A dry red wine can leave an unpleasant dry sensation in your mouth. It also has an obvious astringency due to tannin content.
The flavor of dry red wines can be a mix of dark fruits like blackberry and plum to spice tobacco, leather, and spice according to the grape varietal and production technique. For instance, Pinot Noir is known all over the world for its vibrant red fruit flavor.
What Makes a Red Wine Dry?
To make dry red wines, the winemaker ferments the grape juice entirely — meaning, during the fermentation process, the yeast consumes all the sugar in the grape juice, converting it into alcohol.
The process of fermentation decreases the levels of sugar present in the wine, reducing the level of residual sugar and boosting the wine’s alcohol level.
Let’s examine the various Dry wines. Let’s look at the different red wine grapes.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety is grown across the globe in the US, France, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Italy. In France’s Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Winemakers utilize grapes from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape for making rich, dry red wines.
In general, Cabernet Sauvignon wine is robust and complex, containing black currants, olives, and black cherry. It could have 13%- 15 percent alcohol content.
The most sought-after varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon wines are those from Napa Valley that go well with a chocolate dessert.
The Merlot grape is most widely grown in the US, Italy, and France, with small quantities in Australia, Chile, and South Africa.
Merlot is made in two distinct styles -and both are equally popular with those who drink wine:
The most well-known Bordeaux Wines are medium-bodied, with red fruit flavor, and preserve acidity in the grapes. Most sought-after Merlot wines are made out of the St. Emilion as well as the Pomerol appellations.
The New World Merlot wine is full of body, with a vibrant purple color and delicious fruity flavors.
Cabernet Franc is a black-skinned red wine grape primarily grown in France, the US, and Italy.
The grape variety is usually mixed in conjunction with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, but it’s also excellent as the varietal wine. Cabernet Franc dry red wines contain fruity, floral notes (mostly the black fruits.)
The finest example of the Cabernet Franc dry red is the Bordeaux red wine.
Native to South West France, the Malbec red wine grape has become the signature grape variety of Argentina.
A deep red color, a high level of tannins, and strong black cherry flavors characterize Malbec wine. Malbec wine is typically matured inside French oak barrels in order to provide it with more structure.
Malbec can also be used to make the sparkling wine called Saumur, which is located in the Loire Valley.
In Rhône Valley, Grenache is blended with Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre grape varietals. It’s also a famous wine grape in Spain and Australia.
If you are looking for a ripe and fruity wine, you should choose a Grenache wine that comes from warmer regions, such as that of the South of France or Spain. The sweet cherry taste is a perfect balance to the dryness.
Grenache is also utilized to make Sweet wine blends as well as rose wines.
Syrah or Shiraz
Depending on where it’s grown, Syrah can produce light and fruity wines or dense and spicy dry red wines.
Cool-climate Syrah is medium full-bodied, with a high level of tannins and a tobacco and blackberry flavor. Warm-climate Syrah is fruity with softer tannins, baking spice anise, licorice, and baking spice flavor.
The wine of California, Syrah, is blended with Zinfandel and Petite Sirah to create a full-bodied, dense red wine.
Pinot Noir, the fifth most planted grape globally, hails from the Burgundy wine region. The Pinot Noir grape is also grown in Oregon, California, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
Dry wine. Pinot Noir wines are medium to light-bodied and have a fruity taste (mostly Red fruit.) Additionally, Pinot has low tannins with 12%-15% alcohol.
Although it is softer than many wineries that are dry, Pinot Noir has good potential for aging. The taste becomes richer and more creamy, with the aroma of spices and earth notes as the wine matures.
The fruity Pinot Noir wines pair well with dishes like duck, beef lamb, mushrooms, and braised beef.
Tempranillo is a Spanish grape used to make fine wines like Rioja, both as a standalone and in a red blend. It also makes fine sweet wine like Port (a fortified wine ).
Tempranillo wines are matured in barrels, where they develop an oak barrel odor that is mixed with flavors such as leather, smoke, and red plum.
Zinfandel is one of California’s most popular grape varieties, but it originated in Croatia.
Dry, red Zinfandel wines tend to be light-bodied with strawberry and red fruit flavors, making them simple to consume.
Aside from the dry wines of red, Zinfandel can also be used in dessert wines.
Sangiovese is emblematic of the Chianti region in Italy. This Italian wine is medium-bodied with plum and cherry aromas and 13%-14% alcohol content.
The Italian red wine is best paired with red meat, spaghetti, and tomatoes, spicy dishes, as well as a dessert cake.
Tips for Cooking With Dry Red Wine
Here are some quick pointers to keep in mind to create a masterpiece.
Always marinate your meat in dry red wine prior to cooking in order to prevent it from becoming bitter.
Please do not use a wine that has lost its taste. Also, keep away from bottles that have been opened since the wine might be oxidized, which can make vinegar taste more palatable to your food.
Make the wine boil prior to adding the other ingredients in order to let the alcohol cook off.
Pour the wine slowly into the pan. It allows the dish to take in the flavor that the wine imparts slowly.
The wine should be cooked on low heat so that it doesn’t have a bitter taste.
Dry Red Wine vs. Cooking Wine
The cheaper cooking wines are usually low-quality wines that add a robust flavor to the dish. However, it won’t add the subtle nuances that a good quality dry red wine will.
In addition, cooking wine generally contains a high amount of salt, which can ruin the taste of food if it is not handled appropriately.
How to Choose a Good Dry Red Wine for Cooking
To get complex, mouthwatering flavors in your dish, avoid using a cheap wine that lacks subtle nuances.
It is also not necessary to purchase expensive red wines that are dry and expensive to cook with. The cooking process can destroy certain of their exotic tastes. This is the reason they’re best served alongside food.