People love wine.
That is not just a statement or a comment made out into the ether with no relevance or evidence, it is a fact, and that fact can be seen by the countless years thousands of people have been drinking the stuff.
With wine, there are many kinds of flavors that people can put into the liquid or pick up on when they are drinking it, however there is a variety of flavor that is sought after or enjoyed more than others in a lot of circles.
This is a dry taste to the wine itself and often makes the wine more interesting when tasted.
Yet, if you were looking for dry wines at the store, what would be the driest wine you could find? Even better, what is the driest red wine you could find (see also ‘The Healthy Benefits Of Drinking Cannonau Wine‘). Well, we have put what we think is the answer in this article.
What Does It Mean When A Wine Is Dry?
When we hear the term ‘dry wine’ described as a flavor and none of us have drunk wine before, this can be altogether very confusing.
Not only is dry not a flavor, but it is in fact a texture, meaning that the confusion is doubly so and can short circuit those trying to make sense of what appears to be nonsense.
Yet, you shouldn’t dismiss why we use the term dry at this moment, for there are reasons for us to describe wine this way, normally a couple in fact.
The main one is that dry wines are simply those that have no residual sugars within it.
You see, wine is made by fermenting grape juice. The grape juice is processed, strained, and then poured into vats along with an accompanying amount of yeast.
Yeast is a type of bacteria that feeds on sugars and converts them in alcohol when it is feeding. This alcohol slowly permeates throughout the juice, turning the mixture into wine.
After weeks or months of this process, you will have a drink that resembles a wine, instead of a slightly alcoholic grape juice.
The thing that separates a sweet, normal, or dry wine is the time at which this fermentation process is stopped by the winemaker.
Sweet wines will be stopped earlier, which will make the wine alcoholic while allowing some sugars to remain within the drink.
A more neutral wine will have a balance between sweet and dryness, being stopped later than a sweet wine and earlier than a dry wine.
A dry wine will be allowed to complete the fermentation process, which basically means that the yeast will be allowed to continue fermenting until no sugars remain in the wine.
This gives the wine a unique flavor that is really well received by a lot of people.
That doesn’t mean these wines can’t be devoid of sweetness completely, there are other elements in the wine that can make them taste a tiny bit sweet with sugar.
However, the other thing that makes people think of dry wine is the dry sensation that is created from drinking these completely fermented wines.
Once it touches your lips, you kind of immediately think of dryness, hence the name.
Why Are Dry Red Wines So Popular?
There are a few reasons for this, but they all have to do with the sensory experience that wines offer. For starters, the taste is unique, but pairs well with a lot of different foods, especially bold foods.
If you are eating a fatty cut of beef with roasted vegetables, a sweet white wine might not cut it, as the flavor won’t bolster or hold up to the dish.
This also makes red wines good when used for cooking, as they provide a sensual richness that can also cut through the fatty nature of a lot of dishes.
This is partially to do with the high tannin levels in dry red wines which provide a slightly bitter, slightly sour taste, perfect for bringing down the sweetness or savoriness of cooked dishes.
Finally, the look of a deep red wine can affect how we view a meal.
They always say you eat with your eyes first, and seeing a beautiful red wine next to a plate of food or being poured for you makes you feel like you are enjoying your situation or food more. It may not be much, but every little helps.
Dry Red Wine Varieties
Now that we’ve covered a little bit about dry red wines (see also ‘Red Wine: The Range Of Sweet And Dry Options‘), it is time to actually take a look at some.
You may think when we are going through the list that these wines all sound like they are from the same place, or at least the same region.
That is because most dry red wines are, almost all of them originated in France, however they are now made all over the world and produced in vast quantities.
We will start with the driest red wine and red wine types on the market for most producers and work our way down from there:
Bordeaux Red Wines
Wines from Bordeaux are usually very dry with a very high tannic presence and an aroma that resembles dark fruits, including cherries, stone fruits, with normally a hint of tobacco in the background.
These wines tend to be the quintessential dry red wines, and they will be the ones you see at fancy dinner scenes where heavy meat or game is served.
This is the dry red wine that is often considered the driest by producers and drinkers alike.
It is made with the cabernet sauvignon grape and has heavy tannic undertones, with the taste being bold and containing complex olive, black currant, and black cherry undertones.
The traditional Merlot is almost as dry as the Cabernet Sauvignon, as the grapes are harvested early to make the taste overall more acidic.
The New World Merlot’s tend to be fruitier in flavor, with blackberry undertones.
This wine is made by mixing grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with other grapes before making the wine.
As such, it is not quite as dry as these two with it having some quite fruity undertones, but it is still a delightfully dry wine to drink.
Although originally from France, the Malbec grape has not really seen a lot of love in its home country. Instead, it has been universally adopted by Argentina and used in a lot of their wine production.
The taste is somewhat spicy behind its fruitiness, while maintaining its high tannin level and deep red color, making for an interesting flavor that pairs well with the traditional Argentine way of cooking beef.
This wine is usually used to make a kind of Bordeaux blend of wine, but it is actually really good on its own, especially when you are looking for something to drink after a long day of work.
It is slightly spiced and so creates a nice little pick me up for any who choose it.
Rhône Dry Red Wines
A region that is warm, but battered by the Atlantic – the Rhône region is an area of flood plains and fertile valleys that extend into the mountainous areas of both France and Switzerland.
This makes for a hardy grape that also provides a distinctive aroma for wines, and they are heavily influenced by the region’s inhabitants, especially in terms of flavor.
This type of wine is almost always a blend with other grapes or other wines.
However, this doesn’t stop it being very dry, and it is often used in other wine mixes to produce a dryness you would otherwise not be able to get from their own grapes, like Cinsault or even Shiraz.
The Shiraz (or Syrah) grape is perhaps one of the most versatile and useful in wine making.
Depending on when the producer decides to harvest the grape, it can easily produce different kinds of wines, from light and incredibly fruity wines to those that are rich and spicy in flavor.
This also changes per region, as those that are from the cooler regions tend to have much more body and much higher tannin levels, whereas those from the warmer regions are more fruity with far fewer tannins.
This change is a result of the ever-changing environment it originates from in the Rhône region.
The Cinsault wine and grape come from the more southern regions of the Rhône, which tends to be much warmer and rather than its counterparts, it tends to make a much lighter, fruitier wine that is still quite dry.
This means it can be enjoyed in many different ways as well, or even on a hot summer’s day.
Burgundy Dry Red Wines
Further north than the other two French regions on this list, Burgundy tends to experience colder, wetter weather than the other two, so the grapes and wines it produces normally lean towards the drier side anyway.
Pinot Noir might be one of the most planted grapes and drunk wines in the entire world. While it tends to be dry, it is very much like a Pinot Grigio, in that it is an introduction to wine.
This is not a bad thing, but in fact good, as people can see what wine should taste like and measure how they like other red wines against it.
However, this does also mean that it will never be the best wine there is or the driest, but it is a good wine nonetheless.
These are the list of dry red wines based on their dryness levels, however there are other wines out there for you to try, and you may find one that is better.
Still, for now we believe that the Cabernet Sauvignon is the driest red wine that you could get your hands on with it still being a good wine to drink.
Dry red wines are a fantastic drink to have on their own or as an accompaniment.
They provide a unique flavor that you simply don’t get from other drinks, and they are something that people will continue to drink for many years to come.
- The Healthy Benefits Of Drinking Cannonau Wine - January 31, 2023
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