A Visual Guide to Wine Types as They Relate to Red, White, Sweet, and Dry

wine type chart

Sledgehammer wine
glass types of wine beer cocktails

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page.

  • ella

    This is great, I’m totally going to save this and use it when I go wine shopping :)

  • MarioBros

    Cool stuff, I’m totally clueless about wines so this should come in handy. Thanks… I’m bookmarking this.

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  • Jillian Galloway

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    Only one of these lacks the ability to make you violent, destroy your liver and kill you. Alcohol consumers deserve the right to switch to the safest recreational drug in the world – cannabis. Don’t vote for any candidate not willing to legalize adult cannabis sales!

    • Nuevida

      I totally understand your concern as a former pothead myself (though for financial reasons, I have recently quit, and I have not had a drop of alcohol in months). However, this is a post for wine, not a post for alcoholics. Time and place for everything my stoner friend :)

    • Johanna

      I’ve never been a violent drunk. Fuck your generalizations. All of the above has the capability to impair you to the point of getting into a car accident or doing something so stupid you accidentally hurt or kill someone.

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  • Holly

    Don’t forget about Moscato!! It’s my favorite :-)

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  • crosco

    what about Malbec??? South American red wine.

    • Richard White

      Malbec is a French grape, although it has had a lot of success in Chile and Argentina.

      • hill

        but best known in Argentina. Not really a specialty in France although I do like a Cahors Malbec

  • Sarah


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  • surya kant pathak

    Don’t forget about chianti !! It’s my favorite :-)

    • Aaj

      What about nalewka? Porzeczkowa is the best.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rad.rad2 Rad Rad

        I AGREE.
        Also bimber is zajebisty. I drink it all the time to the point of being completely najebany.

  • Patricia Rivera

    This chart has been very helpful!

  • edness

    She said moscatto. Blegh… I think it falls right between sweet cherry and pure honey

  • Mikeyoung

    great, so confusing when I buy wines, most of those in the stores don’t even know, this will be a great guide!

  • zxoiesru

    How about something in the top right corner? Sweet and RED

    • vino

      not possible because of the tannis from the red grape skin which makes it red and also bitter. there’s a great article about it on this site :)

      • Ippsissimus

        Actually in sweet reds you have Lambrusco, which has been cultivated since the Etruscan pre-Roman era and is still very common in Italy today, (but make sure it’s a dolce or amabile variety not a secco which is very dry), and Spanish Sangria, (though technically much of Sangria’s sweetness comes from fruit and fruit juices added to the wine.)

        • Belzbub

          you also have a slue of German sweet reds out there. Bauer Haus makes a dornfelder which is sweet and red Also try Schlink haus red and Relax Red…Turn me Red and Donnasaune… You also have Red Moscato as well….

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  • pecan pie

    so i dont know much about wine. Would somebody be able to explain why drinking dry tasting wine would be pleasant? Like wouldn’t a fruity wine taste better? -Definitely don’t anything about wine but would like too. Thanks

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      It’s personal preference just like how some people like to drink coffee black or whiskey straight. Also it’s an acquired taste for dryer wine.

  • Jackpile

    Just discovered this. It’s fabulous! Thanks!

  • Liquorstoregirl

    I work in a liquor store and don’t know any of this. Where does Pinot Grigio, Pinot blanc, Malbec, Gewürztraminer, sovereign opal, and voignier go?

  • nica

    omg its xo xarap

  • Guest

    Why is demi-sec (half-dry) drier than extra dry?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      The scale goes the other way, so it’s sweeter.

    • guester

      “demi-sec” means “half dry”, which should be less dry than “extra dry” i.e. more sweet…

  • Philippe

    Well, I will try a white zinfandel. Is it sweet enough to match a dark chocolate dessert?

    • dodobird

      If you want a sweet wine, try a Moscato, it’s definitely sweeter than a white zin

      • coop

        Trying to find a sweet red to add in to my chocolate cake, any suggestions? Thank you

        • winslow

          Gordon Estate 2011 Washington Cabernet

        • Bobby Richardson

          Dornfelder Rheinhessen

  • bri

    I tried a wine years ago, it taste almost like a very light gran marnier.
    Can anyone tell me the name of it?

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  • heather

    Want to know if a white blend is sweet like moscato?

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  • DJT77

    She’s just trying to help! But I get your point..

    Imagine a cannabis wine! (maybe a non alcoholic cannabis wine with psychoactive cannabinoid effects! Ohhhhh lawdy, what an idea! I wonder if anyone has ever tried to make their own cannabis fermented beverage!???