Rich vs poor. Liberal vs conservative. Sweet wine vs dry wine. These are the greatest divides of the modern era, but because this is a wine blog I’ll only be talking about the last one. Red wine vs white wine can get a lot of attention, but in many ways the real debate in the wine world is whether you like your wine sweet or dry. It’s a complicated debate, and one that you will likely find yourself on both sides of over the course of your life. In this post, we’re going to break down the flaws and virtues of sweet and dry wine and decide once and for all: Which one should you be drinking right now?
What Makes a Sweet Wine Sweet? A Dry Wine Dry?
Usually, the sweetness of a wine comes down to how long the grape juice is fermented. As the fermenting process continues, sugar is converted into alcohol. So a wine that needs to be aged for 6 months or a year will generally be a lot less sweet than one that only ferments for a couple of weeks to a month. Tannins can also affect the sweetness of wine. Higher tannin content means a drier wine, and vice versa! That’s why red wines are often (but not always) drier than white wines.
Which Type of Wine is Best?
Unfortunately, I have led you astray- there is no definitive answer to that question. Drinking sweet wine vs drinking dry wine really comes down to circumstance and personal preference. Many cheap wines can seem overly sweet, but some higher quality stuff is also pretty sweet, and hey, sometimes cheap wine is just what the doctor called for. Likewise, while a dry red wine might seem complex and refined when served with a fancy dinner, but will probably feel out of place on a casual picnic with some friends. When it comes to wine dryness, let your heart guide you.