Dry are wines with a maximum residual sugar content of 9 g/l, but the acidity may be only 2 g/l lower. Classically dry allows only 4g/l residual sugar.
Semi-dry wines contain 9 to 18g/l fermented sugar. The sugar may not exceed the acidity by more than 10 g/l. You can taste a light residual sweetness. If the acidity is high, the wine can also taste "dry", but if it is low, it appears rather sweetish.
It becomes "sweet" or "semi-sweet" if the residual sugar content is above 18 g/l but not more than 45 g/l. The wine then tastes much sweeter.
Sweet is a wine when the taste of sugar or other sweet wine ingredients is strongly emphasized. The residual sugar content here is more than 45 g/l.
Noble sweet wines are made from dried grapes. These can be dried already on the vine or only after harvesting, through storage on straw mats. The fruit sugar content of these berries is particularly high.
Because of the carbonic acid in the sparkling wine, we feel the taste "sweet" less strongly, which is why the residual sugar limits are different here. The driest variant is with a maximum of 3 g/l residual sugar "ultra brut" or French "brut zéro". "Extra harsh". The residual sugar limit for "extra brut" is up to 6 g/l residual sweetness, for "herb" or French "brut" the residual sugar limit is 15 g/l. At a residual sugar content of 12 to 20 g/l, a sparkling wine is "extra dry". In French this is called "très sec" and the English say "extra dry". Let's just get back to the areas we already know:
It comes from the residual sugar content....
It remains "dry" between 17 and 35 g/l residual sugar content. In France they say "sec.", in England "dry", the Italians like "secco asciutto".
Semi-dry sparkling wine has a residual sugar content of 35 to 50 g/l. French "demi-sec.", English:"medium dry" and Italian "abboccato".
Mild "," doux "," sweet "or" dolce "it will be more than 50 g/l.
The tastes, also called degrees of sweetening, are regulated uniformly in all EU countries. That would be quite simple and clear, if there wouldn't be one more thing: the terms. As you can see, these are unfortunately not uniform. But we will certainly also overcome this hurdle in choosing our favourite wines. Here in Germany, it is customary that the word "dry" is printed on the label for wines,"semi-dry","sweet" or "sweet" is printed rather rarely. However, it is a must-have for sparkling wine.