What Is Off Dry Wine? (TOP 5 Tips)

So as you might guess, an “off-dry” or “semi-dry” wine means that there’s a bit of leftover sugar. Sometimes an off-dry wine can be notably sweet, but other times it’s a surprise when a wine is off-dry because that touch of sweetness is in balance with the other elements in a wine.

Does dry wine have less calories than sweet wine?

  • Dry wine contains less sugar than sweet wines by far. Dry wine ferments longer and uses up the sugars in this process. Less sugar equals less calories.


What is considered an off dry wine?

“Semi-dry” and “off-dry” are two terms for the same thing. Dryness in wine has a technical definition: Wines with less than 10 grams of residual sugar per liter are considered “dry,” those with more than 30 grams per liter are “sweet,” and anything that falls between is considered “off-dry” or “semi-dry.”

Is off dry wine sweet?

In simple terms, 0 is very dry which is common in wines with up to. 50% residual sugar, 1-2 is dry, 3-6 is medium also defined as semi-dry or semi-sweet or off-dry. 7 and above is regarded as sweet.

What does off dry mean in white wine?

About off-dry white wines Those naff German wines gave a bad rep to wines with a little sweetness, known as off-dry or medium-dry, but they can be just as lovely as a nice dry white and are so much better with all kinds of food. Cheap, industrially produced wines often have extra sugar added, but that’s another story.

What does off dry wine taste like?

Above 3% sweetness, wines taste “off-dry,” or semi-sweet. Wines above 5% sweetness are noticeably sweet! Dessert wines start at around 7–9% sweetness. By the way, 1% sweetness is equal to 10 g/L residual sugar (RS).

What is the driest red wine?

The Driest Red Wine Types That said, cabernet sauvignon is probably at the top of the driest red wines list. It’s naturally high in tannins and tends to be bold and full-bodied. Sangiovese, merlot and pinot noir are also red wine varietals that are generally on the dry side.

Is Sauvignon Blanc a dry wine?

All of these terms—dry, sweet and semi-dry—refer to a level of sweetness or residual sugar in a wine. A wine is considered “dry” when all of the grape sugar is converted to alcohol during fermentation, while a sweet wine still has some residual sugar.

Is Kendall Jackson a dry wine?

The 2019 vintage of this dry white wine bottle received 92 points and Editors’ Choice from Wine Enthusiast’s Jim Gordon in April 2021. One aspect that distinguishes a Kendall-Jackson wine is vineyard sourcing.

Is Riesling off-dry sweet?

Off-dry Rieslings wines have a touch of sugar. Not enough to make the wine sweet like some dessert, but enough to give it body and make the fruit jump out and to help it pair with many hard-to-pair foods, like spicy asian cuisine, or richer dishes.

What is off-dry rose?

About Off-Dry Rose Off-dry wines are slightly sweet wines that are great for sipping on their own or throughout a meal. They’re different from dessert wines in that they contain considerably less residual sugar and have only a softly perceptible sweetness.

Is dry wine healthier than sweet?

Upon comparing dry wines with sweet wines, it’s safe to conclude that dry wines are healthier than sweet wines because it has low amounts of sugar. High amounts of sugar in the human body can cause health problems like heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

Is Rose a dry wine?

Rosés can be sweet or dry, but most lean towards dry. Old World (Europe) rosés are typically very dry. Rosés produced in the New World (not Europe) are usually sweeter and fruitier. Aside from grape type, climate and production methods contribute to these differences.

Does dry wine have more alcohol?

Second, dry wines are often associated with having a higher alcohol content. Remember that dry wines simply have little to no residual sugar levels, the term “dry” doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol content. High alcohol wines are not always dry.

Is there a difference between a “semi-dry” wine and an “off-dry” wine?

Greetings, everyone! My name is Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny if you like. Ask me your most difficult wine questions, ranging from the nuances of etiquette to the complexities of winemaking science. Not to worry, I’m no wine connoisseur; you can also come to me with those “stupid questions” that you’re too embarrassed to ask your wine geek buddies. Hope you find my responses to be instructive, empowering, and perhaps humorous in some way. Please remember to visit my frequently asked questions page as well as my whole archive for all of my Q A masterpieces.


—Caitlyn from Cape Town, South Africa Caitlyn, I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything you’ve done for me.

The words “semi-dry” and “off-dry” are both used to refer to the same phenomenon.

It is not always the case that all wines that are nominally dry taste dry, or that all wines with more than 10 games of residual sugar per liter have at least a discernible sweetness, even if you believe that is the case.

A semi-dry wine can still contain a lot of acidity, which gives the tastes a fresher, more vibrant appearance than candied ones.

What you would consider cloying might be just acceptable to someone with a sweet appetite like mine.

Wines From Dry to Sweet (Chart)

We plotted the sweetness of wine, starting with bone-dry and progressing to lavishly sweet. When it comes to wine, sweetness (and how we explain it) is one of the most generally misunderstood concepts, but with a little clarity, you can taste and speak like an expert in no time. In this section, we’ll try to clear up any misunderstandings you may have about terminology, and then we’ll look at the real sweetness levels of various wines. You might be shocked to learn that many sweet-tasting wines are actually less sweet than they appear, and that many dry-tasting wines are actually more sweet than you might expect!

Wine From Dry to Sweet

From bone-dry to luxuriously sweet, we mapped the sweetness of wine. In the wine world, one of the most frequently misunderstood concepts is sweetness (and how we talk about it). But with a little clarity, you can taste and speak like an expert. In this section, we’ll try to clear up any misunderstandings you may have about terminology before looking at the actual sweetness levels of various wines.

You might be shocked to learn that many sweet-tasting wines are really less sweet than they appear, and that many dry-tasting wines are actually more sweet than they appear.

