15 Best Dry Red Wine You MUST Try!

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Dry wine is a type of wine containing very little to no residual sugar. The fermentation process makes the sugar from the grapes turn into alcohol.

On a side note, the grape is one of the richest fruits in sugar and is; therefore, the main raw material wine comes from. 

The longer the fermentation process is, the less residual sugar the wine has, as most of the sugar will have time to convert into alcohol. Therefore, dry wine is a wine where the grapes have fermented longer compared to sweet wines.

Just for reference, sweet wine is the opposite of dry wine. Sweet wine has considerably more residual sugar and is, therefore, noticeably sweeter than dry wine.

Dry wine is a category that further divides into subcategories depending on the amount of residual sugar.

Therefore, there is bone-dry wine, with less than 4 grams of sugar per liter of wine, medium-dry wine, with 12 grams of residual sugar per liter; and semi-dry wine, with a residual sugar amount of 10 to 30 grams per liter.

Dry wines seem to be less popular than wet wines and have been unjustly underrated among those who aren’t that well familiar with the concept of dry wines. There are a few general misconceptions about dry wine.

The first and most prevailing misconception is that you get a dry mouth from drinking this type of wine.

Although that can happen, the dry mouth sensation doesn’t come from the fact that the wine is dry but from the high level of tannin, which can also happen with sweet wine.

Also check: 15 Best Sweet Red Wines

In fact, the term “dry” doesn’t come due to the dry mouth sensation but rather because the grapes are “dry,” meaning that the sugar is extracted from them.

The other false conclusion regarding dry wine is that it has a higher alcohol content. This is a logical assumption, as more sugar is converted to alcohol.

However, although sometimes this may be the case, the amount of alcohol is determined by the ripeness of the grapes.

So, the riper the grapes, the higher the alcohol amount. Therefore, many sweet wines can have a higher alcohol amount than dry wines as they are made with riper grapes.

Lastly, dry wines are considered less flavorful and less fruity than sweet wines. Sweet wines are generally fruitier, but there are dry wines that are just as fruity as sweet wines if that is their primary intention.

However, this isn’t true for dry wines in general, but only for some of them, which haven’t been intended to be sweet in the first place.

More: 15 Best Red Wines for Casual Drinking

What Are the Best Dry Red Wines?

While sweet wines are dessert wines meant to pair with something sweet and fruity, dry red wines are intended to pair with something cheesy and meaty, which is why there is such a big difference in flavor. 

Dry red wines are usually more natural-flavored, earthy, and deeper and darker compared to sweet wines, which are generally more cheerful. 

In this article, I will give you a list of the 15 best dry wines you can enjoy on your next get-together or an evening of self-indulgence. 

1. Faustino I Gran Reserva 2006


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Blood red, with an initially intense aroma, this wine will enchant your palate with its refined flavor combination that includes ripe blackberries and spicy notes of cloves and cedar.

To make things even better, all these flavors are further enhanced by discrete hints of cocoa and toast.

Warm and cozy, this wine is definitely intended to relax you and take the edge off. Excellent to pair with savory snacks, this wine also works great on its own as well.

2. Antinori Villa Toscana 2015

This wine is a combination of Sangiovese and small parts of sauvignon, merlot, and syrah.

It seduces the nose with complex and rich aromas of red fruit, sweet spices, and dried fruits which are excellently balanced yet intense enough so you can feel all of them at a given point.

It is undoubtedly very seductive and inviting to look at, alluring the eyes with its deep ruby color and its velvety texture.

It is a full-bodied wine creating an elegant, rich, and gentle sensation on the palate. Described most simply, it is rich and deep, exhibiting earthy tones combined with fruity notes.

This wine is excellent to pair with food, especially something caloric like lamb or pasta, or maybe some smoked sausages as well.

3. Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2012


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Full-bodied, rich, velvety, and masterfully crafted, this wine comes from a blend of grapes, each bringing its own characteristics into the essence of this wine. It exhibits notes of dried fruits, slight vanilla tones, as well as a strong grapy flavor.

Smooth in texture, with a delicious aftertaste, this wine keeps on giving even after you are done with the sip. This is a highly explorative drink and definitely a slow sipper.

4. Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2014


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Tasting like ripe black fruit and smelling like vanilla, this wine is the fruit cake among dry red wines. Bursting with fruity and smoky notes, this wine will amaze you with its untamed vibrancy and perfectly tempered character.

Encompassing two contrasting sides, this wine is the master of balance. Exposing flavors layer after layer, a single sip will astound you with its versatility.

