A dry white wine is a summer favourite around the world. The crisp flavours are best served ice cold, making it a refreshing drink on hot afternoon or evening. Of course, you can enjoy white wines any time of year and you really should. But they are generally known as wines for hot weather.
The best part is that there are a lot of dry white wines out there with an array of flavour profiles. This means that you can find the right choice for your palate, and you can explore a lot of different options within the same range.
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What Is A Dry White Wine?
A dry white wine is classified as containing less than one percent of sugar, which is under four grams of sugar per litre. The dryness of the wine is created in the fermenting process, where the yeast turns the sugars in the grapes into alcohol. Winemakers can also control how much sugar is in the grapes at the start of the winemaking process by timing when they harvest the grapes.
Different types of grapes also have different levels of sugars in them naturally. This is why there are set types of dry white wines that are never made into medium or off-dry versions. It would be too difficult to ensure there is enough sugar in the final product with some grape varieties.
Types Of Dry White Wine
There are a large number of dry white wines available to buy, each with their own flavour profile and quintessential tasting notes. These are the most common ones that you’ll find.
Sauvignon Blanc is often seen as the international standard when it comes to a dry white wine. It is always a crisp wine with a fairly high acidic level. One of the main tasting notes is bell pepper, along with grass and gooseberries. Sauvignon Blanc can be found all over the world, with countries like South Africa, Chile, USA, New Zealand, France and Italy all being big producers.
You get wooded and unwooded chardonnays, and most of them are all very dry. The most common taste profile for a chardonnay is the wooded version, with its strong vanilla accents and citrus notes. Some of the best chardonnays come from Burgundy in France, but you also get great examples of this varietal from the USA and South Africa.
These grapes come from Germany originally and are often used as part of a white wine blend, although you do also get some great standalone Riesling wines. Again, the finished dry wine is usually quite acidic and includes mineral notes, apples and stone fruits as the usual flavour palate. While Germany is still one of the main producers, the USA also makes an array of dry Rieslings and Riesling combinations.
This one is referred to as pinot grigio in Italy, but is also known as pinot gris in other regions like France and the USA. It’s also a grape that can be transformed into a dry or a sweet wine, depending on the process used by the winemaker. As a dry wine, it is generally quite light and crisp with mineral notes.
This grape is always fun to pronounce (vee-oh-nay). It comes from France originally and is now produced all over the world. It’s known for being a very fragrant wine with sweet notes of peaches and honeysuckle. However, the wine itself is still considered dry.
Is Chardonnay A Dry Wine?
Chardonnay is definitely a dry white wine. It is made as either a wooded wine or an unwooded wine, with the former being the most common. The wine is aged in oak barrels, which adds to the flavour profile and lets the earthier vanilla notes sing louder than the tropical fruits and citrus that are also found in a classic chardonnay. How long the wine is aged in oak barrels will determine how wooded it is. If it is only left in the barrels for a short time, the wine is usually a lot fruitier in taste. If it is aged predominantly in the oak barrels, the vanilla and flinty notes will be a lot stronger.
Is Sauvignon Blanc A Dry White Wine?
Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine and is perhaps the most classic option that the whole world thinks of when thinking about a dry white wine. It is produced all over the world, with bottles going for thousands of pounds and others going for only a few pounds. It is an easy-drinking wine that pairs with plenty of lighter dishes – making it a great summer wine.
What Is The Driest Wine?
The driest wine in terms of residual sugar is Assyrtiko from Greece. The grapes are grown largely on the island of Santorini. The dry white wine made from them has an extremely high acidity, making it incredibly crisp and quite refreshing on a hot day. There is also a saline note in the flavour profile, which is unlike anything else on the market.
Melon is another grape varietal that is incredibly dry and possibly a little better known than Assyrtiko. It comes from the Loire Valley in central France and is often referred to as Melon de Bourgogne. It is used in the Muscadet dry white wines.
Best Dry White Wine For Cooking
Whenever it comes to cooking with wine, never use a wine that you wouldn’t drink on its own. Of course, you don’t have to use your best wine in the food, but make sure it’s not something designated as cooking wine. This will not serve your dish well.
Something like a chardonnay or a viognier has a lot of body to it, so these go well in gravy or a cream sauce for a chicken dish. If you’re making a seafood dish, rather try a pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc as they are a little crisper and sharper.
Summer, winter, spring, seafood, sauces or sipping, dry white wine is a bit of an all rounder in just the right way. There are so many wonderful bottles of this wine available, and each offers something special.