Dry Red Wine: A Guide

Dry Red Wine

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Primarily, when you hear of “dry wine”, you may be wondering what makes it dry or why is it called a dry wine. The basis of calling it a dry wine is its dryness in taste and savory, not of mass. To explain more further, the amount of a wine’s dryness is its level of the lack of sweetness. Usual dry wines are tables wines and those that are used as ingredients for cooking. The most exciting thing about wines is it comes in a variety and complex associations. Aside from its classic and timeless approach, wines also have some technicalities that you should know. Furthermore, red wines and its types are also associated with the best pairings of food like cheese, bread, desserts, meat recipes, and all other cuisines.

Dry red wines have opposite or different tastes and maybe purposes than of dessert wines. A dry wine depending on its type can also taste fruity or more alcoholic. Since dry red wines may be used as cooking ingredients, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be consumed for drinking. People have different preferences as wine is also a subjective luxury for most people. Not all wines tastes the same, the differences are also not only based on the brand, origins, and alcohol content but the types of wines greatly tell how wines are characterized and distincted from each other. On the other hand, there are also cases that the same particular wine may taste different for two different people. Get familiar with the types of dry red wine and find out how these wine types differ from each other through their contents and ingredients. Dry red wines are described apart of their distinctiveness and identity in flavors, body, concentration, acidity, sweetness, and bitterness. Most dry red wines that are commonly available and identified are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, and Malbec.


The Shiraz may also taste fruity and jammy. This dry red wine have more sweetness compared to all the other dry red wines. With its sweetness and tangy taste, these can be more paired with red meats to give balance on the flavors. Even with its sweet and tangy savories, these are still different from dessert wines that are usually gifted by your friends of loved ones. Shiraz are perfect pairs for meats than dessert wines as its alcohol and acidity content compliments to the juicy extract of the meat. Definitely, these two would taste like they are made for each other. Primarily, Shiraz are known for its hints of boysenberry, blackberry, pepper, plum, and clove. You will notice how the elements of denseness and spicyness are joined together.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This dry red wine is considered one of the driest and the most popular. The grapes used for this wine type is grown in every wine producing countries. Therefore, cabernet sauvignon is always an accessible ingredient for cooking. The taste of its dryness is typically compared to tobacco or burnt leather. It has a strong and flat spiced and dry taste. Its fruityness is heavy that makes it not so noticeable. This dry red wine has the hints of black cherries and blackberries with the touch of sharply-spiced noise upon smelling making it magically dark and earthly in its whole composition. This wine can be perfect for red meat and hearty dishes with savory sauce.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is seemingly popular for its strongly complex and varied taste in one sip. It has a blazing heavy taste but not too strongly spiced. Pinot Noir may have the right balance of bitterness and dryness together with the lack of sweetness it is associated with. It has a very distinct taste that would make up fruity and woody flavors. Typically, you can experience the hints of earthy bland mushroom taste in it including the popping sourness of raspberry and savory cherries blended in one fruity and alcoholic acidity. This table dry red wine will be perfect for strong-flavored dishes like salmon, lamb, and dark poultry. Tannins can also be tasted in this flavors of some Pinot Noir dry red wines.


Merlot wines have not much similarities with the strong-tasted wines. However, these wines may also have a powerful taste but it is of more sharp fruitiness as it has higher acidity contents than all the other dry red wines. Thus, its mouth-watering aspect aside from making your mouths dry is what makes merlot one of the most popular dry red wine types. The grapes used for making Merlot have higher tannins. Aside from their sharp fruity taste, Merlots have the taste of herbs like cloves and cedar, and earthy aroma like oak and vanilla. Merlot is perfect for roasted beef, chicken and poultry dishes with light flavors and tastes. Heavy-tasted Vegetarian dishes are also compatible with merlot wines.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is usually blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines with the boldness of herbaceous and leafy figures in its taste. Plum and fruity flavors like raspberry sourness are also noted in its distinct taste. This dry red wine can also be a good wine drank alone. This is great for duck dishes, hard cheeses, pizzas, pastas, sausages, and dry meat dishes like grilled ones. Vegetarian dishes are also good for pairing with Cabernet Franc wines. The grapes used for making this dry red wines are less tannic.


Sangiovese is may be mainly characterized as a dry red wine through its tarty taste and texture. This aromatic dry red wine has the hints of violet, plum, and cherries. The main fruity taste comes from the hints of berries but this wine is more fragrant with the touch of its flowery ingredients. The best dishes for Sangiovese are braised meats, pizza, pasta, and most red-sauced recipes. The flavors and taste of this wine can be described as medium-bodied and not too strongly powerful. Its dryness can also be perfect for marinating meat and poultry.


Another jammy and sweet variety of dry red wines is the Zinfandel. Zinfandel is also made with the aromas of peppery flavor making it fall in the sweet and spicy category. More than it can be perfectly paired with red meats, this dry red wine can also complement with red-sauced dishes like pizza, pasta, baked meat, and thick-sauced recipes. What makes it perfect for pairing with the balanced salty-sour-sweet flavors of dishes is its full-bodied and zesty taste. Mainly, Zinfandel’s taste can be described as rustic and cellar-smelled.


This dry red wine may not be common but it has a classic reputation of full-bodied, intense, and powerful dryness of taste, texture, and aroma. Nebbiolo is characterized as a big and bold dry red wine type as the grapes used for making this wine is overly tannic. The first impression on your first sip could be an overly expressive taste of the old-aged and fully rippened grapes. It has the aromas of rose that makes its smell mild and less sharp opposite to its undeniably bold taste. Hence, its taste is specifically characterized by the hints of cherry, coffee, anise, and earthy tones. Its powerfully bold grip of flavor is also compared to the mist of fresh leather. Red fruits and berries are still experienced in its taste are likely disarmed because of the strong fragrance of rose, spices, and coffee aromas. Nebbiolo dry red wines are good in pairing with intensely spiced dishes and flavorful meats and fish like lamb, ducks, and other seafood products.


Tempranillo is also another zero sugar wine aside from Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Black and Red Grapes are used for making this dry red wine type. Dried fig and tobacco are the spices that adds to its exciting flavor of dryness and earthy notes. Alongside these flavors are the hints of black cherries and heavy and deep flavors of fruits. Roasted Chicken, Lamb, Turkey, and braised Beef are the dishes that can heavenly go together with Tempranillo wines. It is also good for cooking and as ingredients for sauce. The dryness of Tempranillo is overly full-bodied but still has the sufficient amount of sweetness in it. This dry red wine is typically of complex taste. The residue of the mixture of coffee fig, tobacco, and cherry flavors may not have a well-blended aspect making the wine seemingly drier and bolder.


The Malbec is another full-bodied dry red wine of dark sense of volume of fruity and earthy notes. The fruit flavors come with dark associations of tobacco and dark chocolate. Hence, its dryness is also paired with the side of tangy juiciness through the touch of sour cherry in its taste. Moreover, there may be hints of undefined spicy aroma in its whole profile. The juicy taste of purple grapes are also thoroughly tasted. The fruity notes are of sharp accordance despite the presence of tobacco. Malbec is generally great for pairing with pizza. The aroma of the dark chocolate gives this dry red wine a strong experience of dryness that carries a full flavor.

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