Lyndsay Burginger

What is Dry Wine + 10 Dry Wines To Try Tonight

You don't have to be a wine connoisseur to have used the words, "dry" and "sweet" to describe a wine. But what does it really mean and how can a liquid be described as dry? Thankfully our friends over at Winc were able to share all the dry wine details with us, plus share their favorite dry wine picks.

What is Dry Wine?

According to Winc, the definition of a dry wine is simply a wine that has no residual sugar. During the fermentation process when grape juice turns to wine, alcohol is created from the yeast eating the sugar. This process also creates carbon dioxide which aids in the creation of alcohol. For sweet wines, such as riesling, the winemaker stops the process when the sugar content is still somewhat present. But if the winemaker is making a dry wine, they let the yeast eat all the sugar, changing the flavor profile.

Dry wines are usually categorized as having less than 1% sugar. There are also categories of medium-dry wines and off-dry wines or semi-dry. The sugar level of the latter can be up to 30 grams of sugar per liter. The tannins in the driest to semi-sweet are also more prominent.

Does Dry Wine Have a Higher Alcohol Content?

A common misconception between wine drinkers is that dry wines have higher alcohol levels than sweeter wines such as Moscato because the taste of alcohol is more present. This is not the case and in fact, there are very sweet dessert wines that are higher in alcohol than these dry wines.

Some dry wine varieties include:

  • Sangiovese
  • Tempranillo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah
  • Merlot
  • Malbec
  • Garnacha
  • Zinfandel
  • Muscadet
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Viognier
  • Torrontes
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Rosé
  • Brut Champagne

10 Dry Wines To Try

Cape Route Chenin Blanc

Hailing from Western Cape, South Africa, this dry wine has tasting notes of citrus and wet stone.

Radius Merlot

This fruity Washington wine is best paired with sharp cheeses and grilled fish.

Cowtown Cabernet Sauvignon

Described with tasting notes of cranberry pomegranate and eucalyptus, the dryness of this dry red wine stands out to your taste buds. Pair with burgers and cured meats.

Astro Costera Santa Macarena Pinot Noir

This Chilean Pinot Noir boasts a smooth rich taste. The Pinot Noir is never a straightforward varietal in the heat, which makes it a great grape for winemaking in the cooler climates of Chile.

Geyser Peak River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc

Known for its acidity and mouthfeel, this cool climate Sauvignon Blanc tastes like freshly mowed grass and lime

Funk Zone Red Blend

Tasting notes of bacon and white pepper, this wine is a fun take on the traditional Syrah.

McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Rose

This lovely dry rosé has notes of raspberry and orange blossom with delightful acidity.

Akoya Chardonnay

Buttered popcorn, butterscotch, and vanilla are hinted at in this California dry white wine. Serve chilled with seafood.

Champagne Comtesse Gerin Grande Reserve Brut

This full-bodied dry sparkling wine from France is what you need at every celebration.

Neudorf Chardonnay

This New Zealand bottle is unfined and vegan and reminds tasters of white peaches.

Watch: The Health Benefits of Wine