Terms to Know
  • From bone-dry to luxuriously sweet, we mapped the sweetness of wine from one end to the other. In the wine world, one of the most frequently misunderstood concepts is sweetness (and how we talk about it). But with a little clarity, you can taste and talk like an expert. We’ll try to clear up any ambiguity in language, and then we’ll have a look at the real sweetness levels of various wines. Many sweet-tasting wines are actually less sweet than they appear, while many dry-tasting wines are actually more sweet than they appear.

Why do some dry wines taste sweet?

We recorded the sweetness of wine from bone-dry to lavishly sweet, and then mapped it again. Sweetness (and how we talk about it) is one of the most generally misunderstood subjects in wine, but with a little explanation, you can taste and talk like a master. We’ll try to clear up any misunderstandings you may have about terminology, and then we’ll have a look at the real sweetness levels of various wines. You might be shocked to learn that many sweet-tasting wines are actually less sweet than they appear, and that many dry-tasting wines are actually more sweet than you might expect.

  • Almost all high-quality red table wine sold in the United States is dry, with the notable exception of high-volume bulk wines, which can often mask flaws with a few (less than 10) grams of sugar, as well as mevushal wines, such as Manischewitz (estimated to have 170 grams of sugar per liter of wine!). White wines are traditionally produced in Europe only in three regions: the Loire Valley (for Chenin Blanc), Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Muscat from Alsace, as well as much of the Riesling from Germany (although there is also dry German Riesling)
  • The Rhine Valley (for Riesling)
  • And the Mosel Valley (for Riesling). Red wines are traditionally produced in only two regions: the Rhine Valley and the Rhineland-Pa

Is it possible to get a sweet Pinot Grigio from Italy? Nope. French SweetSancerre, perhaps? Nope. What about a sweet Albario from Spain? Nope. Many European wine regulations require that wines from a certain region contain fewer than 4 grams of alcohol per liter, thereby designating them dry by law in that region. If you look closely at the United States Federal Code of Regulations for wine labeling, you’ll find that there are no regulations or classifications for dry wine in the United States of America.

Our mouths are not that smart

The presence of acidity and bitterness in wine distorts our sense of sweetness. Sweetness is perceived differently by different people depending on how a wine’s structural components are arranged. Acidity and bitterness are present in high concentrations in wines, and they will hide the flavor of sweetness. Consider it to be similar to lemonade. When combined with sugar, you get a tangy sweet-and-sour refreshment that is not too acidic to drink on its own, but it is not too sweet either. Even when the acidity is over a specific threshold, certain dry acidic wines (such as dry German Riesling and dry Furmint from Hungary) are permitted to have proportionally greater residual sugars since they will still taste dry.

  1. IDEA: To make a glass of wine sweeter, add sugar.
  2. In general, the less sweet the wine is, the more acidic it is (the one with lemon).
  3. Simply create a list of wines that you’ve sampled and know to contain residual sugar in your memory to refer to in the future.
  4. Despite the fact that “Brut” wines can contain up to 12 g/L residual sugar in most situations, the sweetness of these wines is typically expressed as mid-palate weight and texture rather than the candy-like sensation that we typically associate with sweetness.

In reality, sugar is intentionally added to sparkling wines because they would otherwise be too acidic and screechy for most people’s tastes if they were not.

Why aren’t wines labeled with sweetness indications?

Alcohol is a regulated drug (it is not considered a food), which means that alcoholic drinks (wine, beer, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages) are not obliged to label nutritional information, which includes sugar content. It does make it difficult to determine the fundamental features of a wine (for example, how sweet is this wine? how acidic is this wine? how many calories are in a glass?). Although many premium wine producers do not give technical information about their wines on their websites, you will discover that many of them do.

Yes, wine has calories…

Each gram of alcohol has 7 calories. As a result, wines with higher alcohol content have higher calorie counts. Find out precisely how many calories you’re consuming through your beverage.

Calories in Wine

The season of summer has officially begun. And those hot summer days at the beach or cool summer evenings in the lawn are the ideal occasions to serve Kendall-Muscat Jackson’s Canelli orRiesling to guests. Muscat Canelli is a member of the extensive Muscat family of grape varieties, which includes a very old grape type that is found across wine-growing Europe, from Greece to Italy and France. Riesling is, of course, the world-famous grape grown in the Rhine and Mosel river basins of western Germany, as well as in the neighboring Alsace region of France, and with good reason.

  • Although technically speaking, off-dry wines have a trace of residual sugar, which is made up of naturally occurring grape sugars that linger after the fermentation process is complete.
  • In the case of Riesling, the grapes are virtually entirely sourced from our vineyards in Monterey County, California.
  • Neither our Riesling nor our Muscat Canelli ever comes into contact with any oak wood at all.
  • It’s difficult to think of a better wine to drink throughout the summer months.
  • Either of these drinks is excellent on its own as a cocktail sipper.
  • Randy Ullom, the winemaker, will not protest to your actions.
  • Because these wines have only a little amount of alcohol, they are perfect for accompanying an omelet or crêpes.
  • Muscat Canelli’s exotic tropical fruit, Mandarin orange, Asian pear, and spice notes pair well with Asian or Indian cuisine, cheesecake and fruit, or crab cakes with a mango-salsa sauce, to name a few suggestions.
  • So, here’s to a pleasant and enjoyable summer!
  • Steve Heimoff is one of the most well-respected and well-known wine writers in the United States.
  • Heimoff is the former West Coast Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a regular contributor to the publication Wine Spectator.

He has also written two books on California wine, the most recent of which was “New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff,” which was published in the fall of 2007.

More Articles

In the past, “a glass of dry white wine” was seen as a sign of sophistication, a holdover (excuse my pun) from the 1960s and 1970s, when most easily available white wine was somewhat sugary and generally unpleasant to drink. Off-dry and medium-dry wines have had a bad rap because of those dreadful German wines, but they may be just as delightful as a great dry white and go so much better with a variety of foods as a dry white. In Chinese and Southeast Asian meals, off-dry white wines bring out the hot/sour/sweet/savoury characteristics, and they are also excellent with mild Indian curries like as tikka masala andkorma–the sweeter and less acidic the wine, the more chilli it can stand up to.

