Sweet & Dry Red Wine - Facts You Should Know Before Testing

Sweet & Dry Red Wine - Facts You Should Know Before Testing

Red wine is a good match for substantial foods, but it's a no-no for white clothing. Red wine is perhaps the most straightforward alcoholic beverage on the planet.

Because red wines are now produced in every major wine-producing country on the planet, it's hard to condense the entire range of red wines into a shortlist—but that won't stop us from attempting it. So here are 16 outstanding and unique red wines & facts about them that are well worth of your corkscrew. 

Red Wine - What Really is It?

To begin, red wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the juice of dark-skinned grapes that has been fermented. The basis material and production procedure of red wine differ from those of white wine. Dark-skinned grapes are used to make red wine rather than light-skinned grapes. The winemaker permits squeezed grape juice, known as must, to macerate and ferment with the dark grape skins during red wine production, adding color, taste, and tannin to the wine. When yeast turns grape sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide, alcohol is produced. Red wine is the consequence of these processes.

red wine types

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Sweet Vs Dry Red Wine - All the Facts about Them

The sweetness level of the wine a connoisseur is tasting is one of the first things they try to figure out during a deductive wine tasting. Wine is generally classified as either dry or sweet at its most basic classification level.

Sweet wines have a significant quantity of residual sugar after fermentation. 

Examples: Port, Ice wine

Dry wines have a low level of residual sugar after fermentation. 

Examples: Very Dry - Bordeaux, Chianti, Montepulciano

Off Dry - Beaujolais, Burgundy, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Valpolicella

Medium - Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Shiraz/Syrah, Zinfandel

However, various elements influence the sweetness or dryness of wine and our perception of it. A wine, for example, may have a sweet flavor but be categorized as dry.

Tannins: Even though it may seem dry, "sweet" wine with a high tannin concentration is nevertheless classed as a sweet wine due to its residual sugar level.

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Acidity: Acid, frequently confused with tannins, impacts the flavor of wine rather than how it feels in your tongue. Therefore, acidity levels in immature grapes are high.

A wine's acidity determines how dry it will taste.

Alcohol: We talked about how sugar is eventually transformed into alcohol. The higher the alcohol percentage of wine, while the sugar content decreases, the longer it is allowed to ferment.

Alcohol is the only one of the three components that influence our perception that has an actual impact on judging whether a wine is sweet or dry.

Best Red Wine Types Available Out There

For the wine novice, the world of red wine can be intimidating and even overwhelming. So where does one begin to sift among the numerous sorts of red wine available, with so many bottles, brands, and seemingly endless styles? Here's a quick overview of some of the most common red wine types and their distinguishing traits.

Cabernet Sauvignon

In the 17th century, an unintentional cross-breeding between two grape kinds, Cabernet Franc (a red grape) and Sauvignon Blanc (a white grape), in southwestern France resulted in the emergence of Cabernet Sauvignon, a prominent grape variety. These wines feature a dark hue, a well-structured tannic structure, and moderate acidity.

Winemakers combine this grape with others, like merlot, to create world-famous blends such as the Bordeaux blend.

cabernet sauvnigon

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Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape on the planet, and it's safe (yet sophisticated!) bet to please everyone at any dinner. It is mainly grown and produced in Bordeaux, France. Still, it may also be found in practically every major wine-producing country, including Italy and the new world wine regions of Australia and Chile.

When matured in oak barrels, this red wine develops a full-bodied, rich flavor due to its low tannin content. Cabernet sauvignon is best enjoyed with food, as it can be a little sharp if consumed on its own. 


Merlot is one of the most famous red wines in the world, and the second most renowned in the United States, behind Cabernet Sauvignon. It's made from red-skinned grapes that can adapt to several climates to make food-friendly wines at various price points, and it's known for its smooth, luscious texture and approachable style. Merlot can be rich and oaky or smooth and plummy. Merlot is popular because it has something for everyone.


