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What is Dry Wine?

Our noses can’t smell sweetness. We can smell things that we KNOW are sweet, but don’t let your nose fool you when it comes to dry wine!

Our noses can’t smell sweetness. We can smell things that we KNOW are sweet, but don’t let your nose fool you when it comes to dry wine!

“Dry” is a Technical Wine Term

Dry white wine in a glass

The term “dry” is a technical way to describe wine with a lower amount of residual sugar. This is the amount of sugar that is left over after the wine has fermented.

The kind of grape that is being pressed and fermented at the winery will determine the amount of sugar in the wine. Both red and white wine grapes can have low or high sugar contents.

Actually, MOST wines are dry, but some are dryer than others. You can learn more about different types of sweet wines here.

The Fermentation Process of Dry Wine

Wine is made with two ingredients–grape juice and yeast. Yeast eats the natural sugar in the juice (fructose). This causes the juice to ferment into alcohol. The term “dry” is simply a nicer, shorter way to say that it is “fully fermented.”

Some wines do have sucrose or other sugars added to them before fermentation, but it completely depends on the type of wine that is being made. While this may have been common practice in the past in cooler climate regions where the grapes weren’t getting ripe enough, it’s not something that is done to quality wines today.

So What’s Up with that Fruity Smell?

It is important to note that the fruity smell you get when you linger over an open bottle/glass of wine does not automatically mean the wine isn’t a dry wine. Remember, “dry” is a technical term and NOT an opinion.

Here is my Aroma Wheel. It will help you train your nostrils so you can act really cool at a wine tasting.

Also, take a look at my free Wine Type Guide that will help you pick out the best kind of wine for YOU!

Dry white wine bottle and glass

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