David Creighton wrote:well, we don't stop calling it a green or red light and do away with traffic lights just because some people see them deferently or not at all. most of us understand when our experiences don't exactly match with others; and we know this by the apparently odd way others use common words. we learn what the common and generally accepted parameters are. in other words, we don't have to all experience the world in exactly the same way to learn a common language and to profit by it.
am i correct that the main arguement here is: sugar means nothing - balance is everything. no one should even care if a wine is slightly sweet or even quite sweet as long as it is balanced.(there was that great story about the auslese with turkey - wow, good thing it was turkey and good thing they guy liked the combo; or it wouldn't have been a case in point - or at least not that point. i can tell you there are lots of people who would not have seen the humor in that situation.)
in addition, balance cannot be captured by a number, so even if the system is a relationship between acid and sugar, it can't tell enough of the story to be more useful than the current system of people putting whateveer descriptors on the labels they wish.
if the above two points are accurate statements of the positions of thomas and david, then i and probably tim and a few others might just have to disagree.
While I am in the "balance is important" camp, on the issue of what to put on the label you have not characterized my position.
I recognize that Riesling may be a special case, as it's a rare grape that lends itself to many wine styles, but I believe there are only two important things that consumers want to know: do I like the wine? and what is its best use?
With those two things in mind, I believe a numbering or scale system is rather futile, except for the minuscule percentage of wine geeks who know what it all means.
My position is: let the label describe the wine and its intended use. Consumers will have to learn through experience either way; I vote for the way that's less geeky.