Which Red Wines Are Considered Dry?


Are you normal, or do you sing the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” song or more particularly, Titus Andromedon's "Pinot Noir" song whenever you think of red wine? "Pinot Noir, Caviar, Myanmar, Mid-sized car, You don't have to be popu-lar, Find out who your true friends are."  Oh, okay. So you’re normal? Yawn, boring! Moving on…. 

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let's focus on red wines. (But please, do find us if you want to talk about “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” any time...and we mean any time!)  Did you know there are more than one thousand varieties of grapes used to make wine? With that in mind, it is actually impossible for us to list every red wine in the world because there are THAT many. 

So, let’s focus on which of the red wines are considered dry. And why they’re considered dry. And all about dry red wines. Sound good? Great, let’s get to it! 

What Makes a Wine Dry?

First, let’s discuss what dryness means when it comes to wine. It does seem extremely bizarre to call a liquid dry, but we don’t make the rules. We just explain them. Dryness is mostly used to refer to the lack of sweetness. And in that way, many table wines are dry because they don’t have the sweetness that is associated with dessert wines. Because of that, there is confusion as the definition of dry red wine. A dry wine can be as fruity as it is dry, but because it is fruity, people don’t associate it with being a dry wine. 

Additionally, like all food and beverages, wine preference is personal.Two people will detect very different tastes from the same wine. Just like your taste in reality tv shows. You could be a “Survivor” fan or you could be a “Real Housewives” fan -- a total preference on taste!  

In reality, dry wines are the Chandler Bings of wine. Sweet enough to be enduring. Well that, and instead of their personalities being developed by childhood trauma, we use winemaking techniques. A wine is considered dry when the sugar from the grape juice is converted into alcohol content during the fermentation process. Because they don't have very much residual sugar content, the wines are therefore considered dry. 

Dry white wines  include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay with wines like Riesling moving towards the semi-sweet end of the spectrum. Similarity, red wines that are considered dry are Merlot,  Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Tempranillo. Cabernet and Merlot are the most popular and well-known produced red wine varieties. Dry red wines that are produced in America include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir and zinfandel. 

So how can you tell if a wine is dry or not? It can be difficult, winemakers can be a little bit secretive and think the consumer can make an educated guess. Which, can you say, annoying? To tell if a wine is dry, check its alcohol content. If the wine is around 11% or lower, you can make an educated guess that less alcohol means more residual sugar while more alcohol means more residual sugar. 

Dry Wines

If you're still interested in what we have to say, you're either watching your sugar intake or just into dry wines. Either way, we’re proud of you! And,  let’s give ourselves a blug and share that we're also glad we've met because we're into dryness too. So much so, we made wine with zero sugar. You can check our ladies, who are crisp, dry and a lil’ fizzy,  here

But, ALAS! At this exact moment, we only make white wine and since the topic of this article is supposed to be about red wine (Thanks SEO), we'll begrudgingly return to the task at hand. For the times you're not drinking your new best friend (FYI that's us, Bev, we're your new best friend in California that makes zero sugar wine), and you want to drink dry red wine, reach for a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec or Tempranillo. 

The really dry ones include Cabernet Franc, Chianti from Italy, and Bordeaux reds, whereas something like a Zinfandel or a Shiraz can vary towards being more jammy sweet red wines. These reds pair with red meats way better than the dessert wines your one friend keeps bringing over, so wine drinkers take note. 

Because we're already proving how good of friends we are, we've outlined essentially what the different dry red wines are and what they taste like below! 

Merlot

A wine that comes from a dark blue colored wine variety, the Merlot grapes tended to be high in tannin. These drys often originate in Argentina, but many wine regions produce them. Merlot flavors range from herbs and blackberries to black cherries and plums. Depending on if winemakers aged them in oak, some detect notes of vanilla, clove, and cedar! Thinking about enjoying a glass of Merlot? Because it is light on tannin structure, there isn't an intense astringency. Pair it with beef, roasted chicken or a vegetarian dish.

Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the world’s most well known red wine varieties that is grown in literally every major wine producing country, Cabernet Sauvignon is also a dry wine. Oddly,  most people notice a smell similar to tobacco and leather, which we feel obligated to point out is weirdly similar to how Hallie describes her grandfather smelling in "The Parent Trap." As for the taste, this dry red has dark fruitiness like blackberry and black cherries. This also has some of the most tannins of any wine. Pour a glass of this popular red wine with some  red meat or a really hearty dish. 

Syrah

Flavor-packed, Syrah is one of the darkest, big-bodied wines you can find. For this wine, bigger is always better. Darker and filled with antioxidants,  Syrah wine is known for its full bodiedness and dark fruit flavors. The dry red had us interested when we noticed its flavors are similar to bacon but more fruity. With flavors of vanilla and floral notes and a medium acidity, this is one elegant and savory drink. If your table has ordered a bottle of Syrah, order yourself a delicious steak or hard cheeses. 

Pinot Noir

"Pinot Noir, you're a star, Listen to Tom Beren-gar, Pinot Noir, Roseanne Barr." Alright, sorry, we couldn't help but sing….again. This dry beverage that is the star of a song that really should've won a Grammy, is known for its complex flavors, including raspberry, cherry, and mushroom. Grapes are grown all over the world, but are best known for growing in cooler climates. Make yourself  a plate of lamb, salmon or a dark poultry dish to seriously enjoy this wine. 

Malbec

Made from purple grape variety, Malbec is full-bodied, dry red wine is rich with dark fruit flavors. It's a juicy one, with notes of tobacco and dark chocolate. If you’re a pizza fan, perfect; enjoy a bottle of Malbec and a pizza for a deliciously good time. If you’re not a pizza fan, we sincerely wonder if you’re human...because pizza is delicious. But also, you can enjoy a bottle of Malbec with grilled meats and pastas. 

Tempranillo

A black grape variety known for being full-bodied, Tempranillo is a wine that typically comes from Spain.  Dominated by flavors of cherry, dried fig, and tobacco, this is a red that is characterized by its deep, dark fruit notes. Enjoy this Spanish wine with lamb, roasted chicken and braised beef.