Our Guide To Dry Wines

June 24, 2019


Enjoying wines and exploring its different varieties is a hobby in itself. There’s just so much that wine has to offer! There are hundreds of thousands of types to choose from. They vary depending on the grapes used, their flavoring, and the area it’s prepared in as well.


You’ve probably heard that some wines are considered dry and others are considered dessert wines. It can be confusing to keep up with the different kinds of wines out there for newbies, which is we’ve made a guide to dry wines:


Which wines are ‘dry’?


A dry wine is one that has 0–1.3% residual sugar in it. Red and white wines that aren’t labeled as dessert wines are dry wines. They aren’t as sweet and are more popular than dessert wines. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are examples of popular dry wines.


In other countries, the same rules apply. Wineries that prepare table wines don’t necessarily label them as dry. Some wines can be found in dry as well as sweet varieties like Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Wines that are known for their sweetness are Sauternes, Muscat, etc.


Fun fact: German wines are labeled specifically to indicate whether they are dry, sweet, off-dry, and super sweet.


What do the labels say?


Choosing your wine gets more confusing when you delve into off-dry, sweet, or super sweet variants of traditional wines. Their labels usually indicate their sweetness level. Wines from certain areas are also more sweet or dry than others e.g. Johannesburg Riesling is a dessert wine.


Champagne and Sparkling Wine


Champagne and sparkling wine are also described as dry. The terminology, however, is different. ‘Brut’ and ‘extra dry’ are used to describe champagne and sparkling wine. Brut is the drier of the two and has the lowest sugar content (between 0–1.5%). Extra Dry lies between 1.2 and 2.4%. We do understand that the terminology sounds is misleading. The term Brut actually comes from the French language and refers to sugar levels.