What does it mean for a wine to be considered “dry”?

“Dry,” “semi-dry,” and “sweet” refer to a level of sweetness or residual sugar in a wine. Wine is considered “dry” when all of the grape sugar is converted to alcohol during fermentation. A “sweet” wine, on the other hand, has more residual sugar leftover from fermentation. 

Dry wine typically contains less than 10 grams/liter of sugar or 1%, whereas a sweet wine is generally less than 50 grams/liter or 5% residual sugar. “Semi-dry” or “semi-sweet” wines fall in between this range and will vary by acid level and varietal society. For instance, the International Riesling Foundation has its own sweetness scale based on residual sugar, pH, and acidity. 

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