New Sweetness Descriptors

The second initiative is the introduction of sweetness descriptors for table wines.

  • This new system is science-based and describes how dry or sweet a wine tastes
  • This system will also display the actual sugar content of each wine, expressed in grams per litre


Sweetness descriptors will replace the current Sugar Code numbering system. 

Comparison of Sugar Codes To Actual Sugar Content

Through extensive sensory evaluation, analytical testing and consumer research, LCBO Quality Assurance devised an algorithm that will assign a sweetness descriptor to a wine based on laboratory analysis.

This approach allows us to describe the level of perceived sweetness – the taste sensation that consumers will encounter when tasting a wine. By providing the actual sugar content we will also identify exactly how much sugar will be consumed – a significant improvement over the current Sugar Code system, which assigned a numeric value based on a sliding scale.


  • A wine with a sugar code of (0) could contain up to 5 g/L residual sugar
  • A wine with a sugar code of (1) could contain between 5 and 15 grams per litre residual sugar
  • The new system displays the actual sugar content of each wine, which will benefit health-conscious consumers or diabetics who rely on this information to monitor their sugar intake

Next : New Bin Tags