Your Go-To Wine Sweetness Chart: Wines from Dry to Sweet

by Tom Simone
Your Go-To Wine Sweetness Chart: Wines from Dry to Sweet

Your Go-To Wine Sweetness Chart: Wines from Dry to Sweet

Do you have a preference for drier or sweeter wines? Perhaps the sweetness level of wine you choose depends on the occasion or how it’s paired. With so many wine varieties available, you can find some favorites.

 We’ve created a wine sweetness chart that will give you all the information you need to help discover your new favorites, including a list of wines from driest to sweetest and sharing wine sweetness scales by white and red wine. We will also discuss the difference between dry and sweet wines.


Dry vs. Sweet Wine

Beyond taste, the sugar content and fermentation of wines is the main difference between dry and sweet wines. During fermentation, some residual sugar will be retained from the grapes. Drier wines will have undergone a longer fermentation process and, therefore, have less sugar. At the same time, white wines may have had a short fermentation and contain high sugar levels. Semi-dry or semi-sweet wines will be in the middle.

As a rule of thumb, a wine with less than 1% residual sugar will be considered a dry wine, and sweeter wines will have much higher residual sugar levels. Other factors that may cause someone to think a wine is drier or sweeter could be the level of tannins, acidity, and alcohol in the wine, affecting the taste or flavor.


Wines From Dry to Sweet

If you want to pick a wine but are curious about the wine's sweetness or dryness scale, we’ve created a list of wines from dry to sweet based on wine variety. This wine sweetness chart places each wine variety on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the sweetest. The first list is for red wine, and the second is for white wine.


Red Wine Sweetness Scale

Dry – 1:

  • Sangiovese
  • Tempranillo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Nebbiolo
  • Bordeaux

Medium Sweet – 5:

  • Shiraz
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel
  • Rosé

Sweet – 10:

  • Lambrusco
  • Port
  • Tawny Port


White Wine Sweetness Scale

Dry – 1:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris

Medium Sweet – 5:

  • Chenin Blanc
  • Viognier
  • Dry Riesling

Sweet – 10:

  • Riesling
  • Moscato
  • White Port
  • Tokaji
  • Ice Wine


How To Pair Dry and Sweet Wines

The next question is how to pair your dry or sweet wine best. You will want to pair drier wines with complimenting dishes like a charcuterie board, vegetables, and fish. Think cured meats like salami and aged cheddar or gruyere cheeses paired nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sweeter wines can be an excellent addition to full, flavorful, rich food like savory meals and comfort salty food. This could be a pepperoni pizza and a traditional red wine or Rosé. Or a Riesling with some spicy Chinese food.


Shop Papi Wines Today

Papi Wines are softly sweet and have no added sugar, the best of both worlds. From red demi-sec wines, white demi-sec wines, pink demi-sec wines, sparking wines, and sangria, Papi Wines has just the right bottle of goodness to pair with any meal or special event (even if the event is relaxing at home). Explore Papi Wines, made using only the best ingredients and no-sugar wines so you can enjoy every sip without guilt. Papi has your next favorite bottle right here.

by Tom Simone