So, as all people with excellent taste, you have a penchant for a glass of dry white wine with your evening meal.
But do you know what makes a white wine dry?
And all the different types of dry white wine that are out there?
Let’s take your knowledge of dry white wine for spin, shall we?
Listen to this post here:
What Makes White Wine Dry?
First things first, what makes a white wine dry?
Dry, in wine terms, means the opposite of sweet.
So in order for a white wine to be considered dry it has to have a complete absence of residual sugar.
Simply put, the less sweet the wine, the drier it is considered to be.
Let’s take a look at this dryness chart below, and remember, the less dry they rank on the chart the sweeter the wine will be.
14 White Wines By Dryness
Here's a list of 14 of the Driest White Wines:
|1||Assyrtiko||Dry wine from Santorini, Greece.|
|2||Melon de Bourgogne||Dry grape used in French Muscadet.|
|3||Sauvignon Blanc||Dry white wine grown worldwide, especially in France and New Zealand.|
|4||Gruner Veltliner||Dry Austrian white wine with grapefruit and white pepper notes.|
|5||Chenin Blanc||Dry South African white wine (styles may vary).|
|6||Pinot Grigio||Mostly dry, but can have a touch of sweetness if from France as Pinot Gris.|
|7||Semillon||Dry Bordeaux white when blended with Sauvignon Blanc; used in Sauternes dessert wine.|
|8||Albarino||Dry white grape from Spain with notes of nectarines and peaches.|
|9||Chardonnay||Versatile dry white wine known for its accessibility.|
|10||Viognier||Highly aromatic dry white wine with perfume-like qualities.|
|11||Torrontes||Aromatic dry white wine from Argentina.|
|12||Riesling||Comes in various sweetness levels, dry examples available (check label or ask sommelier).|
|13||Gewurztraminer||Perfumed grape, tends to be off-dry but delightful to taste.|
|14||Muscat||Softly sweet and refreshing white wine, perfect for a palate cleanser.|
Native to Santorini, the dreamy island in Greece, wine doesn’t get as dry, or as reminiscent of the sea, as this.
2. Melon de Bourgogne
Used to make the deliciously dry French Muscadet, this grape makes zesty, citrus, bone-dry white wines that go perfectly with fish.
3. Sauvignon Blanc
Grown with great success all over the world, but especially in France and New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc is a fan favourite dry white wine.
4. Gruner Veltliner
This Austrian grape has notes of bright grapefruit and white pepper, and is a gorgeous dry white wine to boot.
5. Chenin Blanc
Now this grape can come in lots of different styles, so make sure to read the label, but when grown in South Africa it makes a dry white wine worth seeking out.
6. Pinot Grigio
Most Pinot Grigio is very dry, but it's worth knowing that when grown in France as Pinot Gris this grape can come with a touch of residual sweetness.
When used in Sauternes this grape makes some of the most luxurious dessert wine around.
For dry examples of the grape look out for Bordeaux whites where it’s blended with Sauvignon Blanc.
Think juicy nectarines and soft peach and you’ve got the tasting notes of this dry to off-dry white grape from Spain.
Chardonnay can really do anything it puts its mind to, include being an incredibly accessible dry white wine.
One of the most aromatic dry white wines, Viognier tastes and smells like the best perfume money can buy.
Another example of an aromatic and dry white grape, this time from sunny Argentina.
The wine lover’s delight.
Riesling comes in every scale of sweetness imaginable, so look out for the dry indicators on the label (or ask the sommelier!)
Think Turkish delight and lychee, this perfumed grape tends to come off-dry, but is so delightful it’s worth seeking out if you come across it.
Palate need a little break from all of this dry wine?
Muscat is your friend here, making softly sweet and beautifully refreshing white wines.
So what determines the levels of dryness and sweetness in a white wine?
Dryness and Sweetness In White Wine Grapes
Simply put, the more sugar present in the grape when it is picked the higher the chance there will be sugar left over once fermentation has finished.
So grapes with lots of sugar will lead to wines with tangible tastes of sugar too!
Grapes with less sugar present will likely lead to quite dry white wines once the fermentation process has finished.
So what’s the actual difference between a dry and a sweet wine?
Difference Between Sweet and Dry Wines
The only difference between a sweet white wine and a dry white wine is the presence of sugar.
Dry white wines refer to wines with a complete and utter absence of sugar, not a drop of the sweet stuff to be found.
Sweet wines, on the other hand, will have lots of delicious residual sugar on the palate.
But does all of this affect the serving suggestions of dry white wine?
Serving Dry White Wines
How do you serve dry white wine?
Cold is perhaps the best answer here.
Dry white wines will need to be well chilled to compliment the acidity and flavours that come with it.
Serving temperatures may vary on personal preference here, but aim for well chilled, around 6-8°C (42-47°F) should do the trick.
And what about food pairings?
Best Food Pairings For Dry White Wine
What are the best food pairings for dry white wine?
The best food pairings for your favourite dry wines are whatever foods you enjoy eating but if you want to eat and drink like a sommelier then there are a few suggestions.
Think of dishes that will benefit from good levels of crisp, acidity such as:
- Delicate fish dishes
- Creamy risottos
- and Citrus based salads
Frequently Ask Questions About Dry White Wines
Here are some of the questions about dry white wine we get asked the most:
Whats The Most Dry White Wine?
Which white wine is the driest of them all?
Muscadet, Assyrtiko and Sauvignon Blanc are all going to be competing for the gold here, as some of the driest white wines available today.
How Many Calories Are In A Glass of Dry White Wine?
One large glass of white wine, so a 250ml serving, comes in at around 226 calories per portion.
Although this will vary depending on the specific wine in question.
Which Dry White Wine To Cook With?
Whichever your heart desires!
All dry white wines will bring wonderful elements to the dishes they’re added to.
So use whatever you have at hand, although Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are popular choices.
How To Tell If You White Wine Is Dry?
There are two ways to tell if the wine is dry.
Either check the label or ask the person selling you and if all else fails, take a sip and see how your taste buds react!
What Is The Best Glass For Dry White Wine?
A universal wine glass works wonders here, the shape designed to bring the best out of your glass.
Always opt for a stem when you can.
Stemless glasses mean the wine will warm up slowly in your hands, which is to be avoided at all costs with white wine.
Is Pinot Grigio Drier Than Chardonnay?
Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay actually have similar levels of dryness, but due to Pinot Grigio’s ripe fruit and aromatic nature it may feel slightly sweeter to drink.
Which White Wine Is The Sweetest?
Dessert wines aside, which is a whole other world of sweet, Moscato is perhaps the sweetest style of white wine, and all the more delicious for it.
Why Does Dry Wine Dry Out Your Mouth?
There are no tannins present in white wine, so any feeling of dryness may be down to the searing acidity or the crisp nature of dry white wines.
Try and ask for a white wine with lots of acidity and good flavour to compensate for the dry feelings in your mouth when drinking.
Before You Go...
We hope you enjoyed our article on dry white wines.
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