What is Dry Red Wine? Types, Storage, and More

What is Dry Red Wine
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What is dry red wine? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who haven’t come across this type of red wine. Some of the most popular red wines fall into this category. 

A dry red wine is one that has no discernible residual sugar after fermentation, making it unsweet. Red wines that are sweet are made by stopping the fermentation process midway through, leaving some of the natural sugar remaining. It is one that has gone through the entire fermentation process, during which the yeast uses all the sugars in the grapes.

So, if you are asking, what is dry red wine? This article will give you an in-depth explanation.

What Is Dry Red Wine?

Red wine that has completed the entire fermentation process is known as a dry wine. During production, yeast consumes all of its sugars.

On the other side, when the fermentation process is stopped too early, and sugars are left, it creates sweet red wine. 

High tannin content is another characteristic of dry red wines, which enhances their flavor with aging. We may use them in cooking and also pair them with other foods

Types of Dry Red Wine

Any red grape variety can be produced in a dry or sweeter manner. Here are various types of dry red wine.

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the most popular dry red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, is grown all over the world. Although it is used alone, it is an important grape in the Bordeaux mixtures.  

You may expect black cherry and baking spice, with traces of savory green herbs, depending on the area. They have strong tannins and are intoxicating. 

2. Merlot

This is a dry red wine that is also used in Bordeaux mixtures. Merlot grapes are a more recent variation in the red wine family. They were first cultivated in the late 1700s. 

But unlike most other grape varieties, merlot wine combines distinct flavors of sweetness, smoothness, and spice, giving it a flavor character of its own. 

It adds sophistication to a mix. It is also a robust, darkly-hued purple wine on its own with notes of cherry, bay, etc.

3. Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc thrives in areas with a little colder weather. This dry red wine comprises dark fruit strawberry and red plum flavors, which are strong. It also has earthy notes of roasted red pepper and crushed gravel. Cab franc is a superb wine to pair with meals. 

4. Malbec

Malbec wine has a dark crimson color, strong tannins, and a taste of black cherries. It boasts a robust varietal flavor and smells of vanilla mixed with blackberry and red plum.

French oak barrels are used to mature Malbec wine to give it additional body. It has a vivid color, obvious tannins, and other characteristics.

5. Syrah

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a well-liked dry red wine. Despite having its spiritual home in France, Syrah has been planted all over the world.

Although certain qualities stay the same, it expresses themselves depending on the temperature, soil, and regional style. 

It is a bold and adaptable grape that has notes of plum, blackberry, pepper, and clove. Syrah may be light and fruity, thick and spicy, or jammy and rich, depending on the climate and soil. 

6. Grenache

Grenache is the dominant variety and the highlight of the Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf Du Pape. It exhibits flavors of cooked or overripe strawberries, juicy cherries, and white pepper.

7. Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a dry red wine that is aged, allowing it to soften and round out in a barrel. Dry as can be, with lurching tannins and acidity, it is aged. Along with leather, anise, and dry leaves, it also features firm notes of cherry, rose, cranberry, and violet.

8. Tempranillo

Tempranillo is combined with Garnacha, but it is also a common stand-alone variety. This powerful red grape is highly ideal for aging because of its strong acidity and high tannin content. It features a strong cherry and dried fig character with tobacco and cedar.

9. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine with medium-high sharpness and comparable tannins. It is dark, powerful, and strong. It is also a full-bodied wine with high alcohol content.

As the berries grow, the fruit notes change from red to dark fruit tastes like plum, blackberry, and spice. 

It features strong raisin, blackberry, and black plum smells. The tastes of vanilla, coffee, and nutmeg are present in oak-aged spirits.

10. Sangiovese

Sangiovese is a widely grown single grape in the New World and Italy. This grape features tastes and smells of ripe red cherry, savory tomato, meaty plum, violet, and a tinge of aged balsamic. It is medium-bodied and full of acidic, brilliant fruit. 

11. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine that gives a milder palate while staying dry, with a medium body and red fruit flavor. The earthy undertones of autumn leaves, mushrooms, clove, and vibrant hibiscus pair with raspberry, cranberry, and cherry. 

Can You Use Dry Red Wine for Cooking?

Red wine is a great accompaniment to cooking since the robust flavors can give any meal a mouthwatering depth.

Most people prefer red wines with less sweetness over those with more sweetness since they contribute no more sugar to the meal. 

It might not be easy to choose which dry red wine to use when cooking with red meat like beef or lamb, but as a general guideline, select a robust wine like Syrah. In heavy recipes, the robust flavors shine out well.

Pick a pinot noir or merlot if you’re creating a stew or sauce with wine as the primary ingredient. However, Cabernet Sauvignon makes a great basis for many substantial recipes if you’re seeking a versatile addition to your cupboard. 

How to Store Dry Red Wine?

Now that we’ve answered the question, what is dry red wine? Let’s look at how to store one and several requirements to keeping it safe.

Store in a Cool, Dark Place

Keep it out of direct sunlight. UV radiation might harm wine fragrance and flavor from light sources. Also, keep your bottles away from vibration, which can upset the wine’s sediments and halt the aging process.


The most important aspect of keeping your dry red wine is temperature. Remember to keep your wine storage at a consistent temperature since changes in that temperature may cause the cork to be slightly pushed out, allowing air to enter.

Wine Fridge

You may keep your bottle in a wine refrigerator as well. Please be aware that this equipment is not a typical refrigerator, which keeps your food cool and dry. 


Humidity also affects the quality of dry red wine. Low moisture might cause the cork to dry out and become more susceptible to oxygen. High humidity may also remove the wine label.

Store Your Bottles Horizontally

The cork stays wet by being kept in the bottle on its side. The cork ages prematurely and seeps if it becomes dried out. Even though it’s not required, horizontal storage allows for quick access and the most room on your wine rack. 

Final Thoughts

Now you have an answer to the question, what is dry red wine? Conclusively, traditional grape varietals are a good place to start.

This is only if you’re searching for a dry red wine to go with your next dinner. Grapes and places come in a wide variety of scents and flavors. Look for more types and mixes produced drily to broaden your tastes.

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