Dry red wines are amongst the most popular choices of wine drinkers across the globe. There are hundreds of different kinds of dry red wine available, many of which hail from specific regions that are well known for their ability to produce good quality varietals.
Apart from being a lovely drink to wind down with after a busy day, dry red wine also works very well as an ingredient in cooking, and can bring depth to a variety of dishes. It’s something of an all rounder in all the right ways.
What Is Dry Red Wine?
When it comes to wine, dryness is typically a term used to refer to the lack of sweetness in the drink.
In order for a red wine to be classified as dry, it means that it has no residual sugar in it, and as a result, is not sweet.
Sweeter red wines are a result of winemakers stopping the fermentation process before it has been fully completed. When this happens, residual sugars are left behind. Dry red wines, on the other hand, have undergone the fermentation process in its entirety, from start to finish. This means that the yeast in the wine has consumed all the leftover sugars found in the grape variety used to produce the wine.
What Is The Driest Red Wine?
The term “dry” can have more than one meaning when it comes to wine, but it is most commonly used to refer to the absence of sugar or sweetness in a wine. In general, most table wines are technically considered “dry”, as they don’t have any residual sugar in them, which is what typically makes dessert wines sweeter than any other wine.
However, when it comes to determining which dry red wine is the driest, there seems to be a bit of a debate as to whether merlot or cabernet sauvignon takes the title. Both of these wines have virtually no residual sugars in them.
Cabernet sauvignon tends to be a bigger, bolder wine that is most likely to give the drinker a “drier” feeling on the palate due to it having more tannins than merlot does. On the other hand, some merlots have higher levels of acidity than cabernets do, and acidity is known for making mouths water, as opposed to making them feel “dry”.
Types Of Dry Red Wine
There are several different kinds of dry reds that you can choose from. There are also many categories of red wine, but the most popular ones are detailed below. Most wines are either classified as a blend, or can fall into one of the categories below:
Cabernet sauvignon is probably one of the most well-known varieties of dry reds in the world. The grape variety needed to produce this kind of wine is grown in almost every major wine producing country. Upon opening a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, most people will identify a smell that is similar to leather and tobacco.
When it comes to taste, this kind of wine generally carries the fruitiness of dark red bounties such as black cherries and blackberries. Cabernet sauvignon also has some of the highest quantities of tannins compared to other dry reds. It works very well when paired with hearty dishes and red meat.
Pinot noir is best known for having more complex flavours than any other dry reds. These flavour notes include cherries, mushrooms, and raspberries. The kind of grapes needed to produce pinot noir can grow in most climates around the world, but they flourish best in cooler climates. Pinot noir is best served alongside dark poultry dishes, salmon, and lamb.
Merlot is another popular dry red. This kind of wine is produced from merlot grapes that are very high in tannins. These kinds of grapes often hail from Argentina but also grow in other areas of the world.
The flavours found in merlot include blackberries, cherries, herbs and plums, although different varieties of the wine have also been known to have traces of cedar, vanilla and cloves. Merlot is perfect for when you’re digging into a steak feast, and can also be paired with hearty vegetarian dishes or roasted chicken.
Syrah is a dry red that is packed full of flavour. This kind of wine really stands out from the others at a wine tasting as it is one of the darkest, most big-bodied wines out there. Syrah is typically darker than all the other reds and is filled with antioxidants.
When sipping on this wine, expect to enjoy dark fruit flavours that are somehow also reminiscent of smoky bacon. Some bottles of Syrah also boast vanilla and floral notes, and drinkers can expect to experience a medium level of acidity. This delicious wine is best served alongside a juicy steak or a platter of hard cheeses.
Tempranillo is made from a variety of black grape that is very well known for being full-bodied. This kind of wine is typically produced in Spain and has strong flavours of dried fig, tobacco and cherries. Best served with chicken roasts, lamb and beef, Tempranillo is characterised by its dark, deep fruity notes.
Malbec is a very juicy wine that carries strong, delicious notes of dark chocolate and tobacco. This full-bodied dry red is made of purple grapes and is perfect for those who love the combination of pizza and wine. While the wine and pizza combination is a winner in every book, malbec also works very well with pastas and grilled meats.
Best Dry Red Wine For Cooking
Red wine makes a fantastic addition to cooking as the bold flavours can add an enticing depth to almost any dish. Drier reds are favoured over the sweeter ones, as they don’t add any residual sugars to the meal.
Deciding which dry red to use in your cooking may seem tricky, but as a rule of thumb, use a bold wine like a Syrah when cooking with red meat like beef or lamb. The strong flavours stand out very well in hearty dishes.
If you’re making a stew or wine-based sauce, opt for a pinot noir or a merlot. However, if you’re looking for an all-rounder to add to your pantry, Cabernet Sauvignon works very well as a base to many hearty dishes.
Dry red wine is incredibly versatile and a wonderful drink in so many ways. Sip it, cook with it, or pair it with your favorite dishes and enjoy all it has to offer the way you like best.