The Truth about Sweet Wine and Dry Wine

Here’s a quick blog to clear up Sweet and Dry Wines.

Sweet Wine and Dry Wine is something that many people get mixed up.  I’d say one of more common requests I receive when when a guest orders wine would be, “I’d like a wine that isn’t sweet.”  To give a better example:  Guests might ask for a Chardonnay that isn’t sweet, or a Cabernet Sauvignon that isn’t sweet.

Wine Tip:  All wine is Dry unless specified otherwise.

Unless you’re ordering wine from the dessert wine list or from the dessert wine section in your wine shop, liquor store or supermarket, all wine is dry.  I only mention this to arm yourself when ordering wine in restaurants so the Sommelier, Bartender or Server won’t look at you like you have two heads.  Sadly, there are too many snobby Sommeliers and elitists in the restaurant world.

What people often confuse with being sweet is when it’s a Fruit-Forward wine.  Some wines have the quality of juicy ripe fruit which can give the perception of it being sweet.  So if you’re not looking for this style, simply ask for a wine that IS NOT fruit-forward.

When wine is actually sweet it’s because there is residual sugar.  Alcohol is created by sugar converting to alcohol during the fermentation process.  So, if you stop this from happening part of the way through, you’re allowing sugar to remain which there for creates a sweet wine or off-dry wine.

There are other methods for making sweet wine, but I won’t take up a whole blog explaining it.  I’ve dedicated a page on my site that goes deeper into understanding the difference between sweet wine and dry wine:  Click here to check it out!


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