Dry Wine: Red, White & Sparkling, Best Bottles to Buy 2024

by Anthony Zhang

Wondering what makes a wine dry and which bottles to buy? 

Dry wine is simply a term used to indicate a wine’s sweetness levels. Depending on their tipple of choice, you can find red, white, and sparkling dry wines, each with a distinct flavor profile.

So, let’s uncover everything about dry wine, including its different styles, characteristics, best bottles, and the ideal food to pair with it.

Further reading

How Is Dry Wine Made and What Does It Taste Like?


Dry wine is a wine type with little to no residual sugar. During fermentation, the natural sugar in the grape juice is converted to alcohol. The longer the fermentation, the more residual sugar is converted into alcohol, and the wine becomes drier.

Depending on their sugar content, these wines can be:

  • Dry wine: Wine with less than 4 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • Medium dry wine: Wine with 12 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • Semi-dry or Off dry wine: Wine with 10 to 30 grams of sugar per liter

There are also a few misconceptions associated with dry wines:

Now, dry wines can be red, white, and sparkling. Natural wine, made with minimal intervention, is also available in dry styles and is increasing in popularity.

Let’s take a look at each of these wine styles, along with their tasting notes, and wine recommendations.

Dry red wines can be both sweet and savory. If you prefer sweeter wines, you can choose Port or Sherry - two great sweet red wine options. 

Dry red wines undergo malolactic fermentation during winemaking which enhances their complexity. 

Some prominent dry reds include:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Merlot
  3. Pinot Noir
  4. Syrah
  5. Malbec
  6. ​​Tempranillo
  7. ​​Sangiovese
  8. Grenache
  9. Black Muscat
  10. Touriga Nacional

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape was first created by crossing Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc

This bold and tannic red wine is one of the most famous reds. It offers a tantalizing bouquet of cedar, cassis, and tobacco and the taste of herbs, olive, vanilla, and black cherry.


The 2015 Shafer Vineyards 'Premiere Napa Valley' Sunspot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($1,280) is an excellent choice.

2. Merlot

Though Merlot has lower tannin levels than Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a great dry wine with deep chocolate, cherry, and raspberry fruit flavor notes. It is available in both dry and fruity sweet red wine styles.


An excellent dry Merlot red wine to try is a bottle of the 2015 Masseto Toscana IGT ($1,134). 

3. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine from Burgundy, France, but Oregon and California in the United States produce some exquisite New World styles. The wine presents an exceptional earthy taste of tobacco, mushroom, and cherry.


The 2013 Domaine Leroy Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru ($10,781) is an outstanding dry Pinot Noir.

4. Syrah

Syrah is a versatile dry wine with medium to high acidity that boasts a savory taste of spice, dark fruit, and plum. 


Enjoy the beautiful 2015 E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne ($453) for a complete dry red wine experience.

5. Malbec

Malbec is a popular dry red in the United States, Argentina, and France. The sumptuous palate consists of coffee, leather, and pepper notes. Malbec is also available as a crisp rose wine


One of the best dry Malbec wines is the 2017 Familia Zuccardi 'Finca Piedra Infinita' Gravascal ($206).

6. ​​Tempranillo

​​The Tempranillo wine grapes are grown in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Australia, and the United States. 

Tempranillo is a dry red wine similar to Cabernet Sauvignon. It has dried fig, tomato, and cherry flavors offset by an aromatic cedar and vanilla bouquet. 


The 2019 Artadi Vina El Pison ($305) is an exquisite dry Tempranillo wine for you to try.

7. ​​Sangiovese

​​Sangiovese is a dry red wine also available in sweet and semi-sweet styles. Dry ​​Sangiovese flavors include cherry, plum, and strawberry. Chianti is a ​​Sangiovese dominant (80%) Tuscan dry red blend with dried oregano, sour cherry, and espresso notes.


Sample the 2015 Casanova di Neri Cerretalto ($353) for a classic dry red wine experience.

8. Grenache

The medium-bodied Grenache is most popular in France, Italy, Spain, and the United States. It’s packed with dark berry, raspberry, and anise notes.


The 2016 Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Manyes ($497) is an outstanding dry red Grenache option.

9. Black Muscat

Black Muscat is a light red dry wine with delicious floral aromas and savory spice, blackberry, and strawberry flavors. It is produced as a dry wine in Eastern Europe and as a dessert wine in France.


An intense savory dry red is the 2020 Herzog Wine Cellars 'Baron Herzog' Black Muscat ($15).

10. Touriga Nacional

Touriga Nacional is a dry red wine from Portugal that presents a lavender and violet bouquet balanced by forest fruit and chocolate tasting notes.


The 2015 Quinta de la Rosa 'Vale do Inferno' ($58) is a remarkable Portuguese dry red.

11 Enticing DryWhite Wine Styles

White wines are usually dry with floral and citrus notes. Some of the best dry whites in the world are:

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Sauvignon Blanc
  3. Albarino
  4. Muscadet
  5. Torrontes
  6. Pinot Blanc
  7. Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)
  8. Viognier
  9. Gruner Veltliner
  10. Gewurztraminer
  11. Riesling

1. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a crisp and lean dry white with the taste of tropical fruit, flint, and apple. Oak barrel-aged Chardonnay has dominant toast and vanilla flavors, while unoaked Chardonnays, like Chablis, offer citrus and tropical fruit notes.