  • They have an affinity for anything smoked, whether it’s salmon, ham, or cheese, and they can cut through rich meaty pâtés, shellfish, and creamy sauces with ease.
  • Sweetness in wine is obtained by concentrating the natural sugars found in the grapes.
  • Cheap, industrially manufactured wines are frequently sweetened with additional sugar, but that is a different topic.
  • It might be difficult to predict how sweet a wine will taste, which is why you should always ask for guidance or conduct internet research.
  • Sweeter wines may be out of style, but those in the know know that they are frequently a better choice in many situations.
  • @KateHawkings
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The best off dry-whites to buy…

Featuring immense charm and a delicate mix of sweetness and refreshing acidity, this wine boasts a low alcohol content of 7.5 percent ABV and would pair perfectly with our coconut dal with crispy paneer.

Tesco Finest Gewürtztraminer, £9, Tesco

This lychee and rose petal salad, coated in gingery spiciness and served with cheesy/creamy foods, is particularly delicious with a cheesy and balsamic pickled shallot toastie (recipe below).

Chateau Moncontour Vouvray Demi-Sec 2018, £10, M S

Try it with our butternut ravioli with brown butter and sage, which is made from the chenin blanc grape grown in the Loire Valley and is rich of quince and peachy fruit flavors.

Martini Dolce 0%, £6, Morrisons

a fruity zero-alcohol fizz with delightful baked apple/lemon flavors and a little sweetness that is not overwhelming. This can be substituted for prosecco or served with apple crumble.

Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2015, £12.99, Majestic

This wine, made from a combination of native grapes in Hungary’s famed Tokaj area, is appropriately sweet (96g/litre RS) but has just 11 percent alcohol by volume, so it isn’t overly sticky and goes absolutely well with stilton.

Get On Board with Off-Dry Wine

Joel Hedstrom created the illustration. for over a decade, I have worked in the food and beverage sector in various capacities, including bartending and waitressing as well as cooking, serving and other duties. I genuinely care about what my visitors appreciate, and in every meeting I have with a potential customer regarding wine, I enquire as to what characteristics they want in a wine or what tastes they are searching for in a wine. “I don’t like ANYTHING sweet,” is a response that is heard far too frequently.

  1. To be clear, I am well aware of the amount of garbage, including sugar, that can be added to wine, resulting in cups that are imbalanced, cloying, and chemically laced.
  2. That’s a bit theatrical, but it expresses how I’m feeling.
  3. Or how about a tantalizingly sweet dessert wine to round off a meal?
  4. Off-dry wines are defined as having at least 10 grams or more of residual sugar (read: detectable grape sugar remaining in the wine).
  5. Perhaps I was fortunate in that I’ve always had a spot on my palate for both dry and sweet foods, as well as everything in between, but no matter what happened or didn’t happen, I’m grateful.
  6. I am no longer interested in becoming a member of a solitary group.
  7. They make for amusing food combinations since, in addition to their residual sugars, they tend to have strong acidity, which makes them perfect thirst-quenchers and a contrasting flavor to particularly rich and heavy entrees, as well as a refreshing accompaniment to desserts.
  8. It is impossible to resist the rich, fatty, and salty taste of chicken liver mousse when served with a glass of Pineau des Charentes (a sweet aperitif from Cognac that is a fortified blend of Cognac and grape juice from the region).

Perhaps it is because to the fact that sipping wine and eating excellent cuisine is one of my favorite pastimes, but I’ll go with Nina Simone’s lyrics and say, “I want a little sweetness in my bowl” (glass).

What is off dry?

When it comes to wine, the word “off – dry” refers to one that has a tiny sweet aspect to it. It is possible that an off – dry wine includes just a very little quantity of residual sugar, creating the impression of sweetness, or that an off – dry wine is produced with no residual sugar, yet a sweet element may be discerned in the flavor. The term “dry” refers to a wine that has had all of the grape sugar transformed to alcohol during fermentation, as opposed to a sweet wine that still has some residual sugar.

  • As a result, the issue becomes, what is the driest wine?
  • What does the term “off dry red wine” refer to?
  • A “dry” wine is one in which all of the detectable sugar in the grapes has been transformed to alcohol during the fermentation process; for example, most table wines are dry, to give you an idea of the situation.
  • Is Pinot Noir a sweet or a dry varietal?
  • Pinot noir is characterized as a wine with a medium body.

Dry Wine: What It Is and Your Guide to the Best Types

When you drink wine, you should have a dynamic, enjoyable, and tasty experience. There is something for everyone in the world of wine, thanks to the hundreds of distinct varietals and flavors available. Tasting notes range from sweet and flowery to citric and earthy, and they are found in everything from full-bodied reds to crisp rosés. Despite the fact that wine is enjoyable, it can also be perplexing at times, particularly when it comes to comprehending the lingo while attempting to choose your next bottle of wine.

What does it mean to characterize a liquid as “dry”?

In this post, we’ll explain what the term “dry” actually means when it comes to wine, as well as the many sorts of dry wines you should experiment with.

What Is Dry Wine?

Dry wine as a description is difficult to understand since most of us use the phrase in the incorrect context when we think about it. Our tendency is to think of dry wines as having a sensory component, equating them with wines that leave us with an aftertaste of dryness after each drink. While that sensation is a common element of wine consumption, it is really related to wines that are strong in tannins rather than wines that are defined as dry by their taste profile. When it comes down to it, the underlying meaning of the word “dry wine” is focused on the composition of the wine.

As a result, dry wines are not typically associated with sweet wines.

Other components of wine’s composition, including as tannins and alcohol levels, play a vital part in determining the overall flavor character of the beverage.

This results in the production of carbon dioxide, which assists in the production of alcohol content.

