Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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sorbitol, one of the sugar alcohols present in trace amounts in grapes and wines, and closely related to glucose. It has a mildly sweet taste, is very soluble in water and, when present in high concentrations, confers a sense of body on a liquid.

Since sorbitol can be made easily and cheaply from many agricultural raw materials, this property has been harnessed by a few unscrupulous wine bottlers to increase consumer acceptance of thin, acid, ordinary wines. Sorbitol is not harmful to humans but its use is prohibited by most wine regulations.