Driest White Wine

What are the Driest White Wine Styles? (Best Bottles, Flavors)

by Elaine Lau

A wine that's dry has little to no sweetness, which makes it a great diet-friendly tipple. 

Dry whites come in a range of styles, and typically have a crisp mouthfeel and delicious flavors.

Let’s discover the 5 driest white wine styles, what makes a white wine dry, the serving and food pairing for these wine labels, and some other interesting facts.

Further reading

Where Does Dryness in White Wine Come From?

Driest White Wine

During fermentation, some of the sugar in the white grapes is converted to alcohol. The amount of sugar left in the final wine (residual sugar) determines its sweetness. 

Dry whites are wines with the lowest sweetness levels and the driest white wine styles have a residual sugar level of less than 4 grams per liter. 

The 5 Driest White Wine Styles (including Wine Recommendations)

The five driest white wine styles are:

1. Sauvignon Blanc

Driest White Wine: Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc has an exquisite fruity flavour profile with distinct grassy hints.

Though originally from the French Bordeaux region, Sauvignon Blanc is a popular white wine grape variety grown worldwide. Loire Valley, California, and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines are some of the driest white wines.

Best bottles:

  • 2018 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($33)
  • 2019 Louis-Benjamin - Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fume Silex ($217)

2. Chardonnay

Driest White Wine: Chardonnay

Chardonnay wine is one of the most famous dry whites next to Sauvignon Blanc and has a rich flavor profile with hints of peach and apple. 

There are two types of Chardonnay: 

  • Unoaked Chardonnay: This wine is refreshing with savory and citrusy notes. 
  • Oaked Chardonnay: This Chardonnay style undergoes malolactic fermentation and ages in oak barrels where it develops buttery flavors and a creamy texture. 

Best bottles:

  • 2017 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru ($1,034)
  • 2019 Aubert Wines Eastside Vineyard Chardonnay ($198)

3. Albarino

Driest White Wine: Albarino

Albarino is a dry white native to Spain. The Albarino grape gives the wine a delicate fruit flavor and opulent citrus aromas. It is also an essential ingredient in the Portuguese Vinho Verde wine. 

Best bottles:

  • 2018 Bodegas y Vinedos Attis 'Attis Mar' Albarino ($103)
  • 2018 Raul Perez 'Sketch' Blanco ($100)

4. Muscadet

Driest White Wine: Muscadet

The French Muscadet is knwon as the driest white wine. It has intense minerality and a bone-dry, tropical fruit palate. The wine is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape and has high acidity.

Best bottles:

  • 2015 Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie Cuvee Taurus ($47)
  • 2014 Andre-Michel Bregeon Muscadet Sur Lie Reserve ($39)

5. Gruner Veltliner

Austria Wine Region

Gruner Veltliner is an Austrian wine commonly produced in Eastern Europe. This full-bodied wine is packed with lemon, stone fruit, and lime tasting notes with a spice-driven flavor profile.

Best bottles:

  • 2018 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Gruner Veltliner Smaragd ($222)
  • 2018 Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Honivogl Gruner Veltliner Smaragd ($103)

9 Other Dry Wine Styles (and Best Bottles to Buy)

Here are some other dry wine styles you can choose from:

1. Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko Vineyard

Assyrtiko is the most famous Greek wine. It is available in both dry and sweet wine styles. The Assyrtiko grape produces savory, dry wines with coffee, fig, and kirsch tasting notes, and soft tannin levels.

Best bottles:

  • 2018 Domaine Sigalas 'Epta - Seven' Assyrtiko ($173)
  • 2017 Pure Santorini ($56)

2. Sancerre


Sancerre is a French wine region that produces dry, acidic Sauvignon Blanc wines. The Sancerre wine has a distinct citrus fruit flavor and opulent floral fragrance.

Best bottles:

  • 2010 Louis-Benjamin - Didier Dagueneau Sancerre 'Le Mont Damne' ($199)
  • 2016 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre 'Edmond' ($80)

3. Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a French grape variety that produces sweet, sparkling, and dry wine styles. The Chenin Blanc wines have a great flavor concentration, bright acidity, and an opulent tropical fruit aroma bouquet. 

Chenin Blanc is often blended with the Chardonnay grape variety and Torrontes to produce light, delicate wines.

