Now customers will be able to look for wines marked Extra Dry (XD), Dry (D), Medium (M), Medium-Sweet (MS) and Sweet (S). Redesigned bin tags will also list the actual sugar content as grams of sugar per litre.
The new program replaces the current sugar code numbering system, which denotes wines as being a "0," "1," "2" and so on.
Initially, the sweetness descriptors and sugar content information will be used for LCBO table wines and will be included on Vintages and Vintages Essentials as new releases are issued.
Sparkling, dessert and fortified wines will continue to be labelled according to the old numbered system.
"Consumers today are looking for more information than ever before to help their buying decisions and many are choosing healthier lifestyles by being conscientious about the foods and drinks they consume," George Soleas, senior vice-president, LCBO's logistics/quality assurance division, said in a release.
"The sweetness descriptors and listing of actual sugar content provide LCBO customers with detailed information to help them find a wine they enjoy based on levels of perceived sweetness and discover other wines that taste similar."
The LCBO developed the descriptors to describe the level of perceived sweetness — the taste sensation that consumers experience when tasting a wine — through taste tests, analysis and consumer research. These descriptors are based on an algorithm that looks at the ratio between residual sugar and the total acidity of a wine through chemical analysis by LCBO's lab.
Here are the LCBO sweetness descriptors:
Extra Dry (XD) — No perceived sweetness, clean crisp acidic finish.
Dry (D) — No sweetness perceived, well rounded with balanced acidity.
Medium (M) — Slight sweetness perceived.
Medium Sweet (MS) — Noticeably sweet.
Sweet (S) — Distinctively sweet.