There is a big debate in the wine world between dry vs sweet wine. Some people swear by dry wines, while others prefer the sweetness of good dessert wine.
What’s the difference? And which one should you be drinking? We’ll compare these wine types to help you pick the right one for your taste.
What is Dry Wine?
Dry wine is a wine that has very little sugar content. Most dry wines have less than 0.5% sugar, which is why they taste less sweet than other types of wines.
Dry wines are usually made from red grapes, and the fermentation process allows the natural sugars in the grapes to convert into alcohol.
This type of wine is typically dry, but it can also be semi-dry or off-dry.
The grapes for dry wine are typically grown in cooler climates, as the ripening process is slower and results in less sugar content.
Some of the most popular dry wines include reds like merlot and whites like chardonnay.
If you’re looking for a dry wine to pair with your next meal, consider one of these varietals.
Read our related article, Chianti vs Merlot, where we compare two popular red wines!
What is Sweet Wine?
Sweet wine is a type of wine that contains high levels of sugar. The sweetness can come from the grapes themselves, or it can be added during the winemaking process.
Sweet wines are often served as dessert wines, and they can range in color from light to dark.
Sweet wines are typically made with dessert grapes like muscat, riesling, and gewürztraminer.
In order to maintain the sweet flavor of the wine, sweet wines are typically lower in alcohol than dry wines.
Sweet wine can be enjoyed on its own or paired with fruit, cheese, or dessert.
Read More: Moscato vs Chardonnay. How do these wines compare? Find out in this in-depth look!
Difference Between Dry and Sweet Wines
Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. What are the specific differences between dry wine and sweet wine? Here are the details.
In general, dry wine has very little sugar content, while sweet wine has high levels of sugar.
The different sugar content comes about through the amount of time that the grape juice is in contact with the grape skins.
For sweet wines, the juice stays in contact with the grape skins for a long period of time, allowing more of the sugar from the grape juice to be transferred to the wine.
For dry wines, the juice is only in contact with the grape skins for a short period of time.
Additionally, sweet wines may have additional sugar added to them after fermentation. The final result is a sweeter taste and a higher sugar content.
The Fermentation Process
The fermentation process is key to determining the level of sweetness in the wine.
For a dry wine, fermentation is allowed to run its course until all the sugar has been converted into alcohol. This results in a wine with lower sugar content.
By contrast, sweet wine is made by stopping the fermentation process early, before all the sugar has been converted.
This leaves a higher level of sugar in the final product. The fermentation process, then, is crucial to the taste of dry and sweet wines.
Dry Has Range, sweet Does Not
Dry wines have a range of colors and tastes. They can be dry, semi-dry, or off-dry. Sweet wines, however, are always sweet.
Semi-dry and off-dry wines fall somewhere in between dry and sweet. When choosing a wine, it is important to know whether you prefer dry or sweet wines.
Some people prefer the crisp taste of dry wines, while others prefer the sweetness. There is no right or wrong answer. It simply comes down to personal preference.
Time of Use
Sweet wines are a popular choice for those looking for a satisfying post-meal treat.
These wines vary in color from light to dark, depending on their level of sweetness and the types of grapes used in their creation.
Because dry wines have a wide range of flavors, they make perfect accompaniments to a wide range of meals.
On the other hand, darker, sweeter wines are usually enjoyed on their own or as an after-dinner treat.
And Then There’s Alcohol Content
Typically, dry wines tend to have a higher alcohol level, as the grapes are allowed to fully ferment and develop before being pressed.
Of course, sweet wines can also be high in alcohol content, but this is not generally the case.
Alcohol content can depend on a number of factors, including the type of grape used and vinification techniques.
Other ingredients to sweet wines can also increase alcohol.
Which Type of Wine Should You Drink?
Dry wine or sweet wine is a matter of personal preference.
There is no right or wrong preference, but you are more likely to have a good food pairing from a selection of dry wines.
Nevertheless, if it’s just you, you can’t go wrong drinking what you like.