Perfectly delicious to drink on its own, this wine also pairs excellently with creamy and rich pasta or grilled or roasted red meat.

5. Catena Malbec 2016


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Even if you are not exactly a dry wine fan or a wine drinker in general, you should give this wine a chance. Very flavorful and highly aromatic, you will definitely love the well-balanced tasting notes this wine offers.

Not too strong and not too weak, this wine is the golden medium, which is why so many people like it. Tasting expressively like ripe black and red fruit, this wine is sweet, earthy, and sour all in one.

The finish is long and very enjoyable, creating a fresh aftertaste and making the next sip taste slightly differently.

It has a dark purple color which makes it a rich and elegant addition to any dinner table. Excellent to drink on its own, it also combines great with cheeses, nuts, and fish.

6. Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Fruity, cheerful, and vibrant, this wine is not your typical dry red wine, as it is more colorful than what you may have expected.

Explicitly smooth, it creates a velvety sensation on the palate and an exquisitely rich dimension, especially when paired with food. Easy to drink yet rich in substance, it is an excellent pairing wine as well as a slow sipper without any additions.

Its blackberry and cherry tones are further enhanced by discrete notes of mocha, star anise, and spearmint, creating an overall refreshing dimension. 

7. Hall “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


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Starting by masterfully seducing the eye with its ruby color, proceeding to pull you deeper with its enticing and exciting, and vibrant aroma of dark red fruits, and finally going in for the kill with exuberating notes of dark plum, ripe blackberry, anise, pine needle, and violet, this is definitely a wine for the brave.

Crafted to perfection with equal attention to the significant parts and the tiniest of details, this wine has managed to get to the top and stay there.

The abundance of flavors is nicely tucked in by the earthy tones surrounding the sip, while the velvety texture adds class and refinement you simply must experience.

Excellent to pair with smoked fish, nuts, and cheeses, this wine will definitely assume the main role at your dinner party or become a self-pampering experience and the ultimate form of self-love.

8. Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz 2013


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Combining notes of berry and plum chased by licorice, oak, and vanilla aromas, this wine is definitely an ultra-slow sipper.

A single sip of this wine is so rich and versatile you will definitely want to take your time with it. Extremely pleasurable and highly explorative, this wine is many things, but boring is not one of them. 

Tasting like tropical fruits wrapped up in the typical dry wine earthy notes, it also balances old, new, and French oak tasting notes creating a very versatile and deep aroma. From the nose to the finish, this wine is highly flavorful and aromatic, seducing all your senses.

The overall flavor combination strongly reminds of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon, making this wine excellent to pair with both sweet and savory food.

Dry wines are usually intended for savory food, but this is one of the rare ones that offer sweet pairing options.

9. Opus One 2005


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With easily detectable flavor notes and a very seductive aroma, this wine is for you whether you are a wine drinker or not. Even though it is a complex wine, it is pretty easy to discover, so even an inexperienced palate can appreciate it thoroughly.

Its aromas include tones of blueberry, rose, white truffle, and licorice which transfer onto the palate, creating a sour candy sensation. Further along, you can also feel notes of dark chocolate and cherries.

10. Château Lafite Rothschild ‘Carruades de Lafite’ 2012

Soft, medium-bodied, earthy, fruity, and rich, this wine is a classic dry red wine. Excellently balanced with slight notes of vanilla, it is as delicious as it is visually appealing. Mid-palate becomes a bit foamy due to its acidity, which further mildens it down.

This wine is exceptionally gentle and easy to drink, leaving a delicious aftertaste after the finish. Whether you decide to sip without pairing or you pair it with nuts or cheese is totally up to you. 

11. Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


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This is a very complex wine, and if you don’t have the experience needed to appreciate it, you may want to skip it for now. Its color gravitates from bright to intense ruby red, gradually becoming purple, and from the color alone, you know what you are dealing with.

The nose includes exciting peppery notes combined with cigar box hints, all wrapped up in an unmistakable black fruit aroma. You can also feel some coffee aromas, intensifying the overall aromatic profile of the wine.

As you drink, the aromas turn into flavors, giving this wine an exceptionally complex profile. Along with the generous acidity and the velvety finish, this is definitely among the most explorative wines on this list. 

Needless to say, pairing this wine is always an excellent idea, but so is having it on its own.

12. Luigi Bosca Icono 2015


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With a distinct and very noticeable blackberry flavor, this wine combines sweet and sour, balancing both notes perfectly thanks to its silky texture.

The crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec results in an expressively earthy tone with understated yet vividly present tones of cocoa and smoke.

It is seductive all the way through, starting with the nose and ending with the finish. It smells like black plums, jam, and spices, making you think about whether you should drink it or smear it on toast.

Mid-palate, it exhibits a very unique savory note, which comes out of nowhere and gradually fades away toward the finish.

Expressively smoky as you move further into the sip, this wine is an excellent pair for hard, salty cheeses and nuts. Fish is also a very attractive option here, especially salmon. 

13. E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2015


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If a single word could describe this wine, it’s class. Exploding with refinement, elegance, and overall aristocracy, this wine has volumes to tell you about taste and texture.

Deep and dark, yet excellently balanced, it won’t overwhelm you, but it will definitely stimulate your senses.

Tasting somewhere between earthy and fruity, this velvety wine exhibits notes of smoke and dried fruits blended with a slight herbal dimension you can feel in the aftertaste more than during the mid-palate.

Nuts and hard cheeses are the best pairs for this delicacy, but deli meats and smoked meaty delights are also a good idea.

14. Lingua Franca AVNI Pinot Noir 2016

This American wine will amaze you with its fruitiness which is less common in dry wines and more of a staple for sweet wines. Combining notes of raspberry and cranberry, plums and citrus, it is surprisingly cheerful, refreshing, and versatile.

It is still deep-flavored, as dry red wines usually are, with the compulsory dry wine’s earthy dimension giving it a more complex substance. It is smooth and velvety with an intensely fruity aroma and a deep red color.

It also leaves a potent aftertaste like red cherries and dried plums which intensifies the next sip, making the experience even more flavorful and intense. This wine is excellent to pair with smoke deli meats or hard cheeses. 

15. Meerlust Red Blend 2014


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With an attractive dark violet color, it radiates its essence even before you’ve tried it. It is very fragrant with aromas of plum, exotic spice, and floral notes, all packed up in a vibrant and colorful whole. 

Mid-palate, it exhibits notes of black fruit, vanilla, and dark chocolate, all rounded up by a note of earthiness and an overall refreshing dimension. It is a very soft and pleasant wine, excellent to pair with fish, cheese, or smoked deli meats.

Which Red Wines Are Considered Dry?

When it comes to wine, dry is a reference to not sweet. More precisely, the grapes are sucked dry from sugar, which makes dry wines less sweet than sweet, i.e., dessert wines.

The longer the grapes are left to ferment, the less sugar the wine has, as the sugar converts to alcohol. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Tempranillo are good examples of dry red wines.

How Do You Pick A Dry Red Wine?

When choosing a dry red wine, especially if you lack experience, it is very important to have a good starting point. Choosing a dry red wine based on the region is always a good idea, as you are one googling session away from your answer.

Napa Valley in California, the Rioja region in Spain, and the Barossa Valley in Australia are regions known for producing excellent dry red wines. Moreover, they offer variety in taste as well as price, so no matter your budget, you will undoubtedly find what you need.

Knowing your palate is also a very important factor when choosing a dry red wine. The wine may be of excellent quality, but if it isn’t to your taste, it will be useless to you. If fruity is what you want, then Merlot or Pinot Noir wines are for you.

If you are a fan of earthy tones, think about Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz wines.

If you don’t really know what your preference is, just explore the world of dry red wines, read the labels, talk to the salespeople, and browse through the products.

You may stumble upon some that aren’t for you, but rest assured, you will find the perfect match in a few tries.

What Is The Most Popular Dry Wine?

Since there is an endless selection of dry red wines, there isn’t only one you can call the most popular.

There are many popular dry red wines such as Château Lafite Rothschild, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tache Grand Cru Monopole, Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, or Penfolds Grange Bin 95.

Is Red Cabernet Dry?

Red Cabernet is not only a dry wine, but it is bone-dry, making it one of the driest wines on the market. With a sugar amount of 1.12 grams per 6 ounces, it has a dark fruit flavor, red-purple color, and certain savory flavors mid-palate.

Is Dry Red Wine Alcoholic?

Yes, dry red wine is alcoholic, but the alcohol percentage isn’t very high. The alcohol levels usually vary from 12% to 14%.


  • https://winefolly.com/grapes/cabernet-sauvignon/
  • https://vinepair.com/wine-101/what-is-cabernet-sauvignon/
  • https://www.vinovest.co/blog/dry-wine
  • https://www.ratingspider.com/best-wine-shop/choosing-dry-red-wine/

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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