Winemakers that create dry wines enable the yeast to devour all of the sweet material, resulting in no residual sugar remaining in the finished product. Are you considering purchasing a couple bottles of dry wine? Some of the most popular varieties of dry wine include the following selections.

Types of Dry Wine

Wines can contain varying amounts of naturally occurring sugars, depending on the winemaking procedure employed. Dry wines include less than one percent sugar, with an average of 4 grams of sugar per liter of wine. Sweet wines contain more than one percent sugar. Dry wines are divided into several subcategories, the most notable of which being medium-dry wines and off-dry wines. Medium dry wines include fewer than 12 grams of sugar per liter of volume whereas semi-dry or off-dry wines contain 10-30 grams of sugar.

First and foremost, fruity wines are not synonymous with sweet wines.

Second, dry wines are frequently connected with having a greater percentage of alcohol by volume.

Wines with high alcohol content are not usually dry.

Very Dry White Wine

Generally speaking, very dry white wines have fewer than 4 grams of residual sugar and are popular among wine enthusiasts who enjoy crisp and dry aromas. Beyond the possibilities listed below, Albario and Torrontés are also exceptionally dry white wines that may be enjoyed on their own.

Sauvignon Blanc

These types of dry white wines are distinguished by their intense crisp flavors and are popular for cooking as well as for drinking with friends and family members. Sauvignon Blanc is frequently associated with acidic tastes or fruity notes like as gooseberry, as well as vegetal overtones. Typically produced in Bordeaux, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and the United States’ west coast, this sort of dry wine is also available in other regions. While enjoying this delightful dry wine and daydreaming about your next room redesign, share a couple bottles of Sauvignon Blanc with your friends at Friendsgiving or while perusing Better Homes & Gardens.


Dry white wines such as Chardonnay are also quite popular. Varieties from Burgundy, as well as California and Washington, may be found in this category. Fruit aromas like apples and tropical fruits are abundant in this wine, which has a relatively low sugar level for its style. As a result of its barrel-aging in oak, this white wine develops flavors of vanilla and toasted nuts. If you’re cooking with butter and cream, or making risotto, Chardonnay is a fantastic complement.


Muscadet (pronounced musk-uh-day), which is not to be confused with Muscat or Moscato, is created from Melon de Bourgogne grapes and is a sparkling wine.

The characteristics of this dry wine from the Loire Valley are crisp and acidic, with hints of citrus on the palate. With buttery oysters, delicious mussels, or grilled scallops, serve a few bottles of Muscadet on the side.

Medium-Dry White Wines

Semi-dry white wines have 1-3 percent residual sugar, whilst dry white wines do not. In addition to the dry wines listed below, there are also dry versions of Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling available.

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Dry Pinot Grigio wines are produced in Italy, France, Germany, and the United States, among other places. Wines from Italy’s Pinot Grigio have mineral undertones, but those from France’s Alsace are more fruit-forward. You may serve it with an antipasti platter filled with shellfish and marinated fish, or you can have it with a buffalo burger topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Grüner Veltliner

Dieses Austrian wine is renowned for its distinctive taste profile, which mixes contrasting flavors of peach with pepper, spices, and other herbs. It’s a dry wine with citrus aromas that’s excellent for sipping while lounging in the sun on a warm summer day.

Champagne and Sparkling Wines

Champagne (sometimes known as sparkling wine when it is manufactured outside of the Champagne region of France) is a popular dry white wine produced in the Champagne region of France. There are various distinct varieties of champagne, each of which is distinguished by the amount of sugar it contains. There are three types of whiskey: doux, which includes 5 percent or more residual sugar, and extra brut, which has less than 0.6 percent residual sugar. Brut wine has 1.5 percent residual sugar, while extra sec contains 1.2-2 percent residual sugar, resulting in wines that are medium-dry.

Try a medium-dry brut or extra sec, which has more sugar than brut wine but is less sweet than doux, for a more middle-of-the-road approach.

Try the extra brut for a change.

Dry Red Wines

Dry red wines are produced all over the world, from France to South America and the United States, among others. Other dry red wines to consider include Black Muscat, Malbec, Touriga Nacional, and Grenache, in addition to the alternatives listed below.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This tannic red wine is substantial and strong, with flavors of green olives, cherries, and herbs among its many flavor components. Grapes used to make Cabernet Sauvignon include Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which are combined to create this wine. At your next dinner party, serve this dry wine alongside heavy foods and red meats to create a memorable experience.


Given that it has much fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is a dry red wine that can have semi-sweet notes when tasted blind. You’ll enjoy the flavors of watermelon, cherry, and strawberry that come through in this dry red wine. The best part is that it goes well with almost any meal, so you can enjoy a few bottles with your next bleu cheese and gorgonzola platter or a hefty dinner of lamb and mushrooms without feeling guilty.

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Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dry red wine produced from grapes grown in the Rhône Valley in France.

Typical aromas and flavors include traces of black cherries and plums, as well as rich and spicy undertones. With a dish of high-quality hard cheese or a burger with BBQ sauce, this flexible dry wine fits in perfectly.

Pinot Noir

In France, Syrah (sometimes known as Shiraz) is a dry red wine produced from grapes grown in the Rhône Valley. Dark cherries and plums, as well as rich and spicy aromas, may be detected in the wine. It’s a flexible dry wine that’s equally at home whether matched with a platter of high-quality hard cheese or beside a burger with BBQ sauce.

Ditch the Sugar With Dry Wines

Getting your head around the world of fine wine may be difficult and daunting. It’s no wonder that some individuals find the wine industry scary, given the use of terminology and adjectives that only professionals comprehend. With this explanation of what it means for a wine to be dry, we hope to have made the wine world a bit more understandable. However, while we may identify dry wines with the sensation of being dry that we receive after drinking particular varietals, dry wines are actually a sort of wine that has little to no residual sugar.

They’re a fantastic option for folks who want to indulge in wine without having to worry about additional sugars.

The pleasure derived from wine drinking is greatly enhanced by the flavor and texture of the wine.

Why Calling a Wine Dry or Sweet Can Be Simply Confusing

All too frequently, the language of wine is a source of dissatisfaction. There are several words that are difficult to pronounce or translate. However, even the most basic terms, such as dry and sweet, can lead a wine consumer astray. In fact, these two terms might be the most perplexing when used together. Wine begins as grape juice, which has a high concentration of natural sugar, mostly fructose and glucose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose, and it ferments at a slower rate than glucose. When fermentation is complete, the sugars have been converted to a significant amount of carbon dioxide and ethanol.

  1. This is termed residual sugar.
  2. However, this alone does not indicate how it will taste in the end.
  3. As a general rule, wines with residual sugar concentrations of 10g/L or less are considered dry wines in most cases.
  4. Some decadently rich dessert wines can contain as much as 450 g/L of residual sugar, which is ridiculously high.
  5. More specifically, the International Riesling Foundation establishes four sweetness categories, each of which is determined by the ratio of sugar to acid in the wine, with a further adjustment based on the pH of the final wine.
  6. The fact that it recognises that sugar is not the only factor in determining sweetness is beneficial.
  7. Sign up for Wine Enthusiast’s newsletters today.
  8. Thank you very much!

Policy Regarding Personal Information This is one reason why many wines, even those properly off-dry, can taste dry. In addition, dry wines may appear to be sweet in some cases. It has everything to do with our perception of flavor. And it is at this point that things become more difficult.

Sweetness and Your Genetic Code

In his spare time, Tim Hanni, Master of Wine, has been exploring the history of sweet wines and how different aspects impact our sensory experience. In his opinion, people’s varying experiences of sweetness are based on their hereditary phenotypes, which are true physical features that have an influence on various senses. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (sometimes known as “snips”) are a type of genetic variation that occurs often. Consider them to be the genetic code building pieces that make up your own DNA.

Even at high concentrations, alcohol tastes sweet to around 15% of the population.

When exposed to moderate to high doses of alcohol, a more frequent SNP variant causes a warming feeling.

Those folks, according to Hanni, will never learn to appreciate Scotch.

Other Factors Influencing Sense of Sweetness

For example, according to Tim Donahue, enology instructor at WALLA WALLA Community College in Washington, “a wine with 10 grams per liter of residual sugar and 5 grams per liter of total acidity will taste much sweeter than the same wine with 30 grams per liter of residual sugar but only 9 grams per liter of total acidity.” More importantly, according to Hanni, “You may have two wines that are similar in residual sugar content, acidity level and pH, and one would taste drier than the other, depending on buffers that are inherent in the wine as well as individual genetics.” Some buffers have the effect of decreasing the perception of sweetness, whereas others have the opposite effect.

  • Glycerine, in conjunction with alcohol, can be used to impart a non-sugar sweetness to a taste.
  • Even the composition of your saliva, according to Donahue, might have an influence on your health.
  • In Hanni’s opinion, tannins are astringent and cause your mouth to dry up, much like squeezing a tea bag would do.
  • The tannins serve as a sensory diversion, diverting the consumer’s attention away from the sweetness.
  • Ultimately, Hanni explains, “sweet is a taste category, not a specific flavor.” Some tasters have reported that some artificial sweeteners have a metallic flavor.
  • There are additional sweet chemicals in wine that have a sweet taste but are not assessed by the amount of residual sugar left in the bottle.

In addition, the combination of alcohol, perception of alcohol, and potentially sweet amino acids contributes to the perception of sweetness that cannot be measured by sugar.” Another item to mention: very ripe fruit can provide the sensation of sweetness even in a wine that has been fermented absolutely dry.

Consider the evidence presented above and it becomes evident that people must experiment with different flavors to discover their own unique standard for the flavors they most appreciate.

Off-dry (Wine) – Definition – Lexicon & Encyclopedia

Off-Dry Ever so slightly sweet, if that makes sense. In the United States, however, there is no legally defined amount of sugar that a wine must have in order to be classified off-dry. Cava has six important characteristics. Off-dry Tweet Although not quite dry, there is a sensation of sweetness. The sweetness of the wine is really too weak to call it delicious. Off-Dry What does the phrase “Off-Drymean?” mean? An “off-dry” wine is one that has a tiny sweetness to it, as opposed to a completely dry wine.

  • Off-flavors-flavors that are a little off for the sort of wine being discussed.
  • California ChardonnaySparkling Shiraz, ripe Pinot Noir, and delicious foods are served.
  • tastes and scents that are off-putting Flavors and scents that are off-putting.
  • Flavors that aren’t quite right (also off-aromas or off- nose) A wine that is not quite right; aromas or scents that are not appropriate for a particular sort of wine; the polar opposite of clean; faulty A phrase used to describe a wine that has a subtle sweetness to it.
  • Lignin found in the seeds imparts a richer orange hue to the wine.
  • MALIC: Unlike your typical “dry” wine, which is completely devoid of any sugary flavor, semi-dry (also known as sweet) bottles are just a tad bit sweet.
  • Fermenter with an open top.

Wines with less than 10 grams of residual sugar per liter are called “dry,” those with more than 30 grams per liter are deemed “sweet,” and anything in the between is classified as “semi-dry.” A wine tasting word that describes a wine that has only a trace of sweetness to it.

Flavors that aren’t quite right (also off-aromas or off-nose).

Wine from the Old World Wines from European countries with a long history of viticulture, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and others, are available.

Olallie berry: A hybrid berry produced by combining loganberry with youngberry, both of which are descended from the blackberry, to produce a new kind.

Because of its absence of tannins and, as a result, its bitterness, it is an excellent accompaniment for salads with vinaigrettes.

