What Makes Some Wines so Dry?


Dry is an unusual term for a wet beverage. But in fact, it means no sweetness. A dry wine has not residual sugar. The fermentation process converts the grape sugar to alcohol. When the conversion is complete and all the sugar is converted to alcohol, then the wine is determined to be dry. This dryness is an absence ofsensation on the tip of the tongue.

A wine that is full bodied and rich in tannin has a dry sensation at the back of the mouth. This is what we call the pucker power of big wines. The astringency of the tannin acid makes the back of the mouth and the linings of the cheek feel dry. Tannin comes from the skin of the grape and seeds when the juice is fermented on the skin. Tannin also comes from oak barrels. The oak tannin is transferred to the wine during the aging process.

The combination of the two dry sensations creates a dusty dry sensation.