Different types of wine


Hey everyone!

I started my new job as a waiter and I don’t want to ask my colleagues all the time. So we have 19 types of wines (red, white and rose). However, the clients keep asking different things regarding our wines like “I want something not too dry” I get so confused, isn’t wine liquid? How could it be dry? How do I know when it’s a dry/fruity/sweet wine? Is there anything on the label to make it easier to identify?
I’d like to know the major differences between dry, sweet, body, etc. I was looking up on Google, but all articles sound way smarter than I can actually comprehend.

In: 64

“dry” in wine means “not sweet”.

Ask the manager to give you a cheat sheet. I assume you’re under the drinking age so it’s pretty reasonable for you to not have much insight into wine.

Unfortunately, not really. Most wines are fermented to dryness so they don’t contain any sugar, but some of them still register as slightly sweet because of other factors. Certain types are known to have residual sugar and still others sometimes do and sometimes don’t. So it’s basically a game of memorization.

So yeah, get a cheat sheet, or get one of your colleagues to sub in on that part for you.

Actually, i think your customers would enjoy it if you pointed out that all the wines are liquid.

[Wine Folly](https://winefolly.com/tips/wine-for-beginners-infographic/) is one of the absolute best resources for wine that’s easily digestible (and interesting to learn about!)

I work as a wine educator in Temecula Wine Country

As simple as possible:

Dry = Less sugar, doesn’t taste as sweet, served room temp or ideally between 49 and 59 degrees

Sweet = More sugar, new wine drinkers usually prefer this, served chilled but not freezing, worse hangover

White = literally just refers to the color, both sweet and dry whites are served chilled, better for hot days

Red = Also literally the color, dry reds are served room temp and sweet reds are chilled

Rose = An off-white color usually a pink rosy color, can be both dry and sweet, can be bubbly, perfect for bachelorette parties and weddings, newer wine drinkers prefer this, can be turned into an impromptu sangria by adding ice or frozen fruit

Sangria = Any wine served with ice or frozen fruit, great for new wine drinkers, cheaper and usually less alcohol content

Full bodied wine = Also known as ‘Bold’ wine, darker and goes down thicker, advanced wine drinkers always go for this, usually dry reds, usually higher alcohol content

Light bodied wine = Goes down easier, literally looks lighter and more see-through, usually red

Dessert wine = The absolute sweetest wine out there, served room temp, highest alcohol content, smaller bottles, can taste like chocolate or pie, always served at the end of a meal or as the last drink of the night

Varietal = A fancy word meaning the species of grape used to make the wine. Some wines are made from multiple species of grapes. These are called ‘blends.’


If someone asks for a ‘fruit-foreword’ wine they’re asking for a fruity tasting wine.

My personal order when serving multiple wines to the same table is this: Sweet white, Sweet red, dry white, light bodied red, full bodied red, then dessert wine.

As for the different varietals (types of grapes), there’s literally hundreds and it’s a memorization game on what each one is used for and what regions of the world they’re from. Don’t beat yourself up for not knowing this. Just memorize what your restaurant offers.