Definition - What does Off-Dry mean?

"Off-dry" is a term used to describe a wine which has a slightly sweet element.

A wine which is describes as off-dry may be one which contains a small amount of residual sugar to give a perceived sweetness or a wine which has been made in such a way that there is no residual sugar, but a sweet element can be noted.

WineFrog explains Off-Dry

There are two types of off-dry wines. The first, is one which contains a measurable amount of sugar which can be detected on the nose or palate. The second is a wine which has been made in such a way that the alcohols or "weight" of the wine has been produced to have a sweet aspect. The latter is a wine which often has lactic acid and/or a significant amount of glycerol in the wine produced during the fermentation process.

In comparison, a "dry" wine is one which has no sugar. An off-dry wine is one which contains a slight amount of sugar. Some producers/countries/regions will note this on their labels. For example, a German or Austrian off-dry wine will be labelled as 'halbtroken', or 'half-dry'.