Wondering what is a dry red wine? Wondering which ones will be good? Wonder no more because I’ve got you covered. I’ll explain the basics to you, and then I’ll tell you some of the favorites that you should consider trying—because they’re darn good.
What is dry red wine?
A dry red wine means it has little or no residual sugar left in the wine. There is “no sweetness” because there is no sugar.
However, that doesn’t mean drinking a dry wine won’t sometimes feel like it isn’t sweet. There will be some wines, where you’ll be pretty certain you’re tasting sugar. It can be a little confusing, and make you wonder if you’re drinking dry wine or not.
There’s a perfectly good explanation for that. Dry fruity red wines can still have a sweet sensation. The fruit tones in the wine will make it feel like you’re drinking something sweeter than what it really is.
Now you have a basic understanding of what a dry wine is, so let’s get to talking about some of the dry red wines you should really try.
We’ll start the list off with Merlot, a favorite among wine drinkers. Being soft and smooth, it’s pleasant taste makes a great choice for beginners. Merlot is also a great choice for those who don’t particularly like strong red wines—of which there are many.
If you’re looking to pair it with some food, Merlot goes well with almost any meat or fish.
Some might question, “is Pinot Noir dry?” The answer to that question is, yes, Pinot Noir is a dry wine. Although, it’s not too dry, it is moderately dry (which can sometimes cause confusion). A great thing about Pinot Noir is it also comes in a variety of flavors. Some can be very fruity, and some can be somewhat earthy.
Pair a bottle of Pinot Noir with:
- Spicy foods
- Lean meats
- Creamy sauces (pastas)
Red Zinfandel is a full bodied and heavy wine; making it higher in alcohol content. This one also comes in a variety of flavors. The flavors can range from fruit to even spicy. Grape varieties grown in cooler climates will produce strong berry flavored wines. In warmer areas, the grapes will produce spicier wines.
Pair Red Zinfandel with:
- Most meats (ranging from lamb to turkey)
- Aged cheese
Cabernet Sauvignon offers varying taste profiles depending on where the grapes are grown.
Old world Cabernet Sauvignon, made with grapes grown on the European continent, will produce wine that:
- Has more herbal flavors.
- Taste a little lighter.
- Has stronger tannins and higher acidity.
New world Cabernet Sauvignon are made with grapes grown in other continents outside of Europe, and will produce wine that:
- Fruiter flavors
- Black cherry and licorice tones with a hint of vanilla.
Garnacha is a medium boded, dry red wine. It has fruity flavors with a hint of cinnamon. Other tones you have notice will include raspberries and strawberries. Garnacha is often blended with other grape varieties to help add body and fruitiness; as well as help reduce tannins.
If you’re looking to pair Garnacha with something, try:
- Roasted meats
- Other herb heavy dishes
- Spicy food
Cabernet Franc is also a medium bodied red wine. It has medium to high acidity. Flavor tones include:
- Bell peppers
Pair a glass of Cabernet Franc with:
- Roasted pork
- A burger
- Any tomato or vinegar-based sauce dish such as pasta or BBQ.
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied, fruity red wine that is high in tannin contents. You’ll taste cherry flavors with a hint of tomatoes.
Try a glass of Sangiovese with a tomato-based pasta or any other dish with a tomato-based sauce.
Shiraz is also a high tannin content red wine with high acidity. However, that is balanced out its strong fruity flavors.
Shiraz is perfect with:
- Red meats
That completes our list popular options you should try. Now that you have a better idea of what a dry red wine is, and what some options are, it’s time to give one a try. Don’t limit yourself to just the items on this list though. There are many other options to consider as well (including some wonderful sweet red wines). Don’t just stick to red wines. You’ll want to try some white wines too.