Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I've recently started to expand my wine horizons by including sweet and/or dessert wines. I've noticed many reviews of sweet wines mention the word "cloying." It seems some of the best sweet wines are described as "sweet but not cloying". Can you tell me how I will know if something is "cloying" my palate?
You're correct that "cloying" is most often a negative term, referring to an excessively sweet wine that is lacking acidity. If you're not certain what cloying feels like, take a tablespoon of honey and swallow it. It's very sweet, but it's so sweet it feels like it might get stuck in your throat. The best dessert wines will balance any sweet, sugary or honey notes with a body and acidity that make the wine glide over your palate and linger without being sickly sweet.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered