What does DRY mean when people describe wine?

When people describe wine as “dry,” they are referring to the level of sweetness or residual sugar in the wine. In the context of wine, “dry” means that the wine contains very little or no perceptible sweetness.

During the winemaking process, the natural sugars present in the grape juice are converted into alcohol through fermentation. In a dry wine, fermentation is allowed to continue until most of the sugar is converted into alcohol, leaving only a minimal amount of residual sugar in the finished product.

The opposite of a dry wine is a “sweet” wine, where a significant amount of residual sugar remains after fermentation, giving the wine a noticeable sweetness on the palate.

The term “dry” in wine tasting does not refer to the absence of liquid but rather to the absence of sweetness. It’s essential to note that the perception of sweetness in wine can be influenced by factors such as the grape variety, the winemaking techniques used, and individual taste preferences. Different styles of wine can range from bone-dry to off-dry (slightly sweet) to fully sweet.

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