What Is a Good Semi-Dry White Wine?

The first post in our White Wine Guide: The Different Types of White Wine answers the questions of “what is a good semi-dry white wine?”

To start, it’s best to serve white wines chilled or at room temperature. They go well with seafood, poultry, salads, pasta dishes, and desserts. 

Semi-dry whites are drier than dry wines, and they often have a fruity flavor and are usually lighter-bodied than their dry counterparts. As a result, the acidity level of these wines is lower than other types of white wines.

What Is The Difference Between Dry White Wine and Sweet Wines?

The malolactic fermentation process converts grape sugars into alcohol during fermentation. The fermentation process is then stopped before completion, resulting in residual sugar. 

After alcoholic fermentation, wines with less than 10 grams of residual sugar are considered dry wines.

Wines with more than 30 grams of residual sugar are considered sweet wines.

whats residual sugar in wine

What’s Residual Sugar in Wine?

The residual sugar levels in wine are measured by the amount of glucose left after fermentation has stopped and are expressed as grams per liter (g/L). Most wines contain less than 0.5 g/L of residual sugar.

What is Dry White Wine?

Dry white wine is made from grapes that do not contain sugar content and must be fermented without added sugars. The result is a dry wine with a crisp taste and less body. It’s also called “tannic” because tannins give wines their astringent taste. Most dry wines are made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Muscat Canelli, and Moscato.

What Is Considered a Semi-Dry Wine?

A semi-dry wine has less residual sugar, often 1-3% residual sugar, than a sweet wine but still has some sweetness. It should taste dry without being too acidic. Semi-dry wines are usually between 10% and 15% alcohol by volume (ABV). The best examples tend to come from France and Italy. South Africa makes a lot of these types of wines. They’re often made from Chenin blanc or chardonnay grapes. Percent of residual sugar is between

Is Chardonnay a Semi-Dry Wine?

Yes, Chardonnay is a semi-dry wine because Chardonnay grapes grow well at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher temperature gives the juice a little extra sugar content which keeps the alcohol level from getting too high.

What is difference between semi-sweet and semi-dry wine?

What Is The Difference Between Semi-Sweet and Semi-Dry Wine?

Semi-sweet wines contain sugar, which makes them sweeter than dry wines. They tend to have higher alcohol content too. Dry wines are not sweetened, and they usually have lower alcohol content.

Semi-dry wines are made from grapes that contain less sugar content than typical reds or whites. The lower sugar means they are drier, making them perfect for drinking during hot summer days. They also tend to be easier to drink because they don’t taste sweet.

Is Semi-Dry White Wine Sweet?

Semi-dry wines tend to be sweeter than dry whites because they contain sugar from grapes that have not thoroughly dried out during fermentation. So if you like sweet wines, this may be the one for you. But if you prefer drier wines, it might be better to stick to reds.

What Does Semi-Dry Wine Taste Like?

Semi-dry wines tend to have higher alcohol content than dry wines, so that they will be less sweet tasting. They may also have a slightly lower pH level, which means they won’t be quite as acidic as regular dry wine, making them perfect for cooking or drinking with food.

These wines are made with grapes that have been left to dry off naturally after harvest. They’re then pressed, fermented, and aged before being bottled. This method produces wines with more intense flavors than those made with traditional methods, but they also tend to be less sweet.

choosing the right semi dry white 1

Choosing The Right Semi-Dry White Wine

By Flavor:

With fruit flavors:

Some semi-dry wines have fruity notes that make them stand out. These include Rieslings, Pinots, Chardonnays, Muscats, and Moscatos, which all have fruity flavors.

With apple flavors:

Apple flavors can be found in many different kinds of wine. Examples include Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Zinfandels, Malbecs, Sangrias, and Chenin Blanc.

With citrus notes:

Some white wines have citrus notes that can be refreshing and enjoyable for many people. Some white wines with citrus notes include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc.

With floral notes:

Many white wines have floral notes that many people can enjoy. Some examples of white wines with floral notes include Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Viognier.

With crisp flavors:

Crisp wines are often described as having a citrusy, mineral, tart, or floral flavors. Examples include pinots, sherry, Gewurztraminers, and muscats.

With refreshing flavors:

Refreshing wines are generally lighter than other types of wine. They’re most commonly made with Albariño, Verdejo, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.

With acidic flavors:

Acidic wines are typically light-bodied, low in alcohol, and rich in acidity. Acidity comes from the natural acids found in the grape skins, seeds, stems, and leaves. Therefore, grapes grown on poorer soils are more likely to produce acidic wines.

With almond flavors:

Almond flavors come from the grape’s skin, which contains oils that give the wine its distinctive aroma. Almonds are used to flavor many kinds of wine, including Moscato D’asti, Sherries, Amontillados, and Finos.

