Let’s learn about wine in 2013.  Vocabulary lesson #1. 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 wine. The appropriate definition for a dry wine is that it does not have any perceptible sugar. 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. Residual sugar is the sweet or juicy taste that you can taste in wine.  Wine can be very fruit forward, and still be dry so try not to confuse fruit for sugar. That’s all. Nothing fancy. I completely understand the confusion between tannin and dry wine because tannin “dries” out your tongue.  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 or milder tannins like is characteristic of Pinot Noir.  If you like sweeter whites, just say that you prefer a sweeter white.   Leave the Dry out of it, he gets such a bad rap.