If you like going to the wine store, you should know that the bottles are often labeled as sweet or dry. While you might have a preference for one over the other, you might also wonder what exactly gives the alcohol its specific taste. Below is a guide about what creates sweet versus dry wines.


Sweet wines are often made from ripened grapes grown in warm regions. They can be sun-dried or frozen on the vine to bring out the flavor before they ferment. Sometimes sugar is added before the fermentation process.

Since fermentation turns sugar into alcohol, sweet wines don’t ferment for as long as dry variants and usually have a lower alcohol content. They also have low levels of tannins — the compounds that give dry wines their sharper flavors.

For a wine to be sweet, it must have a residual sugar content of 20% or more. When you go to the wine store and want a sweet variety, look for port, riesling, or moscato.


wine storeDry wines are generally made from grapes that haven’t fully ripened or are just starting to ripen. These fruits are often from colder regions.

The mixture is allowed to ferment for longer than sweet wine so that more of the sugar turns into alcohol, giving them a stronger kick. The higher alcohol content and the tannins create a dry feeling in your mouth.

Dry wines are more acidic and contain less than 1% of their residual sugar after fermentation. When you’re in the wine shop, look for popular varieties like chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon.


Now that you’re armed with knowledge, you deserve a wine store that can cater to your tastes. Universal Discount Package Store in Norwich, CT, is one of the state’s largest providers of wines and spirits. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is happy to give you recommendations on bottles, whether you prefer dry or sweet. Since 1933, they’ve prioritized customer service, and they order specific bottles for a unique selection. Grab some recipes for wine and spirit cocktails online, or call (860) 889-6555 for more information.