We are accustomed to clearly distinguish between sweet and dry wines. But if everything is clear with the former, then why are many drinks considered dry? Is this related to a certain feeling of thirst that arises after drinking wine?
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Which wines are called dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet?
In fact, dry mouth has nothing to do with the designation of a group of drinks. And the division of wines into dry and sweet is determined only by the absence or content of sugar.
The main ingredient in any wine is grape juice, which contains many natural sweetness. During fermentation, yeast forms alcohol from it. If the technology provides for the appearance of sweet wine, then the fermentation is stopped until the moment when the tremors have processed all the sugar. The part of the sweetness present in the drink is called the residual sugar.
When making dry wine, fermentation is not interrupted, which makes it possible for all the sugar to turn into alcohol. And for such drinks initially select less sweet grape varieties… So dry wine is a drink made from grapes without residual sugar. And this liquid does not taste sweet.
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In Europe, wine labeling standards have been adopted, in which dry wine is considered a drink with a sugar content of 4-9 grams per liter. For semi-dry wine, a sugar content of 12-18 grams per liter is allowed, and for semi-sweet wine – 18-45. Wine drinks with a higher sugar content are called sweet drinks.
At the same time, in dry wines, the absence of sweetness does not mean the absence of fruity notes. The same fruit juice may well be rich in taste, but also unsweetened. Dry wine reveals itself similarly.
Dry mouth after drinking the drink does not necessarily mean belonging to the class of dry wines. This effect is due to tannins. These substances can be found in the skins of grapes, seeds and ridges, which connect the berry to the branch. When pressing grapes, all this ferments in the juice. And the longer the skins and seeds are soaked there, the more tannins will end up in the wine. This is what determines the tart and astringent taste of the finished drink.
You can find out what taste is directly from tannins. To do this, pour boiling water over black tea and infuse it longer. The first sip will be bitter, after which the mouth will feel dry. It is these sensations that help to understand how high the level of tannins in wine is.
The strength of alcohol is often considered an indicator of dryness, but this cannot be assumed. Dry wine is not necessarily stronger than sweet wine. And this prejudice has appeared because strong alcohol leaves in the mouth the same tartness as dry wine. But you should not be guided by such feelings – there are fortified wines, which are mostly sweet. Port wine is a classic example.
And where and why this class of wines began to be called “dry” is not known exactly. According to one version, the name is based on the cooking technology, in which sugar is completely, dry, fermented.