Want to know all about dry white wines and the best ones to buy in 2020?
Dry white wine is an ingredient that adds flavor to the blandest of dishes. Despite the lack of sweetness, its high acidity and citrus fruit flavors make it a perfect drink all year round!
In this article, discover all you need to know about dry white wine - from unoaked Chardonnay to Albarino. Explore the grape varieties, how to use it for cooking and pair it with food, and the best dry white wines to buy for your wine cellar.
We’ll also show you a hassle-free way to buy the best dry whites from anywhere in the world!
This Article Contains
- Food Pairing With Dry White Wine
- Best Dry White Wines 2020 from Across the Globe (Including Prices, Tasting Notes)
- 2003 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
- 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA
- 2016 Coche-Dury Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru, France
- 2012 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Astéroïde, Loire, France
- 2017 Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese Trocken, Mosel, Germany
- 2010 Emmanuel Houillon - Pierre Overnoy Arbois-Pupillin Chardonnay, Jura, France
- 1904 Leacock's Sercial Solera, Madeira, Portugal
- 2018 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Austria
- 2016 Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France
- 2014 Groot Constantia Grand Constance Muscat, Constantia, South Africa
What are Dry White Wines?
A dry white is any white wine that is not sweet. Some typical dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Pinot Grigio, and Gruner Veltliners.
So, what is the difference between dry and sweet wines?
Let’s look into their winemaking processes.
During malolactic fermentation, the sugar in the grapes is converted to alcohol. If the winemaker stops the process before the fermentation is completed, the wine is left with residual sugar (RS).
This residual sugar gives a natural sweetness to the wine.
A wine with less than 10 grams of residual sugar is considered dry, and above 30 grams is regarded as sweet wine or a dessert wine.
Dry White Wine Grapes
Here are some of the grapes used to make dry white wine.
1. Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape known for its citric flavors and high acidity. It also gives off notes of herbs, grass, gooseberries, and bell peppers.
Fun Fact: Sauvignon Blanc was accidentally blended with Cabernet Franc, giving birth to the red wine grape Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sauvignon Blanc is most widely grown in the Loire region in France. Red wine from Sauvignon Blanc is produced all over the world - in the USA, New Zealand, France, Italy, South Africa, and Chile.
A white aromatic grape of German origin, Riesling is a key ingredient in both dry and sweet white wines. It has intense floral aromas and high acidity, and is dry on the palate.
The versatile Riesling is used to produce a wide range of white wines, including dry Riesling wines like Ice Wine (Eiswein), Trockenbeerenauslese, Beerenauslese, Grosses Gewächs, Alsace Grand Cru, and Wachau Smaragd.
Germany produces 59% of the Riesling grapes in the world, followed by the USA, France, and Austria.
Often associated with Chablis, Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wine grapes. It is often described as chalky and is famous for its earthy aromas.
Some of the most notable Chardonnay wines are Chablis, white Burgundy, Champagne, and Italian Franciacorta.
While Chardonnay is primarily grown in Burgundy in France, the USA, Australia, and Italy are also some of the grape’s major producers.
4. Pinot Blanc
Pinot Blanc is a key ingredient in dry white wines due to its high acidity. Often compared to Chardonnay, Pinot blanc has sour cherry and citrus flavors. It is often blended with Chardonnay to produce sparkling wine.
Germany, Italy, France, and Austria are the primary producers of this grape variety.
5. Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris
The Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris grape variety is widely used in Italy to produce Frizzante (semi-sparkling) and Spumante (sparkling) wines.
Pinot Grigio wine is widely produced in the Italian wine regions of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige, Oregon in the US, and Alsace in France.
A light-skinned white grape with steel and apricot aromas, Viognier is widely used to produce France’s vintage wines. Its origin traces back to Croatia in France.
Fun fact: Viognier is the only permitted grape in the French wine Condrieu made in the Rhone Valley!
Apart from France, Viognier wine is made in the USA, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina.
