn't say it has a similar richness to the ones above, though; certainly, I wouldn't be too keen to drink 3-4 full 6 oz. glasses of VT/SGN at a single sitting! :)

              But 2 oz. it will be. Thanks everyone for the collective input!

          2. Julian,

            Small, very small.

            Enjoy - LH, or other dessert wines, are high on MY list.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Thanks Bill. They are on mine also, and I'm trying to win a few new converts.

              Are you in favour of the 2 ounce pour also?