What does “cloying” mean in reference to wine?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does “cloying” mean in reference to wine?

—Joseph, Mumbai, India

Dear Joseph,

Something “cloying” is excessively sweet. Even if you have a sweet tooth, if you try to swallow a whole spoon of honey, you’ll probably encounter a sensation of it feeling like it’s getting stuck in your throat. A cloying wine is one that’s ultrasweet or sugary with that same sensation.

Some of the greatest wines in the world are sweet wines, like Port and Sauternes. But these wines are balanced by acidity, alcohol and intense flavors that allow the wine to glide across your palate.

—Dr. Vinny

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