The 2015 Peter Michael 'Point Rouge' Chardonnay ($489) is a great dry Chardonnay.

2. Sauvignon Blanc

This is the driest white wine you’ll encounter. It has an intense herb, grass, and fruit flavor. Sauvignon Blanc’s lean character is ideal for both drinking and cooking.


Savor a fantastic dry fruity wine with the 2016 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux ($336).

3. Albarino

Albarino or Alvarhino is the driest white wine from Spain that presents mesmerizing lemon, grapefruit, and salt notes with a magnificent spice aroma. 


An excellent dry, fruity wine is the 2017 Martin Codax Gallaecia Albarino ($43).

4. Muscadet

Muscadet is a dry white wine made using the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. The wine produced from these unique wine grapes is light-bodied with an intense minerality, spicy aroma, and beautiful tangy citrus notes.


The 1964 Le Petit Fiacre Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ($54) is a great dry Muscadet white to try.

5. Torrontes

This is a remarkable South American dry white wine with fragrant rose, lemon zest, and peach tasting notes.


The 2011 Dominio del Plata Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes ($38) is an exceptional dry Torrontes wine.

6. Pinot Blanc

The medium-bodied dry white Pinot Blanc is famous in Germany, Italy, Austria, and France. It is similar in character to Chardonnay with balanced acidity and almond, spice, and apple flavors.


For a unique dry white, get your hands on a bottle of the 2017 Domaine Henri Gouges La Perriere Blanc ($131). 

7. Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)

Dry Pinot Grigio wines are crisp with light fruity citrus notes. They have deep minerality and balanced acidity. But the Pinot Grigio from Alsace in France is usually produced as a sweet wine style.


The 2013 Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio Friuli Isonzo ($74) is a wonderful dry Italian Pinot Grigio wine.

8. Viognier

Dry Viognier presents a vibrant fruity palate of honeysuckle, peach, and apricot notes with jasmine and spring blossom aromas.


The 2018 M. Chapoutier Condrieu Coteaux de Chery ($232) bottle is a fantastic dry Viognier wine.

9. Gruner Veltliner

This is an exquisite Austrian dry white wine with peach, spice, and pepper notes. The ripe Gruner Veltliner grape variety yields wines with dominant peach flavors, while those harvested before ripening produce more citrusy wines.


Checkout the remarkable 2018 F.X. Pichler 'Unendlich' Gruner Veltliner Smaragd ($487) for a one of a kind dry Gruner Veltliner white.

10. Gewurztraminer

The German Trocken and Halbtrocken wine styles of Gewurztraminer are dry, savory wines. The flavor profile includes lychee, grapefruit, and peach notes.


 The 2008 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Hengst Selection de Grains Nobles ($120) is a fantastic dry Gewurztraminer wine.

11. Riesling

Riesling is a dry white produced predominantly in Germany and France (Alsace.) The wine has great minerality, high acidity, and a vibrant palate comprised of pear, apple, and apricot notes.


For a wonderful German Riesling, try a bottle of the 2010 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese ($534) wine.

Dry Sparkling Wine Styles

Sparkling wine comes in different styles like Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and more. Most dry sparkling wines have mild salinity, subtle minerality, and enchanting citrusy flavors.

Based on the wine sweetness levels, they are categorized as:


Try a bottle of the 1998 Boerl & Kroff Brut Millesime ($1,795) to sample a magnificent dry Champagne wine. 

For a bubbly other than Champagne, go for the 2016 Ultramarine Sparkling Blanc de Blancs ($225), an impressive dry sparkling wine from California.

Best Food Pairings for Dry Wines


Dry red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon complement red meat, like beef, lamb, ahi tuna, roast chicken, and rich sauces.

The best dry white wines, like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, work excellently with salad, vegetables, light fish like halibut, and dishes with solid herb notes.

Toasty Chardonnay wines pair well with rich foods like lobster and cheesy pasta

Savory, acidic white wines like Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, and Torrontes are great companions to spicy Asian dishes.

While Pinot Gris complements delicate foods like shellfish, a wine glass of the saline Albarino is good with raw fish (sashimi.)

Sparkling wines like dry Champagne are best when paired with umami or salty flavors.

Now, how do you buy the finest dry wines for your collection?

Invest in the Finest Wine Bottles Through Vinovest

Visit the Vinovest website right away. This AI-powered platform makes it super-easy for you to buy, store, and sell wines from any part of the world. Here’s how it works:

  • Complete a questionnaire to help the Vinovest team build a portfolio matching your investing goals.
  • Fund your account. (Vinovest has four investment tiers starting from $1,000.)
  • Vinovest’s master sommeliers (aided by their investment models) will build a portfolio for you within 2-3 weeks. 
  • Coolest part? You own all the wines in your portfolio. 
  • You can sell your bottles whenever you like. 
  • Vinovest will take care of the insurance and storage.

Get Hold of A Delicious, Age-Worthy Dry Wine Today!

Dry wines have complex flavors and are available in a range of flavor profiles to satisfy every palate. Stock a bottle or two of these exceptional dry wine labels to impress your guests at your next house party!

If you wish to build a portfolio of investment-grade dry wines and other bottles, check out the Vinovest website. It offers a modern, safe way to buy, store, and sell authentic fine wines from around the world.

Start investing in minutes

Open an account, make a deposit, and start growing your wealth.

Start investing