Wines range from 0 to about 220 grams per liter sugar, depending on the style.
Dry wines can contain up to about 10 grams of sugar per bottle but still taste dry.
- Bone Dry <1 cal per glass
- Dry 0-6 cal per glass
- Off-Dry 6–21 cal per glass
- Sweet 21–72 cal per glass
- Very Sweet 72–130 cal per glass
Where Does Sugar in Wine Come From?
The sugar in wine is called residual sugar or RS. RS doesn’t come from corn syrup or granulated sugar like you might think, it primarily comes from the fruit sugars in wine grapes (fructose and glucose). Of course, there are a few instances where cheap wine producers will use sugar or grape concentrate to sweeten a wine–all the more reason to seek out quality!
How come some wines are dry and some are sweet?
Basically, when winemaking happens, yeast eats sugar and makes ethanol (alcohol) as a by-product. A dry wine is when the yeast eats all the sugars and a sweet wine is when the yeast is stopped (usually by chilling the fermentation) before it eats all the sugars. This is why some sweet wines have less alcohol that dry wines. A great example of this is German Riesling, which usually have about 8–9% ABV when sweet and 10–11% ABV when dry.