Is Malbec A Dry Wine?

Malbec Is a type of red wine that is from Argentina. It is known for its dark, fruity flavors and smoky finish, something that has made it a popular choice amongst wine lovers worldwide.

Whether you have tried Malbec or are looking to try a bottle now, you might be wondering if Malbec is a dry wine. If this is the case, you’ve definitely come to the right place. 

We’ll be going over all the basics of Malbec and by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know if Malbec is dry or not!

Is Malbec A Dry Wine? 

So, is Malbec a dry wine? The answer is yes, of course it is! What makes a wine dry is simply the fact it has no residual sugar, so the wine isn’t sweet, and Malbec falls into this category. 

When grape juice is converted into wine, alcohol is made during the fermentation process and the yeast ends up eating all of the sugar.

Most winemakers actually stop the fermentation process before the yeast has time to eat the sugar, so the wine will be a bit sweeter.

This isn’t the case for dry wines like Malbec though. Though it doesn’t have any sugar and is considered a dry wine, Malbec is still incredibly fruity! 

The History Of Malbec

Though it is known for being produced in Argentina, Malbec actually originates from France.

It is very commonly found in the Bordeaux area, and it is known for its intense flavor and smokey aftertaste. Aside from Bordeaux though, it isn’t very popular in the rest of France.

The grapes used to make Malbec are actually quite fussy and difficult to grow, so they are grown in smaller quantities.

In order to grow well, the grapes need to have a sunny climate and cold nights. Any other conditions will result in the grapes dying off. 

Malbec usually has a 15% ABV and it has a higher alcohol content than other wines such as Merlot or Pinot Noir. 

Something that is found in the contents of Malbec is tannins. Tannins are a bitter and astringent chemical compound and they come from the grapes used to make the wine.

The Malbec wine that is made in Argentina is quite heavy in tannin content, so this can make the mouth a bit dry, but US-produced Malbec is a lot more subtle with the tannis, so it’s usually smoother when you drink it. 

Characteristics Of Malbec

Argentinian Malbec especially is known for its deep and dark inky color. In order for the grapes to grow for this variation of Malbec, they need plenty of sunshine and a dark climate at night. 

The Argentinian Malbec is incredibly unique and popular because it needs such specific conditions for the grapes to grow. It is influenced by many things which include the climate, dirt, production methods, and nutrients. 

Though there are other types of Malbecs made in different places, the Argentinian Malbec is so popular because the conditions in which it is grown and made give it such a unique flavor. 

Other characteristics of Malbec that deserve a mention are of course the notes of spice that it carries, as well as blackberries, plum, and black cherry.

All of these beautiful flavors complement each other perfectly to create a rich and wonderfully textured Malbec wine. 

Malbec Taste Profile

The taste of Malbec wine actually varies from country to country because of the different conditions and ways in which it is grown. 

Argentinian Malbec is extremely fruity and has flavors of plum, black cherry, and blackberry.

Depending on how long it took for the oak to age, this type of Malbec will also have a sweet tobacco finish, as well as hints of milk chocolate, leather, cocoa powder, and violet flowers. 

The taste profile of French Malbec is quite a bit different from the Argentinian variation. It is very leathery in taste and has fruity hints of Black plum. Other flavors include tart current and a savory bitterness known as “green”. 

Best Food Pairings For Malbec

A full-bodied Malbec is a wonderful wine to pair with food. It works especially well with rich and strong-flavored meals. 

Some great foods that you should definitely pair Malbec with include steak, poultry, port, and fatty fish, such as salmon. It also works well with lots of rich sauces and foods that have vibrant flavors. 

One thing to note if you do want to pair your food with a nice glass of Malbec is to avoid adding vinegar as a dressing or any bitter vegetables because these types of foods will actually add a metallic or bitter note to the wine and this can essentially ruin the flavor profile of the dish. 

Here is a little breakdown of some of the best wine and food pairings for Malbec: 

  • Cheese – Like most wines, Malbec pairs beautifully with cheese. Some of the best cheeses you can choose include goat’s cheese, blue cheese, manchego, gorgonzola, gouda, and stilton. 
  • Herbs –  Malbec works especially well with green herbs, such as garlic, juniper berry, sage, mint,  rosemary, vanilla bean, and shallots. 
  • Vegetables – Though bitter vegetables can cause the Malbec to taste a bit off, there are some vegetables that work really well with the wine. Some of the best ones include onion, tempeh, beet, potatoes, chard, and mushrooms. 
  • Sauces & Spices – Any sauces that have a rustic, hearty, or barbecue flavor are excellent to pair with Malbec. This wine also works really well with Asian spices. 
  • Meat – As previously mentioned, Malbec works really well with a lot of different meats. Some of the best are steak, poultry, port, and fatty fish, such as salmon. It also works quite well with  venison, ostrich, and bison. 


So in conclusion, yes, Malbec is definitely a dry wine. Just because it’s dry though, that doesn’t take away anything from the flavor. If anything, the dryness actually gives you a better opportunity to enjoy the fruity flavors. 

Try a bottle of Malbec for yourself and see how wonderful it tastes!

Rachel Edwards
Latest posts by Rachel Edwards (see all)