Going to the wine store and looking for something new can be very intimidating. Labeling their products as dry, sweet, or medium is the main way wine manufacturers differentiate between these alcoholic beverages. If you’re confused about what these terms mean, use the following guide to help you choose your next bottle.

A Brief Guide on Choosing Wine


Generally, the main two categories of wine are dry or sweet. To identify a dry wine, pay attention to three factors: aroma, tannins, and acidity. The aroma of a dry wine won’t be overly sweet.

Tannins are astringent molecules that taste bitter, and high tannins produce the dry feeling that some wines can give your mouth. Lastly, dry wines are usually more acidic than sweet wines. 

Some popular dry red wines you could find at a quality wine store are cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and merlot. White dry wines include sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, and chardonnay. If you need help picking between brands, a wine store employee will be able to help you out.


wine storeThe winemaking process doesn’t lend itself to sweet wine. To let a wine retain some of the sweetness of the grapes, the winemaker needs to stop the fermentation process early. The sugar comes from the fruit and is typically not added after the fermentation process.

Sweet wine is the opposite of dry wine in many ways. It has a sweet aroma, fewer tannins, and low acidity. The lower the tannins and acidity, the sweeter the wine becomes.

Sweet red wines are often flavored by figs, raisins, and dates. Some examples include port and lambrusco dolce. Sweet white wines are flavored with golden raisins, apricot jam, and fig. Some types you could find at a wine store include moscato, ice wine, and riesling.


Not all wines are completely dry or completely sweet. Many people enjoy wines that are closer to the middle and share qualities of both types.

This makes medium wines the perfect choice for parties. Medium red wines include merlot, malbec, and pinot noir, while medium white options are chenin blanc, viognier, and torrontés.


If you need help picking out a new bottle of wine, visit Universal Discount Package Store in Norwich, CT. They have a wide selection of wines, beers, and liquors for you to choose from, and they’re the leading wine store in southeast Connecticut. Their staff is always happy to make recommendations and help you find your new favorite bottle. Call (860) 889-6555 if you have any questions.