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These are wines intended to accompany and enhance the enjoyment of food. Like their commercial counterparts, home-made table wines can vary from lightly to strongly flavoured. Table wines are varied in style and colour, and are dealt with under separate headings.

Pale colour is desirable; there should be no brown or pink tone.
The wine should taste dry, without easily recognisable sweetness. The flavour should be pleasant, with no bitter after-taste, and should give an impression of freshness, leaving the mouth clean.
Alcohol content may be between 8.5% and 13%, with acidity between 0.5% and 0.8%. It is most important for this type of wine that the bouquet should be clean, fresh and vinous.
Commercial examples would be white Burgundy, Alsace and dry Loire wines such as Muscadet and Sancerre.

Pale colour is again desirable. The wine must have easily detected sweetness, but not sufficiently prominent to classify it as a sweet wine.
Unless stated otherwise, a range of sweetness from medium-dry to medium-sweet should be accepted as being within class, with good balance and flavour being more important than the exact degree of sweetness.
Alcohol is as for dry white wines, but the acidity may be between 0.55% and 0.9%.
Commercial examples would be German wines such as Liebfraumilch and many non-trocken Qualitätsweins (QbA, and QmP Kabinett or Spätlese); French examples would be demi-sec versions of Vouvray. English medium wines also fit this category.

Colour can be deeper than for the dry or medium wines, ranging up to golden, but in the glass should not be dark.
The flavour can be richer than in the other white table wines, with the alcohol content up to 14%.
The acidity should be between 0.6% and 0.9%, sufficient to balance the sweetness of the wine and prevent a cloying finish.
The sweetness, on the other hand, should be such that it does not overwhelm the other characteristics.
This is a wine which is best drunk with fruit or dessert at the end of the meal. Commercial examples would be Sauternes (12-14% alcohol) and sweet German Auslese wines (which may have as little as 8% alcohol but are still usually sweet and well-balanced).

Commercial examples vary from the dry Tavel Rosé to the medium or medium-sweet Anjou Rosé.
Accept whatever degree of sweetness is specified in the show schedule, which is often ‘medium’. Rosé wines should be pink; variations in colour intensity and slight orange or ‘onion skin’ tints are acceptable.
The flavour must be light, fruity and fresh, and the bouquet should reflect these points.
There should not be excessive astringency, but tannins may be quite noticeable in the Tavel types.
Acidity should be between 0.55% and 0.9%, with an alcohol content from 10% to 12%, and the whole should be in balance with any sweetness.

The colour should mainly be red, but tints of purple or black are acceptable, as are tints of tawny (often found in older wines).
The wine must be dry, i.e. without easily recognisable sweetness.
The flavour can be substantial and should remain in the after-taste.
Some astringency from tannins is expected, with some mellowness and maturity desirable.
The bouquet should be complex and vinous. Acidity should be between 0.45% and 0.65%, and the alcohol from 10% to 14%.
There are many commercial examples such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja, etc.

Last updated: 21/09/15
Copyright: 2006 NGWBJ