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The Ultimate Dry Wines Guide: What They Are & How To Use Them

There are so many different kinds of wine out there. It can be hard to narrow down exactly what kinds you prefer, how much you should be spending, and what kind of food you should serve with it. But whatever kind of wine you prefer, there is a wine out there that you’re sure to enjoy.

For the casual wine drinker, narrowing down all the options can be a little overwhelming. That’s where we come in.

Here at Ohza, we’ve got all the information you need to tackle wine vocabulary like a pro. Whether you are a connoisseur or just enjoy a glass or two on the weekend, it’s important to know what to expect out of the wine you’re drinking, especially when it comes to flavors.

One word you’ll hear tossed around quite a bit when talking about wine is “dry,” so what does that mean? Let’s dive into some definitions and learn what dry wine really is.

What Does “Dry” Mean?

There are a lot of different terminologies for describing wine. Frequently, you will see terms like dry, extra dry, or brut. It may be a bit confusing for the average Joe when terms like these aren’t in your everyday vocabulary. Let’s break it down.

When a wine is labeled as “dry,” it refers to the taste left in your mouth after drinking it. Whether a wine is dry or sweet is ultimately determined by the sugar remaining in the wine after fermentation. A dry wine has the least amount of sugars left after fermentation. They generally contain less than 1 percent sugar, typically around 4 grams of sugar per liter of wine.

Dry Wine Doesn’t Mean It Makes Your Mouth Dry

A common misconception about dry wines is that they actually dry your mouth out, leaving you with a funny feeling on your tongue. If your mouth feels dry, that’s actually probably due to another important factor in wine: tannins.

Dry Wines Aren’t Necessarily More Alcoholic, Though They Can Be

Another misconception is that dry wines contain more alcohol than sweet wines. However, a wine’s sweetness level doesn’t directly correlate with the alcoholic content. The amount of alcohol in a wine is due to the fermentation process, not the sugar level.

Now that the truth has been revealed, let’s get into all the different types of dry wines.

Types of Dry Wine: Whites and Reds

One of the most beautiful parts of wine is how diverse it is. Dry wines can be red, white, rosés, and even sparkling wines. If you are looking for the most popular kinds of dry wine, look no further.

Here are our top choices for dry reds and whites and what we love about them.

White Dry Wines: 4 Favorites

Here are a few dry white wines that you might want to try next time you’re searching for a bottle.

1. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is made from a green-skinned white grape. Its profile is highly acidic and low in sweetness, but it has strong fruity notes that combine to create a wonderfully crisp white wine. Sauvignon Blanc wines are one of the most popular white wines for cooking.

2. Chardonnay

One of the most popular white wines is Chardonnay. Chardonnay is known for its bright, fruity tang and notes of tropical fruits and apples. It’s bright, crisp, and a crowd favorite. If you are making a creamy sauce or a buttery pasta dish, we recommend using and serving Chardonnay to help make the magic happen.

3. Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

For a dry white wine that falls under the category of semi-dry, meaning they contain 1-3% residual sugars as opposed to just 1%, our top pick is Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is one of our favorite white wines to pair with a charcuterie or antipasto platter.

4. Champagne and Sparkling Wine

Champagne is one of the most iconic wines to celebrate with. Whether you are drinking true Champagne (from the Champagne region of France) or a delicious, bubbly sparkling wine, it’s easy to drink and raise a toast with.

Doux Champagnes, coming in at 5% residual sugar, are the sweetest Champagnes. The driest, which has less than 0.6% sugar, is extra brut. If you are on the hunt for a dry Champagne to clink a glass or two with, stick to an extra brut and pair it with some yummy hors d'oeuvres.

Red Dry Wines: 4 Favorites

Here are a few of our favorite dry reds.

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most easily recognizable red wine types. It’s hearty and bold and has a stronger tannic flavor than its white counterparts. Cabernet Sauvignon is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet red grapes. It has notes of olive, herbs, and sometimes tart cherry.

2. Merlot

One of the least tannic red wines you can find is Merlot. Merlot has full-bodied berry flavors that are semi-sweet in nature. It genuinely goes well with anything served. Serve Merlot with a juicy steak or rich cheese for a match made in heaven. This is our favorite red wine to use to make Sangria due to its low tannins and rich, full flavors.

3. Pinot Noir

One of the most classic red wines is Pinot Noir. We recommend pairing a Pinot Noir wine with a picnic basket and some of your favorite snacks. You can never go wrong with popping the cork on this date night wine.

4. Syrah/Shiraz

For a dark and moody finish to the list, we have Syrah. Syrah is a dry red wine full of flavors like dark berries and plums. If you are looking for a dry red wine to enjoy on a regular basis, this is the wine for you. Bottled in the Rhône region of France, a bottle of Syrah pairs perfectly with anything you’ve got. Our favorite way to enjoy it? Alongside a juicy burger with BBQ sauce. No judgment here, we promise.

From your fellow wine enthusiasts here at Ohza, happy wine tasting!

Sources:

What Is Sangria? | Allrecipes

How Much Sugar Is in a Glass of Wine? | The New York Times

Why some red wines taste 'dry' | ScienceDaily

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