With earthy flavors:

Several white wines have earthy flavors and a savory and umami taste, which many people can enjoy. Some white wines with earthy flavors include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier.

With herbal notes:

Finally, some white wines have herbal notes that many people can enjoy. Some examples of white wines with herbal notes include Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Grüner Veltliner.

Choosing The Right Semi-Dry White Wine By Accidic Profile

Choosing The Right Semi-Dry White Wine

By Acidic Profile:

Balanced Acidity:

There are a few white wines that have a balanced acidity. This means that the wine has the perfect amount of acidity, which can be tart or fruity. Some examples of white wines with balanced acidity include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. These wines are typically enjoyed by people who want a slightly acidic taste. So, if you are looking for a wine with balanced acidity, these are some great options to consider.

Crisp Acidity:

Many white wines have crisp acidity and a slightly tart and acidic taste that many people enjoy. Some examples of white wines with crisp acidity include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

Lively Acidity:

Some white wines have a lively acidity giving a more tart and acidic taste that is refreshing. Some examples of white wines with lively acidity include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer.

Refreshing Acidity:

Finally, several white wines have a refreshing acidity. Some examples of white wines with refreshing acidity include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

Ample Acidity:

Some wine drinkers enjoy a bottle of wine with ample acidity, enjoying a tart and acidic taste. Some examples of white wines with generous acidity include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer.

Acidity With Tannin:

Tannin is a natural compound found in grapes that can give the wine a bitter or astringent taste. Wines with high acidity often have high levels of tannin as well. Therefore, when pairing these wines, it is essential to consider the tannin level in the wine.

For example, if you enjoy a white wine with high acidity and high tannin, you may want to pair it with a dish that has some sweetness which can help to balance out the flavors and make the experience more enjoyable.

Acidity Tricks:

One way to enjoy a wine with higher acidity is to pair it with food. For example, if you are enjoying a white wine with high acidity, you may want to pair it with a dish that has some sweetness, which can help balance out the flavors and make the experience more enjoyable.

Another way to enjoy a wine with higher acidity is to serve it chilled, which can help to tame some of the acidity and make it more refreshing.

Finally, if you are having trouble enjoying wine with high acidity, you may want to add a splash of water to it, which can help to dilute the acidity and make it more palatable.

What Is a Good White Wine That Is Not Too Sweet or Too Dry?

I would recommend a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It has a fresh citrusy taste, and it is not too sweet. If you want something sweeter, try a Pinot Grigio.

Semi-Dry White Wines

The term ‘semi-dry’ refers to less sweet wines than dessert wines but not quite dry enough to qualify as table wines. They tend to be lower in alcohol (around 12%) and higher in acidity (between 3% and 4%). Examples include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer.


It is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a semi-dry white wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with seafood, chicken, or pork dishes. Its low acidity helps balance the richness of such foods. When choosing a Chardonnay, look for a variety from cooler climates where the grapes get picked later in the season.

Pinot Grigio

This is another excellent option for those who enjoy eating fish and other seafood. It goes exceptionally well with shellfish. Try this wine with salmon, shrimp, lobster, scallops, mussels, clams, and oysters.

Sauvignon Blanc

If you are looking for a delicious semi-dry white wine that pairs perfectly with salads, try this varietal. It is often paired with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. You can also use it with grilled meats, poultry, and seafood.


If you love German cuisine, this is your best bet. Rieslings go particularly well with sauerkraut, schnitzel, and wursts.


These are very popular in Germany and Austria. Sometimes, they are served chilled at parties, while others are more commonly drunk after dinner. They are typically light-bodied, fruity, and refreshing.

How to choose a Semi-Dry Wine

What Is a Good Semi-Dry White Wine?

When buying a semi-dry wine, you need to consider how much sweetness you like. Many people find that they want their wine sweeter than some people do. So you should check the label and see how much sugar is listed on it. If you like sweeter wines, you can always buy a bottle with a bit of extra sugar added.

Another thing to consider is whether you prefer your wine to be crispier or creamier. For example, if you like a crisp wine with a creamy texture, you may want to pick up a slightly sweeter wine. On the other hand, if you like smooth wine, you might prefer a drier wine.

Another tip is to ensure that you don’t confuse a semi-dry wine with a dessert wine. While both types of wine share similar characteristics, you cannot drink one after the other. You would either need to finish your meal by having dessert first or wait until you are done eating before consuming any more wine.

And if you’re interested to learn about what wine to use for cooking, check out our post on choosing the best white wine for cooking.

Why Do Some Dry Wines Taste “Drier” Than Others? Why Does One Wine Have a More Intense Aroma and Flavor While Another Has a Softer, Fruitier Character?

The answer, of course, is that the wine was made differently. The way it was fermented, how long it was spent aging in oak barrels, the amount of time it spends exposed to air during bottling, and even the type of yeast used all contribute to the final flavor profile of the wine.