Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What does “cloying” mean in reference to wine?
—Joseph, Mumbai, India
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.