I often hear people say, “I don’t like red wines, because I don’t like dry wines.” The term dry is a very commonly misused word when talking about wines. The appropriate definition for a dry wine is that it does not have any perceptible sugar. Very often people think of high tannin in a wine as being dry. Not so. Bubbles, whites, and reds can all be fermented dry-meaning no residual sugar is left. I completely understand the confusion between tannin and dry wine because tannin “dries” out your tongue. So logically it makes perfect sense to confuse the two. But now you know! If you aren’t a fan of tannin found in big reds like Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc, now you will be able to articulate that at the wine shop. Just ask for a red with softer/ milder tannins (such as Pinot Noir). Or if you like sweeter whites, just say that you prefer a white on the sweeter side (think Moscato, or late harvest Reisling). Leave the Dry out of it, he gets such a bad rap.
I just felt the need to clarify this commonly misused wine definition.