Is sparkling wine dry or sweet?


You may have heard about sparkling wine somewhere in your lifetime, perhaps during a holiday vacation or during a special occasion celebration. Let’s begin by understanding the meaning of this wine. It is a wine produced from red or white grapes and has undergone carbonation. When effervescence occurs in wine that is a sign of carbon dioxide. This is also the chemical that is responsible for the carbonation in pop drinks. However, in these pop drinks, the chemical is artificially added, but in wines, it is almost always the product of natural fermentation. If you are a wine lover, you can visit, a French winehouse where you can discover different wine flavours you can enjoy.

France produces a wide variety of grapes. It is for this reason visiting France should be on your list of your next holiday destination to discover French wine.

Understanding if Sparkling Wine is Dry or Sweet

White wines are the most common, but you can also get sparkling rose and red wines, to a lesser extent. Sparkling wines can be found in different flavours that range from dry to sweet. In other words, sparkling wines can either be sweet or dry. There are wide varieties of these wines where you can choose the one that will suit your mood, palate and food pairing. However, the wine flavours depend on the type of grapes used, the method used to make the wine, not forgetting the climatic conditions the grapes have grown in.

How to Discover Dry and Sweet Sparkling Wines

During the wine tasting, dry and sweet wines are provided. What most people want to discover is the level of sweetness. To discover sweet sparkling wine, the wine retains a high amount of residual sugar after fermentation, while dry sparkling wine has low levels of residual sugar after fermentation.

However, in some cases, you’ll find that the taste of wine will not be used to determine if the wine is dry or sweet. A few factors can affect the extent to which a wine can be considered sweet or dry. Therefore, a wine may be sweeter than the other but fall into the dry wine category.

Factors that can Make a Wine Dry or Sweet

When the Grapes are Harvested

Unripe grapes always have a lower sugar level than mature and ripe grapes. Also, the ripe grapes have lower acidity levels than the unripe ones. This can highly influence the flavour of a wine. Therefore, winemakers looking to produce dry wine will go for not completely mature grapes to achieve lower residual sugar levels after fermentation and a certain degree of acidity.


Grapes grown in cooler climates tend to have a lower sugar content compared to those grown in warmer temperatures. The warmth brought about by the sun is what enhances the sugar concentration of the water in the grapes.

What you do to the Grapes after Harvesting

Allowing your grapes to dry in direct sunlight is another way to add sweetness to your wine. Winemakers will prefer this method to intensify the sugar concentration in grapes. Conversely, in cooler climates, winemakers can harvest the grapes until the time they are frozen. This will allow the grape’s water to have a higher sugar concentration.


Controlling the degree of fermentation is one of the most powerful ways that can influence the dryness or sweetness of the wine. Chemistry states that sugar is eventually converted to alcohol after several chemical processes. During fermentation, sugars are transitioned to ethyl alcohol or carbon dioxide. The facilitator in this process is Yeast, a micro-organism. So, the longer you allow your wine to ferment, the dryer your wine end product will be.

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