Levels of Sweetness in Wine

Levels of Sweetness in Wine

Dry is not always dry. It depends whether you are referring to still wine or sparkling wine. Different amounts of residual sugar apply to their respective taste specifications.

Four levels of sweetness in still wine:


Dry is the name for wines that are almost or completely fermented; this means for wines with a residual sugar content of up to 4g / l. Legislation also permits the term “dry” up to a residual sugar content of 9g if the total acidity expressed in g / l tartaric acid is at most 2g / l lower than the residual sugar content (formula: acid + 2 up to a maximum of 9). A dry wine is not synonymous with acid. Rather, it is because it only contains a small amount of unfermented sugar, that a higher acidity is more likely to be perceived.

Semi-dry wines may have up to 12 grams of residual sugar per liter, or up to 18g / l if the residual sugar content does not exceed the acidity level by more than 10g. (Formula: acid + 10 up to the maximum limit 18).

Often you can find the term feinherb on wine labels. This unofficial fifth taste is not clearly defined, but is usually classified between semi-dry and sweet. Although it is not officially regulated by wine law, it is becoming increasingly popular.

Semi-sweet wines have a residual sugar content that exceeds the values ​​for semi-dry, but reaches a maximum of 45 g / l.

The statement sweet is permissible from 45 g / l.

Click here for more information on the different levels of sweetness of sparkling wine (sekt).