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I'd like to know about the qualities of wine, what is exactly a dry wine, heavy

  1. Ohm Diva profile image54
    Ohm Divaposted 8 years ago

    I'd like to know about the qualities of wine, what is exactly a dry wine, heavy or light.

    Are all Cabernet Sauvignon considered heavy for instance?

  2. lrohner profile image81
    lrohnerposted 8 years ago

    Dry wine is simply a wine with little sugar left in it after the fermentation process. Think of it as the opposite of sweet wine. It usually refers to white wines.

    Heavy wine is wine that's extremely full-bodied and has a very intense flavor. Usually reds fall into this classification. Generally you'll find that heavy wines are produced in warmer climates where the grapes get a lot of heat and sun as they're growing. Take the US, for instance. Most of the "heavy" wines are produced in California, while Oregon and Washington state tend to produce lighter wines -- and it's all because of the climate. Wines produced in California and South America tend to be heavier than their European counterpart.

    So no. Not all Cabernets are considered heavy.

  3. OregonWino profile image69
    OregonWinoposted 8 years ago

    Ironher has some great answers below.  I would add that many of the words used to describe wines can be very confusing.    While there can be a great amount of diversity within a specific variety (Cab, Merlot, Rielsing etc) a good rule of thumb is that several examples of a single varietal will have many characteristics in common.

    Soooo...for the most part, yes, most Cabs are going to be "heavy" relative to say, Pinot Noir.  This is due to several factors, Cab has more sugar and more tannins in general and this is due to the type of grape it is.  Variations in the wine making process can change the characteristics somewhat, but the norm will be that Cab is a bold, strong, tannin flavored wine.

    My girlfriend likes sweet, white wines, so she drinks a lot of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio...also, a decent rule of thumb with whites is that the cheaper the wine the higher the sugar content, so if you like sweeter whites...go for the cheaper priced bottles or wine by the glass.

    Check out the link below which has a great breakdown of common wine types and their characteristics.


  4. profile image52
    Essertierposted 7 years ago

    I don't know whether your question was answered by the other comments, however, I'll throw my two bits in in hopes it will help.

    Dry wine is defined as the "absence of sugar".  Having said that, there are many wines (particularly now) that are marketed as "dry", yet are technically "sweet".  Example: Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay.  Chardonnay's by industry standards are considered "dry".  Rombauer, along with Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, intentionally have a little sweetness to them.  The reason?  Winemakers have discovered that the longer the "hang time" the better the flavor.  The trade off is that by leaving the grapes out to ripen longer, the higher the sugars.  It takes roughly two parts of sugar to make one part of alcohol.  Hence, if you picked at 24% sugar you would have a 12% alcohol wine with no risidual sugar....hence a dry wine.  Today, wine makers are picking between 26% to 28% sugars developing greater flavor, but the trade off is higher alcohol.  So, it is common place now to see 14% to 15% chardonnays.  What Rombauer does, as well as, Kendall-Jackson is keep a little sugar in the wine to over come the "hottness", or imbalance due to the high alcohol.  Makes for great tasting wine, but technically it is "sweet".  Risidual sugar between 1% and 2%.

    As for Cabernet, the same is true, but it is more difficult to taste the sugar due to the tannins and heaviness of the fruit.  Next time you go to a wine store, or simply a supermaket to make a selection of red wine, check out the alcohol percentages from Zinfandels.   They are now in the 15% to 17% category.  To me, it has gone too far.  It is nearing "port" levels.

    Hoped this helped.


    Bill Essertier