Sauvignon Blanc is a kind of white wine.

abboccato; somewhat sweet (about 7-15 g/l residual sugar forstill wines, 12-35 g/l residual sugar for frizzante wines, and 32-50 g/l residual sugar for sparkling wines); abboccato acciaio (inossidabile) (stainless) steel acerbounripe; acidit acidity in green acerbounripe : A wine defined as ” ” falls midway between dry and sweet in flavor.

  1. Body: The “heaviness” of the wine in your tongue, as well as the intensity of the tastes, are described by the term “body.” 10-35 grams of sugar per liter of wine; Riesling (not late-harvest), and Gew rztraminer are examples of wines that fit into this group.
  2. Riesling, Sauternes, Muscat, and Barsacare are all excellent examples of this.
  3. Wine scents are sensations created by the volatile components of the wine, such as aromas, bouquets, and “bad” odors.
  4. Depending on the Riesling grape variety, these specific wines may be produced in both dry and overtly sweet styles; nevertheless, the sweeter type is the one that most consumers are familiar with.
  5. It is also responsible for a strikingly homogeneous ocean of golden, low-alcohol, easy-to-drink liquid.
  6. Corks can blow out as a result of this, and the resulting effervescent wines are yeasty and not usually to one’s liking, making it a highly inconvenient situation.
  7. Alsace, France, Germany, and Austria are all regions where Gewurztraminer wine is produced, as are the chilly climates of Germany and Austria.

Sec: mildly sweet, with a residual sugar content ranging from 1.7 to 3.5 percent.

Also available in Sweet and Doux: sweet with more than 5 percent residual sugar.

WhitePorts are aged in caskor for a short length of time in big containers, and the majority of them have a sweet flavor, sometimes quite sweet – the so-called lagrima – as well as an aromatic style, known as leve seco (spicy).

Fruitsalad: Mojitos, rum, and sparkling wine German Riesling, such as RieslingKabinett, is made from red berries.

Beerenauslese, often known as Sauternes, is a kind of wine produced in France.

Beerenauslese (also known as Banyuls) Desserts made using Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, which has been cooked.

Seco (Sp., Por.) means dry in Spanish.

It is possible to get good value for money.

On the end of the drink, pepper and spice notes are exposed.

The name “Feinherb” refers to wines that are not labeled as such in Germany.

With our Elderberry, you may enjoy the fruitier side of the old elder plant’s product.

When served at room temperature with a full-flavored hard cheese, this wine is excellent as an after-dinner drink.

The levels of sweetness or dryness in a wine refer to the amount of sugar present or absent from the wine.

The majority of table wines are dry to.3 percent alcohol by volume, whereas most wine in the 1.0 percent -5.0 percent range, and sweet dessert wines are typically 5.0 percent -10 percent alcohol by volume.

Depending on the wine, a 5 percent or 5 g/L concentration may taste completely dry.

Riesling Riesling produces delicious sweet and dry wines that are full of floral, apricot, and peach notes.


Natural fermentation as well as A word used in Italy to describe a wine that is “naturally sparkling.” Don’t mix this with tannin (which many people experience as “dryness”) or fruit tastes (which many people perceive as sweetness), which are two very different things.

Due to its capacity to thrive in hot areas while maintaining high levels of acidity, colombard was also widely planted in California’s San Joaquin valley throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

The most essential thing to know about wine, like about everything else in life, is that there is no such thing as a right or incorrect answer.



Rosé Wines – zingy and fruity 6.

Red Wines – rich and powerful 8.

White Wines – medium to sweet in flavor 10.

Late Harvest Designation appears on bottles (in French, VendangeTardive) when grapes were left to linger on the vine past the point of physiological ripeness before being harvested.

In the Emilia area of central Italy, the red-wine grape LAMBRUSCO is commonly cultivated on the vines.

When combined with wine made from theAncellottagrape, the result is a wine that is somewhat sweet (ie: amabile) in flavor.

German Rieslings are white wines with nutty or honey-like characteristics that are popular in the United States.

Wines like Chianti or Pinot Noir might go nicely with a heartier veal entrée.

The wines are fermented in steel tanks after being chilled and allowed to develop gently.

They are vinified dry, fruity-sweet, and, in years with favorable climatic circumstances, alsonoble-sweet, according to the grape variety. See also: What is the meaning of the words Penedes,Broken,En Tirage,Prickly,Plummy, and other similar words?

Off Dry Riesling

(REEZ-ling) Riesling, Johannisberger Riesling, Rhine Riesling, White Riesling, Riesling Renano are all synonyms for Riesling (Italy) Name of the wine:Riesling Background: Because Riesling wines have a high acidity, they may last for a long period of time in the bottle, making them a good match for other white wines like Chenin Blanc. German and French winemakers have also learned ways to balance the acidity of their grapes with residual sugar fruitiness, resulting in wines that may still taste dry while yet having a sweetness that is not of the dessert variety.

  • Rieslings from warmer climates (Alsace, the United States, Australia, Chile, and South Africa) are heavier in body and less acidic.
  • Brands and sources that are time-tested: Characteristics:Style 1 – chilly temperatures, dry conditions, and an Old World atmosphere Acidity is moderate in the body.
  • 2 – mild weather, dry conditions, and the New World Body — a medium-sized body Acidity – moderate (+) Sweetness – fruity and dry Tannins are at a minimum.
  • 4 – harvesting late in the season Acidity is believed to be high in the body.
  • Guidelines for mixing wine and food are as follows: Dry Riesling matches well with acidic meals, whilst off-dry wines mix well with sweet dishes.

Light seafood poached, sautéed, or grilled with acidic sauces; poached salmon; chicken salads with vinaigrette; smoked and cured meats; salads with vinaigrette; salads with vinaigrette Not strongly spiced Asian food served dry – pig, chicken or duck with fruity sauce; ham; fruit salads; fruits; cold cuts; spicy cuisines such as Cajun, Creole; Thai; Chinese; Vietnamese; Mexican; Cajun; Creole; Thai; Chinese; Vietnamese; Mexican Culinary delights include curries with coconut, Indian and Tex-Mex, foie grassweet–desserts, caramel, pate, blue cheese and other salty cheeses, fruits with added sugar, and bread pudding Cheese Pairings: dry– Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint Vacherinoff dry– Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont, Vacherinoff wet– Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepardsweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, and “cheese cake” are all good options.

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Making Off-Dry White Wine: Tips from the Pros

When it comes to off-dry wines, there is much more to them than what you may expect from the mass-produced bargain bottles you get at the store. A little sweetness combined with well-balanced acidity may add depth and open the door to a whole new world of taste experiences. Despite the fact that they are not the simplest wines to produce, they are quite gratifying on a hot summer day. August Deimel of Keuka Spring Vineyards in Penn Yan, New York, is the winemaker. Wines that will be finished sweeter should have a taste profile that is slightly different from wines that will be bottled dry, according to the experts.

  • If we’re talking about Riesling, we’d want to see apricot and tropical aromas rather than green apple or lemon/lime.
  • Botrytis is another something we’re a little more tolerant with.
  • Now, there is a caveat to this: if the grapes are left on the vine for an excessive amount of time (particularly in a hot year or hot location), the acid will become overly concentrated.
  • Techniques for Logging In When it comes to off-dry wines, there is much more to them than what you may expect from the mass-produced bargain bottles you get at the store.
  • Despite the fact that they are not the simplest wines to produce, they are quite gratifying on a hot summer day.
  • Wines that will be finished sweeter should have a somewhat distinct aroma and flavor profile.
  • A little sweetness combined with well-balanced acidity may add depth and open the door to a whole new world of taste experiences.
  • August Deimel of Keuka Spring Vineyards in Penn Yan, New York, is the winemaker.

Why You Should Be Drinking Off-Dry and Sweet German Wines

If you were tempted to close your browser window the moment you saw the words “sweet wine,” reconsider. There is no other location in the world that produces wines with residual sugar quite like Germany, so bear with us. The country’s off-dry and sweet wines—the majority of which are made from the Riesling grape—can be exquisitely delicate, outrageously complex, or mind-blowingly rich, depending on the vintage. After all, the sweet wine produced by famed German wine maker Egon Müller was the world’s most costly wine ever sold.

These wines, which have the perfect mix of acidity and sweetness, may be paired with a wide variety of dishes, from very savory ramen to spicy Szechuan and traditional grilled meats.

Here’s a primer on the off-dry and sweet wines of Germany, as well as expert advice on how to combine them with cuisine.


Let us begin with the fundamentals: How is it possible for wine to be dry in the first place? What does it imply when a wine is described as sweet? And what the hell does “off-dry” refer to in this context? These phrases are used to describe the quantity of residual sugar—that is, the sugar that was not transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process—in a wine and how well we can taste it in general. According to the rules of winemaking, a dry wine is one that has less than 9 g/L of residual sugar, and in certain cases, none at all.

Many elements, notably acidity, can influence the sense of sweetness in wine, which is particularly important when discussing German wines.

Many wines that we refer to as “dry” are actually “perceptibly dry,” meaning that they have no discernible sweetness to them.

Even though Cabernet Sauvignon from California typically contains less than 4 g/L of residual sugar, it is still classified as a dry wine.

However, there is a broad range in terms of sweetness—a wine with 50 g/L of residual sugar would taste far less sweet than one with 300 g/L.

(According to German wine law, a wine may be referred to as “sweet” if it contains 45 g/L or more of residual sugar.

A large number of German wines are classified as off-dry (about 21 percent, to be specific).


When it comes to sweet German wine, you’re not alone in feeling apprehensive about trying it. Prior to the twentieth century, German wines were, on the general, extremely dry and of exceptionally high quality. German wine industry, however, was destroyed as a result of the phylloxera epidemic and two world wars that followed. Instead of higher-quality (and more difficult-to-work) slopes, vines were planted on flat terrain, resulting in grapes that were more neutral and less mature in flavor. When winemakers added sugar to their wines to make up for the poor quality, the result was a sweet wine known as Liebfraumilch, which was exported in large quantities around the world, including to the United States.

These German sweet wines, which have been crafted with attention and care, and which have a notably high acidity and a lot of flavor to balance the residual sugar, will alter whatever ideas you may have about the quality and sweetness of the country’s sweet wines.


One of Germany’s most outstanding characteristics is its enormous diversity of wine types; only France’s Loire Valley is capable of producing such a diverse range of wines ranging from extremely dry to extremely sweet. The difficulty therefore becomes how to tell whether a wine will be dry, off-dry or sweet without first opening and tasting it.

Helpful Labeling Terms

Although these labeling guidelines are not utilized equally across all German wine bottles, the good news is that German wine labels may be quite useful in assessing the sweetness of a wine, which is a positive thing. Here are some things to keep an eye out for: Some German wines contain terms on the label that inform you how sweet they are, which is helpful if you are buying a sweet wine.

  • Trocken (German for “dry”): A wine that has no discernible sweetness (in other words, a wine that does not taste sweet)
  • Halbtrocken(“Half-Dry”): This is an off-dry wine with a hint of sweetness (yet remaining light and fresh)
  • The term Feinherb is used informally among winemakers to denote that a wine is somewhat sweeter than Halbtrocken, despite the fact that it is not defined by German law.

The Prädikat System

Some of the most well-known German wine terminology are the Prädikat levels, which reflect the maturity of the grapes used in a Prädikatswein (Germany’s highest quality tier), and the Prädikatswein (Germany’s highest quality tier). Please keep in mind that wines are classed according to the quantity of sugar present in the grapes at harvest, rather than the amount of residual sugar present in the wine. These phrases, on the other hand, can provide some clue as to whether a wine is dry, off-dry, or even sweet.

