Dry January the Hannibal Brown way.

Thursday 21st January was the return of our Lockdown LIVE events and we celebrated ‘Dry [white wine] January’.  You can catch up on the event here:

What makes a wine dry?

Officially, less than 10g of  residual sugar per litre.  Also denoted as less than 1% sugar.

Residual sugar = the amount of sugar left in the wine after the yeast has finished its job turning sugar to alcohol and fermentation has stopped.

Roughly speaking:

  • 0-1g = Bone Dry
  • ↓ 10g = Dry
  • ↑ 30g = Off Dry
  • ↑ 50g = Sweet
  • ↑ 70g = Dessert wines

It’s worth bearing in mind that if a wine has bubbles, dry tannins or very high acidity this can mask sweetness.


This is the process of adding sugar or grape must to feed the yeast – usually when there isn’t sufficient natural sweetness in the fruit (usually meaning substandard quality fruit).

  • It is illegal in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and South Africa.
  • It is allowed in the UK, France, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and certain cooler states in the US to name a few.

In Burgundy, for example, white wines must have a minimum alcohol of 10.5%, if the season hasn’t allowed for natural ripening which will achieve that then they pour in the Tate and Lyle!

CHAMPAGNE – tends to have more residual sugar as it’s very acidic and bubbly:Champagne sweetness

Tamar Ridge Sauvignon Blanc – Tasmania

Tropical ripe fruit, zippy and delicious.  This wine would be brilliant with grilled Asparagus and shavings of Parmesan cheese.

A word on Tasmania:

The island was first spotted in 1642 by Abel Tasman – the intrepid Dutch explorer.

Wine has been growing there since around 1856 but the resurgence was in the 1970s when the good stuff started to be produced.

There are over 200 wineries and 100 grape varieties grown.

Tasmania graphic

Whitey Weisswein, Matthias Warnung – AustriaMatthias-Warnung-Whitey-Weisswein

Savoury citrus and crunchy apple.  This is a natural wine which might be a little cloudy, make sure you open it to breathe in advance and enjoy it with salty gammon or schnitzel.

This wine is 50% Grüner Veltliner – the most widely planted grape in Austria.

30% Müller Thurgau – an early ripening grape good for cooler climates and often found in the UK, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

20% Welschriesling – not from Wales!  This grape is grown in eastern Europe and is big in Croatia where it is known as Grasevina.

11.5% alcohol and naturally produced, this wine is basically good for you and the planet!