Best bottles:

  • 2018 Richard Leroy Anjou Blanc Les Rouliers ($321)
  • 2015 Alheit Vineyards 'Radio Lazarus' ($102)

4. Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer Grapes

The Gewurztraminer grape variety is mostly grown in France, Germany, and the US. The flavorful grape lends the wine a great fragrant aroma, low tannin levels, and a rich stone fruit and spice flavor.

Best bottles:

  • 2012 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain ($105)
  • 2019 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Goldert ($73)

5. Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)

Pinot Grigio wine

Though native to the vineyards of Burgundy, the Pinot Grigio grape is grown in almost all wine regions. It produces both a dry and sweet white wine style, and boasts of spicy aromas and fruity flavor notes - a treat for wine lovers!

Best bottles:

  • 2002 Domaine Ostertag Pinot Gris Muenchberg 'A360P' ($143)
  • 2011 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain ($132)

6. Riesling

JJ Prum Riesling

Riesling is a famous German wine available in a variety of styles. Dry Riesling has rich citrus, lanolin, and wax flavour notes, crisp acidity, and medium body.

Best bottles:

  • 2016 F E Trimbach Riesling Clos Sainte Hune ($249)
  • 2020 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Riesling Smaragd ($217)

7. Torrontes

Torrontes Vines

The Torrontes wine comes from Argentina and is produced as Torrontes Sanjuanino, Torrontes Mendocino and Torrontes Riojano. The dry style offers a spicy, citrus flavour profile offset by fresh white flower aromas.

Best bottles:

  • 2020 Dominio del Plata Susana Balbo Signature Barrel Fermented Torrontes ($28)
  • 2019 Passionate Wine Ineditos - Via Revolucionaria Torrontes Brutal ($28)

8. Viognier


Viognier is a Rhone wine with a fruity palate that reveals apricot and peach hints. It is often blended with Syrah (red wine) to produce delicious red blends and it also produces savory single varietal dry whites. 

Best bottles:

  • 2018 Chateau Grillet Condrieu La Carthery ($226)
  • 2017 M. Chapoutier Condrieu Coteaux de Chery ($215)

9. Semillon


Semillon is used to produce various dry white (mostly in Australia) and dessert wine blends (Sauternes.) Well-structured Semillon dry whites are barrel-aged, with low sweetness, and present fruit and spice tasting notes. 

The driest Semillon wines are a blend with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle which lend the wine more body.

Best bottles:

Driest White Wine: Serving and Best Food Pairings

Dry white wine with assorted food

The driest white wine is best served chilled to about 7 to 10 degrees Celsius. The dry whites with more body and oaky character can be served at 10 to 13 degrees Celsius.

Dry white wines complement a range of foods:

  • Sauvignon Blanc: Dry Sauvignon Blanc is ideal for vegetables, salads, and dishes with strong herbal flavors.
  • Chardonnay: Oaky dry whites like Chardonnay wine work well with rich foods like Alfredo pasta and lobster with butter sauce. 
  • Pinot Grigio: The fruity palate of Pinot Grigio works great with delicate and lightly flavored food like shellfish.
  • Albarino: Savory whites like Albarino complementraw fish like Japanese sashimi.
  • Riesling, Moscato, Viognier, Gewurztraminer: This class of whites is great when paired with spicy Asian cuisine dishes.
  • Champagne and sparkling wine: Sparkling wine styles are best suited when drunk with salty or umami flavored dishes.

Other Interesting Facts About Dry White Wines

Dry white wine

Here are some other interesting facts about dry whites:

How many calories are in a glass of dry white wine?

A standard glass of dry white wine with 10% alcohol contains about 100 calories, with 85 calories from the alcohol and 15 from the carbs in the wine.

Which dry white wine to cook with?

You can use any dry white wine for cooking, and popular choices include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and dry Sherry. 

How to tell if your white wine is dry?

Usually the higher the alcohol content, the drier the white wine since there is less residual sugar (which means more sugar is converted into alcohol during fermentation.) 

Get a Bottle of the Driest White Wine for Your Next Dinner Party

Dry white wine

There is a diverse selection of the driest white wine labels, and you can easily pick a delicious, layered one that catches your fancy. 

If you prefer to build a portfolio of investment-worthy white wines, check out the Vinovest platform. It is the smartest way to buy, store, and sell authentic fine wine from around the world.

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