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Merlot was first mentioned in the notes of a local Bordeaux official, who rated wine made from the grape in the Libournais region as one of the best in the area in 1784. The grape was anointed after the native blackbird (called merlau in the local dialect of Occitan language, merle in standard) who loved to eat the ripe grapes on the vine in an essay on Médoc wine in 1824.


Once assumed to be a California native, the dark blue zinfandel grape can make powerful red wine or "white zin," a pink, inexpensive wine. While the two wines are derived from the same grapes, they are vastly different in flavor, body, sweetness, alcohol content, and price. White zin has a light, sweet taste and is low in alcohol, whereas red zin has a jammy, fruity flavor and is high in alcohol. In Croatia, the grape is called Crljenak Kastelanski, and in southern Italy, Primitivo.


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The discovery of the grape's original origin sparked speculation about how it got to California. Between 1820 and 1829, a Long Island horticulturist received grape vine supplies from the Imperial Nursery in Vienna, Austria. The vines for Zinfandel are said to have been included in those shipments. Then, during the California Gold Rush, the vine spread across the country from here, and the rest is history.


Shiraz/Syrah is a grape that is so wonderful that it has two names. The Shiraz/Syrah grape, like many other wine grapes, has its origins in France and is now grown all over the world with great success. The red wine grapes Syrah and Shiraz are two different names for the same grape (and wines made from that grape). In Europe, North and South America, and Australia, it's known as syrah (cultivated in a cooler environment) and Shiraz (grown in a hotter climate).


Shiraz/syrah may be found in Rhône Valley and Languedoc in Europe and new world wine-producing countries like South Africa, Chile, and California. Syrah is a more refined and savory wine, whereas Shiraz is bolder and fuller-bodied. With notes of rich fruits like blackberry, it can be peppery, spicy, and savory.

So, when you want to relax with a book and a bottle of wine and try something new after a long day, bring this one out.

Tasting Notes of Best Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors such as black cherry, blackcurrant, and blackberry and sweet and savory notes such as black pepper, tobacco, licorice, and vanilla. It is generally aged 9-18 months in French oak barrels, which adds richness to the wine's particular flavor and depth.

cabernet sauvignon testing ntoes


Because of its suppleness and versatility, Merlot boasts a wide range of flavors and aromas. Medium tannins and a velvety mouthfeel characterize Merlot wine. Cherry, plum, raspberry, mocha, cedar, tobacco, and vanilla are familiar aromas in this blend. Warm-climate Merlots have a purple tint with blackberry or cassis notes, but cold-climate Merlots are more acidic and feature strawberry notes. Merlot contains between 12 and 15% alcohol by volume (ABV). Most kinds are dry, but others have a sweet flavor due to their fruity, silky, and smooth character.

merlot testing notes


Zinfandel is a dark, powerful, dry red wine with comparable tannins and medium-high acidity. The fruit notes of zinfandel begin in the red spectrum and progress to richer black fruit tastes of plum, black cherry, blackberry, and spice as the berries ripen. The fruit tastes are robust and full-bodied, with a jammy quality. Star anise, black pepper, and licorice are subtle spices that complement the juicy fig and brambly fruit. Fragrances of blackberry, black plum, and raisin are prominent. Vanilla, smoke, coffee, and nutmeg flavors can be found in oak-aged styles. With an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 14-17 percent, it is one of the more alcoholic red wines.

zinfandel testing notes


Syrah wines are known for their distinct flavor, body, and color.

The entire body is covered. Syrah is noted for being full-bodied and rich, weighty and robust yet smooth and palatable. The color is dark. When syrah is processed, it yields one of the deepest red wines available, bordering on purple. Rich flavors. The syrah flavor profile is characterized by meaty with black pepper, dark fruit, violets, and notes of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, licorice, chocolate, herbs, and olives.

shiraz testing notes

How to Serve Red Wine

Red Wine taste good with ice and a temperature of 18-20 degree centigrade. Here are some suggestions on how to serve some of the best red wine.

