Image of dry winemaking yeast and yeast nutrie...

Image via Wikipedia

Most famous and unfortunately expensive wines are dry wines. People new to wines start with sweeter wines because they are easier on your palette. As you get used to wines you develop a taste for them and begin to notice subtle flavors. These flavors can be masked by sugar in sweet wines. As you drink more wines you usually move to the dry end of the scale. So what are dry wines? Most definitions place them at 1.2% to 1.4% sugar. Yes dry wines have a very small amount of sugar in them but most people are unable to taste the sugar at that level.

You control the sugars through the process of fermentation. Yeast love sugar (just like many humans do). They eat the sugar and give off Carbon Dioxide, heat and alcohol. Fermintation in sweet wines is either stopped above the 1.4% level or sugar is added later after the yeast are killed off. In drier wines fermentation stops automatically when the sugar levels are so low that they can no longer support the yeast colony and they die.

My favorite wines are robust very dry reds with a hint of oak but I also enjoy great dry whites with some oak as well. What do you enjoy?