What does “vin sec” mean on a Riesling wine label?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does “vin sec” mean on white wine like Riesling?

—Ted, San Francisco

Dear Ted,

“Vin sec” is French for “dry wine.” “Dry” typically means the opposite of “sweet” when it comes to wine. A wine is considered dry when the sugar from the grapes is converted completely to alcohol during the fermentation process. Most table wines are considered dry. But some wines—Riesling is one of them—are commonly made in a variety of styles, from dry to off-dry (or semi-sweet) to richly sweet dessert wines. The “vin sec” here is a helpful clue to the style of the wine inside.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny White Wines Riesling

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