The Driest Red Wines to Try

Most red wines are classified as dry. However, some red wines are dryer than others. If you love that deep, lingering dryness that feels like it's pulling moisture out of your mouth, then here are some red wine varietals to look for.


Merlot is a popular, widely available red wine variety that is known for its profound dryness. It's very dark red in color and boldly flavored. One reason why Merlot is so popular is that the grapes are highly adaptive and grow well in many regions. As such, you can find Merlots from France, Italy, Spain, Chile, California, and more. This may be a fun wine to feature during a tasting night, as you could sample five or six different Merlots from around the world. Like most dry red wines, Merlot pairs well with beef and other hearty dishes.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is another widely available, very dry red wine. It tends to be a bit less complex than Merlot with notes of berry. Yet, it is high in tannins, which give it that intense dryness. A lot of great Cabernet Sauvignons come from France and Italy. However, Argentinian and California wineries have been growing this variety, too, and wines from these regions tend to be reasonably priced.


Tempranillo is a variety of grape that is grown predominantly in Spain. To some, Tempranillo is synonymous with Spanish wine. This wine is very complex, very bold, and quite dry. However, its flavor profile tends to be pretty neutral, so it pairs well with a lot of dishes. Tempranillo wine is sometimes aged in oak, but other times in stainless steel. So, check the bottle before purchasing a bottle, and choose based on your preference. The oakiness is a nice touch, but it's not for everyone.


Carnigan wines are not easy to find, but if you do come across one, it's well worth trying. Carnigan grapes are from France, and some vineyards in Italy grow them, but they really have not spread beyond these regions. This is an older variety and has a very traditional flavor; it's very dry but still fruit-forward. This is a good one to enjoy with cheese and charcuterie.

If you love really dry red wine, try one of the varieties above. Each one has something unique to offer, but they are all as dry as the day is long, and they're all incredible.

To find these wines or to learn more, contact a red wine supplier such as Daveco Beer, Wine & Spirits.