  • Kabinett: Produced from grapes that have reached the ripest stage of their development, Kabinett wines are delicate, light, and low in alcohol. Even while some Kabinett wines are quite dry, there is typically a subtle, well-balanced sweetness to them. Spätlese (German for “Late Harvest”): Made from berries that have been gathered late in the season, Spätlese wines are often richer and more complex. In addition to robust, dry Spätleses that are created, sweet Spätleses are also available. Auslese (also known as “Select Harvest”) wines are made from grape bunches that have been hand-selected for their ripeness and intensity. They are often sweet and intense. Auslese wines may be dry in some cases, but this is quite unusual. Beerenauslese (also known as “Select Berry Harvest”) is a sweet wine made from extremely ripe grapes that are harvested berry by berry and frequently afflicted with botrytis (noble rot), which is required (and desired) for the production of sweet wines. A beerenauslese wine is usually rich, sweet, and complex, but with a lot of acidity to balance it out. Wine made from extremely ripe grapes (such as Beerenauslese) that are harvested at night while still frozen on the vine and are not impacted by botrytis is known as Eiswein (Ice Wine). Eisweins are usually sweet, with fruit tastes that are pure and concentrated. Trockenbeerenauslese (German for “Dry Select Berry Harvest”): The most elusive of all the varietals, Trockenbeerenauslese wines are created from grapes that have been shriveled by botrytis infection. These are really sweet, strong, and complex
  • They taste like candy.

Look at the Wine’s ABV

Because sugar is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process, the alcohol by volume (ABV) of a wine may be used to estimate how sweet a wine is likely to be. When you know what the theoretical alcohol content of a wine should be, you can calculate that every percentage point of ABV below that value is equivalent to 16 g/L of residual sugar. Consequently, if the theoretical alcohol content (ABV) of a wine is 13 percent ABV, but the label ABV is only 10 percent, the wine contains 48 g/L of residual sugar, making it a significantly sweet wine.


In addition to being enjoyed on their own for their delightful qualities, off-dry and sweet German wines can and should be used to produce some of the most delectable and unusual food pairings available—and we’re not just talking about dessert. With so many different sweetness levels and types to choose from, there are virtually no restrictions on how you may match German wines with food. However, here are some of the finest categories of foods to pair with off-dry and sweet German wines.

Spicy Foods

There is no better wine to pair with spice than a sweet or off-dry German wine, bar none. It is the detectable sweetness and ripe fruit aromas that essentially douse the flames of hot foods, cooling and purifying your palette before you take another drink. For the same reason, Rieslings such as Kabinett and Spätlese Rieslings, for example, are often recommended for foods such as curry, Szechuan cuisine, and enchiladas, which are all spicy and have complex tastes. Some German wines, both off-dry and sweet, may be able to help folks who are not fans of spicy dishes get a taste of what they’re missing.

Combining fresh acidity with luscious, sweet fruit makes experimenting with spicy meals much more enjoyable—and, strangely enough; it also makes those sweet wines taste drier.


Sweet wines and seafood may not be the first things that come to mind when thinking about pairings, but it is the brilliant acidity and balance of German wines that make this combination so well. If you’re serving arctic char or trout, the high acidity of a trocken Riesling may be a little too abrasive for your taste buds. However, when served with a light, fresh, delicate Kabinett, the acidity isn’t as scorching, and the texture of the fish is better matched. It is also possible to use a somewhat richer wine, such as Spätlese, to accompany rich sauces, such as lobster drenched in butter or the traditional meunière.


Barbecued meats can be spicy or vinegary, savory or sweet, dry rub or wet, and they have a diverse spectrum of flavors all their own. Is there a single wine that goes well with all of them? German wine with a sweet taste. Fruit tastes that are ripe and juicy contrast nicely with vinegar-based sauces and dry rubs, and they won’t look thin when paired with sweeter varieties of barbecue sauce.

Umami-laden Foods

Whatever the meal, off-dry German wines may improve savory, umami-laden foods in surprising ways. Ramen, French onion soup, and short ribs are just a few examples. With the contrasted, concentrated fruit tastes, the meal gains even another layer of complexity, and the complexity of off-dry German wines (many of which have some form of umami component of their own, particularly if they are aged) pairs nicely with the complexity of these savory foods. Do you want to take a chance on something new?

Cheese and Charcuterie

Because cheese and charcuterie platters are made for experimenting with different types of wines, there’s no better time than now to incorporate an off-dry or sweet German wine into the mix. Furthermore, there’s a reason why honey and fruit compotes are frequently offered on a cheese and charcuterie board; they provide a welcome counterpoint to the salty flavors of the cheese and charcuterie. For example, the intense qualities of blue cheese are wonderfully counterbalanced by the strength of Auslese Riesling, which has a similar flavor profile.

Entrées with Fruit Components

Dishes such as duck à l’orange and pork with applesauce make use of a fruity, slightly sweet component to enhance the flavor of a savory protein. Instead, look for off-dry or somewhat sweet German wines, which effectively achieve the same thing while bringing out the fruit flavors more prominently.


In addition to off-dry German wines, salads with fruit components or vinegar-based sauces (or both) can make excellent companions. The sharp acidity of a Kabinett Riesling will pair well with vinaigrettes without overpowering delicate vegetable tastes, while juicier Spätlese Rieslings would pair well with fruity accompaniments such as strawberries and goat cheese.


Finally, we must mention the obvious pairing: Germany’s sweet wines may be really delicious when served alongside dessert. Those strong peach and lemon tastes of an Auslese or Beerenauslese Riesling pair well with rich desserts such as crème brûlée, while those acidic flavors of an Auslese or Beerenauslese Riesling pair well with fruit-forward sweets such as peach cobbler. Desserts that are less sweet, such as berries and whipped cream or shortbread cookies, are great when paired with something off-dry, such as a Spätlese beer.

It’s both intriguing and delicious at the same time.

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