7. Grüner Veltliner
An indigenous grape of Austria, Gruner Veltliner, is famous for producing crisp and spicy dry white wines. This grape variety’s dominant flavors are lime, lemon, and grapefruit with a hint of white pepper.
Smaragds from Wachau are well-known Gruner Veltliner wines.
Around 94% of Gruner Veltliner grapes are produced in Austria. The rest are made in Italy, the US, New Zealand, Germany, and Australia.
Semillon is a golden-skinned grape often used as a blending partner with Sauvignon Blanc to produce varietal wines. It adds fruity flavors to the wine, and is widely used as a blending grape with Sauvignon Blanc.
Semillon is widely produced in France, Australia, the USA, and South Africa.
9. Albarino (Alvarinho)
The medium-high acidity and citric flavor of Albarino grapes makes excellent dry white wines. Albarino wines have a slightly bitter taste of green almonds, which is often dominated by the citric notes.
Albarino grapes are widely grown in Spain and Portugal, with Rías Baixas and Vinho Verde being the most popular Albarino wines.
10. Melon de Bourgogne
Melon de Bourgogne is a grape used in Muscadet wines. It lends lightness and crisp acidity to the Muscadet wines. You’ll enjoy its fruity flavors, including lemon, lime, green apple, and pear.
Melon de Bourgogne is mostly grown in the Loire Valley region of France.
Widely used in the dry white wines of Argentina, Torrontes produces fresh and aromatic wines. Wine drinkers love it for its distinct peach and apricot aromas on the nose, and its smooth texture on the palate.
It is widely grown in the La Rioja and Salta regions of northern Argentina.
Dry White Wines Used in Cooking
Dry white wines can be used in many of your favorite recipes - from creamy sauces to meat dishes.
Only remember to use non-reactive metal cookware like stainless steel to cook with wine.
What are the dry white wines used in cooking?
Types of Dry White Wines Used in Cooking
Here are some of our favorite dry white wines that you can use in cooking.
1. Crisp White Wine
Wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and unoaked Chardonnay make a great ingredient in cooking due to their moderate alcohol content and high acidity.
Oaked Chardonnay imparts sweet flavors of vanilla and caramel. So, it is perfect for cooking creme desserts.
2. Dry Sherry
Dry Sherry cooking wine is great for deglazing. That’s why they are perfect for cooking soups, chicken, or even sauteed vegetables.
3. Dry Marsala
Dry Marsala imparts complex flavors to any dish. Cooking it with chicken and veal adds a little spice and distinct nutty flavors to the dish.
4. Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wines like Chenin blanc, Champagne, and Moscato can add a little sweetness and acidity to a dish. You can use it for making creme dishes as well as pork, lamb, and turkey.
The good old Madeira is well-known for adding spicy, earthy flavors to dishes. It is best used to make sauces and dips, but you can also use it for cooking beef and veal.
Food Pairing with Dry White Wine
Pair your flavor filled dry whites with fish, meat, or even a salad. You can also have them with cream sauce and dips. Dry whites like Viognier are best served with seafood.
Try to avoid serving dry whites with soft cheese. Instead, serve it with dry red wine or wines with high amounts of residual sugar.
Best Dry White Wines 2020 from Across the Globe (Including Prices, Tasting Notes)
Here are some of our suggestions for dry white wines.
1. 2003 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France
This is winemaker DRC’s dry white wine made from the Chardonnay grape in the Montrachet grand cru vineyard in the Côte de Beaune appellation, Burgundy.
This Chardonnay wine is known for its citrus notes, with a hint of pineapple, spices, and oaky notes. The high acidity gives it a refreshing flavor.
Average price of 2003 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France: $8,236
2. 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA
Screaming Eagle winery makes some of USA’s most expensive wines.
This white wine offers classic citrus flavors of Sauvignon Blanc. It has very little residual sugar that gives it a crisp body. And the high acidity makes it a little drying on the palate.