Cabernet sauvignon

Red wines blossom into the full flavor at a temperature somewhat cooler than room temperature—so very gently chilled. The best-serving temperature for full-bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon is 60°F (16°C), while the wine's characteristics will shine anywhere between 55 and 65°F (15-18°C). This implies that after taking the wine from the wine fridge, you should allow it to warm up somewhat by leaving it at room temperature for around 30 minutes. If the wine has been stored at room temperature, refrigerate it for 30 minutes to bring it back to room temperature.


Merlot, like all reds, has a temperature range where it is at its best. When Merlot is served too warm, the alcohol is overpowering, and the flavors become jumbled. When it's too cold, the fragrances and flavors become muffled. Merlot should be served at 60–65 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be done by chilling it for 15 minutes. If you don't complete a bottle of Merlot, replace the cork and refrigerate it. For 2–4 days, the flavors will be fresh. The wine will begin to oxidize after that point. Add it to a braised meat or vegetable dish at that stage.


At 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, white variants are best served chilled. This will keep the sharp flavor and prevent it from becoming too sugary. It's also a good idea to chill your wine for a few hours before putting it out for 30 minutes.

Serve red Zinfandel around 60-65 degrees, slightly cooler than room temperature, as you would other red wines. While room temperature may seem like the best option, it's actually too warm and might cause the wine to become flabby and unpleasant. Instead, refrigerate full-bodied Zinfandel for 90 minutes before serving, open the bottle and allow it to breathe for 10 minutes before serving.


Decanting is beneficial to Syrah wines. The wine's structure and flavors become softer on the palate when it comes into touch with oxygen. Pour the entire bottle of wine into a decanter before serving to allow it to breathe. The wine and personal preferences determine the time required for decanting. For a medium-bodied Syrah, between 10 and 20 minutes should be enough. Allow 30 minutes to decant a full-bodied Syrah.

Syrah wines are best served at temperatures of 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 65°F). Serving temperatures that are too cool risks masking the flavor. Before serving, avoid putting the bottle in the fridge. Keep the bottle out of the ice bucket.

Food to Pair With Red Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet sauvignon is the ideal wine to pair with red meat because of its profound complexity. It goes well with steak, especially if it's cooked medium-rare. It's also delicious with a Sunday roast, especially if you provide lamb or roast beef. In addition, the cabernet sauvignon's nuances will accentuate the flavors of garlic, rosemary, and mint.

cabernet sauvignon


Merlot is popular because of its adaptability, shown in the wide range of styles and prices available. Merlot is a fruity, easy-drinking red wine that pairs well with white and dark meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, pasta, burgers, and pizza. Full-bodied, ripe, and meaty styles can handle fuller-flavored foods like beef and lamb, robust bean dishes, game meats like deer and bison, and are frequently higher in alcohol. Roasted meats, duck, and mushrooms pair well with classic, savory styles like right bank Merlot from Bordeaux. The goal is to balance the weight and flavor intensity of the wine to the dish's weight and flavor intensity.



Red Zinfandel wine goes well with a wide variety of meats, such as chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and turkey. Barbecue, curries, pizza, pasta, and anything smoked (including salmon) are all excellent matches for this red. You won't be disappointed with dark chocolate, caramel, or pecan pie for dessert.

White Zinfandel is a versatile wine that goes well with shellfish, meat, and pasta. It also makes a nice change from the herbs and spices found in Creole and Asian cuisines. Choose milder varieties like Gruyère, Havarti, and mozzarella when it comes to cheeses.

zinfandel red wine with food


Syrah is a well-known wine that comes in various flavors depending on where it is grown. Lamb pairs well with the lighter style of Syrah because of its delicate flavors. Use your spice rack to bring out the natural flavors of allspice, clove, and mint in Syrah if you're making it yourself. (Brined and grilled eggplant is a vegetarian option.) The rich flavors of slow-roasted barbecue pig can stand up to warm-climate Syrah. To bring out the fruitiness in the wine, season the meat with pepper and cumin. Another option is to use Asian cuisine ingredients, such as plum sauce, to enhance the wine's fruitiness. (Smoked seitan steaks are a vegetarian option.)

food to pair with shiraz

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