Average price of 2014 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc, Oakville, USA: $7,051
3. 2016 Coche-Dury Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru, France
Another dry white wine from Burgundy, this Chardonnay comes from the Meursault Perrier appellation. The producer, Coche Dury, also produces sought-after Pinot Noir wines.
It has fresh lime flavors, balanced by a hint of pear and sweet spices. This Premier Cru wine has medium-high acidity making it perfect with chicken and turkey.
Average price of 2016 Coche-Dury Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru, France: $2,656
4. 2012 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Astéroïde, Loire, France
Made in the Loire Valley wine region, this Pouilly-Fume is a classic Sauvignon Blanc wine.
The dryness of medium-high acidity is balanced by plum and spices. The dominant flavors are lemon juice and yellow apple. This wine is best served with chicken and fish.
Average price of 2012 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fume Asteroide, Loire, France: $1,607
5. 2017 Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese Trocken, Mosel, Germany
This Riesling wine is made in the Bernkastel appellation of Mosel, Germany.
This German wine has excellent aging potential. It has the classic Riesling taste of citrus fruits, white peach, and high acidity on the palate. It is a highly aromatic wine and is known for its floral aromas.
Average price of 2017 Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese Trocken, Mosel, Germany: $1,918
6. 2010 Emmanuel Houillon - Pierre Overnoy Arbois-Pupillin Chardonnay, Jura, France
is, without a doubt, a popular of France. This dry white wine is made using the Chardonnay white wine grape in the Arbois-Pupillin appellation of Jura, France.
It has classic Chardonnay flavors of lemon and pineapple, and hints of spices and herbs. It is a dry wine with moderate acidity and alcohol level. It is best served with risotto.
Average price of 2010 Emmanuel Houillon - Pierre Overnoy Arbois-Pupillin Chardonnay, Jura, France: $581
7. 1904 Leacock's Sercial Solera, Madeira, Portugal
John Leacock’s dry white wine is one of the most sought-after wines in the world.
Made from the Sercial grape, this Madeira ages well to produce nutty flavors, predominantly almonds. The wine also has overtones of oak barrel aging.
Average price of 1904 Leacock's Sercial Solera, Madeira, Portugal: $699
8. 2018 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Austria
If you are a dry white wine lover, then this Gruner Veltliner is a must-try. It is made in Wachau - a small wine region in Austria, famous for producing some of the country’s best white wines.
This Austrian wine is made from the Gruner Veltliner grape, indigenous to the country. It offers dominant fruity flavors of yellow fruits that go best with meat dishes or pasta.
Average price of 2018 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Gruner Veltliner Smaragd: $181
9. 2016 Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France
This white wine is created in the Pessac Leognan appellation located on the outskirts of Bordeaux. A Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend, this dry white wine has the characteristics of both.
On the nose, it gives off a dominant aroma of peach. On the palate, we get hints of vanilla and citrus fruits with a subtle minerality.
Average price of 2016 Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac Leognan, France: $1,004
10. 2014 Groot Constantia Grand Constance Muscat, Constantia, South Africa
Although Constantia is famous for its dessert wines, it does produce some of the best dry white wines as well.
Made from the Muscat grape variety, this wine has rich floral aromas, and notes of orange and lemon. This wine is perfect to be consumed with spicy foods.
Average price of 2014 Groot Constantia Grand Constance Muscat, Constantia, South Africa: $205
Now, for the most important question:
How do you buy the best dry white wine?
Figuring out the best dry white wine to buy is a tough task considering the number of styles available from all over the world.
Moreover, you will also have to build a suitable wine storage set up in your home, take care of insurance in case of damages, and risk buying a counterfeit bottle.
Facebook’s targeted advertising may give you thousands of suggestions, but you need expert advice.
Here’s the easiest way to buy dry white wine.
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Dry white wines are great for cooking and for enjoying a sip on a warm afternoon. Dry whites with high acidity and moderate alcohol levels, like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, have a great aging potential of around 20 years making them equally popular among wine investors as well.
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