Liquor Laboratory

ll logo white
ll logo white

What is the Driest White Wine? 17 Brands Ranked (2024)

What is the Driest White Wine

Wine lovers often use the term “dry” to refer to wines that are not sweet. If you’re the type to prefer dry wine over sweeter wines, there are various types of dry white wines available in the market. 

But really, what is the driest white wine?

So to save you the hassle, we have listed the driest white wines you can find today and ranked them so you can immediately distinguish which suits your style and preference. 

Top 17 Driest White Wines (Ranked) 

17. Melon de Bourgogne

Woman Holding Bottle og Helioterra 2018 Melon de Bourgogne

Average Price: starts at $9 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12% ABV 

Why We Like It: This very dry white wine is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape grown in the Loire Valley and is often regarded as the driest white wine.  

We like the robust grape flavor and the smokey finish of this bone-dry white wine. It is a light-bodied and crisp wine filled with citrus flavors like lime, lemon, and green apples.  

Read: Our Top Wines To Give As Christmas Gifts

16. Riesling

Bottle of Donnhoff Riesling

Average Price: around $34 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12% ABV 

Why We Like It: Riesling is typically a dry white wine, but some variations are semi-sweet to sweet wines. If you want the driest white wines, look for white wines from Alsace. 

We like this dry white wine for its rich stone fruits and balanced acidity. Though this wine is dry, it is not the typical dry wine with little to no sweetness. Riesling is on the medium-dry side. 

15. Gewürztraminer 

Bottle of Willm Gewürztraminer 

Average Price: starts at $8 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV 

Why We Like It: We had off-dry versions of the Gewurztraminer, but drier versions are available. This white wine is very aromatic and has a lot of notes of roses, Turkish delight, passion fruit, and lychee.

Although it is not usually considered a good dry white wine, Gewurztraminer can be enjoyed off-dry. It has a very aromatic scent and is expected to implore a wide range of tastes. 

14. White Port 

Average Price: starts at $9 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 16.5% to 20% ABV 

Why We Like It: White Port [1] is a fortified wine from grapes grown in Portugal’s Douro Valley. We like its vigorous texture, enticing aromas, and green apple hints.  

This dry wine can be used as an aperitif due to its slightly higher residual sugar. This medium-bodied white wine ranges from off-dry to fully sweet styles. 

Actually, white port dry wine is one of the classic wines, along with Pinot Grigio (and Pinot Gris) and Muscadet.  

13. Chenin Blanc

Bottles of  Chenin Blanc Wine

Average Price: starts at $12 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12% ABV 

Why We Like It: Chenin Blanc is a type of dry white wine produced in South Africa that can be made in various styles, which are, most of the time, dry wines and sweet wines.

But the white wine dryness depends on the region where it was produced. Most white wines from Vouvray are medium-sweet, ideal for drinkers who do not like too much sweetness. 

12. Semillon

Average Price: around $35 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12% to 14% ABV 

Why We Like It: In the Bordeaux region, the Semillon grape variety is known for its dry white wine, often blended with Sauvignon Blanc, which makes a sweet wine or dessert wine known as Sauternes.

You will want to opt for the pure Semillon white wine if you want bright acidity rather than the usual sweeter wine. 

But you would want to have the blended Semillion white wine in cocktails to impart fruity flavors. 

11. Sancerre

Sancerre Wine Bottle

Average Price: around $30 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 11.5% to 13.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Sancerre white wine grapes are from the Loire Valley, one of the wine regions where you can also find Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir (a red wine grape variety).  

In fact, Sancerre is where Sauvignon Blanc is textured and leaned from its chalky soils. 

Dry white wines made with Sancerre white grapes are light-bodied, full of tannins, and have high acidity.  

10. Sauvignon Blanc

Bottles of Sauvignon Blanc Wine

Average Price: starts at $19 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular white wine. But Sauvignon Blanc wine is dry, and some are off-dry. 

The French varieties are typically the driest white wine, made from this grape. 

This dry white wine goes well with many food pairings, particularly cheese. Besides, this refreshing wine is known for its herby taste and high acidity. 

9. Chardonnay 

Average Price: starts at $5 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5 % to 14.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Chardonnay [2] is a versatile wine grape variety that adapts to any environment. 

This white wine grape makes oaky, buttery, or dry mineral-taste Chardonnays. 

While Chardonnay is typically a dry white wine, it’s one of the off-dry white wines in Australia. 

We like the smooth blend and floral notes of Chardonnays, plus its natural sugar.  

8. Gruner Veltliner

bottle of winzer krems sandgrube 13 grüner veltliner

Average Price: starts at $13 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: We like this dry white wine from Austria for its spicy and dry characteristics. Gruner Veltliner is perfect for wine lovers looking for an exotic alternative to Sauvignon.

These very dry white wines have a wide range of flavors and aromas, with a smoky texture complementing a variety of taste preferences. 

Since it lacks sweetness, it’s best served chilled. 

7. Viognier 

Average Price: starts at $15 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5 % to 15% ABV 

Why We Like It: It is surprising that Viognier is not a sweet wine, as it has vibrant fruit flavors, like green apple notes. 

So, if you are into fruity wines, you should consider any dry or sweet styles. 

Viognier is one of the driest white wines, though it can also transition to an off-dry label from American producers. Besides, this is a full-bodied white wine.   

6. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Bottle of Pinot Grigio Wine

Average Price: starts at $12 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 11% to 13% ABV 

Why We Like It: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are made from the same wine grape variety, which produces very dry wine styles. 

If you want the driest white wine, opt for the Italian Pinot Grigio, as the French Pinot Gris has some sweet components. 

The good thing for Pinot Grigio and Gris is that these dry white wines are low in calories due to their very little residual sugar content. 

Note: The Residual Sugar or “RS” found in wine is from the natural fermentation process. It’s not caused by the addition of sugar. The more sugar remains in the wine, the more it becomes sweet.

5. Albarino

Bottle of Albanta Albarino Wine

Average Price: around $18 per 750ml

Alcohol Content: 11.5% to 12.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Albarino is a white wine grape variety from Portugal and Spain [3], and based on the white wine dryness chart, it has bone-dry and off-dry characteristics. 

Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased.”

— Ernest Hemingway, American Novelist

This light-bodied wine with refreshing characteristics makes it an ideal choice for sipping. Its light body is perfect for beginners, balancing acidity and natural sugars in one. 

4. Torrontes

Bottle of Norcelo Estate Torrontes

Average Price: starts at $9 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Torrontes is a white wine grape variety from Argentina, which we find aromatic and delicious. It can be very dry or off-dry, and it has crisp acidity. 

This white wine can be very dry, with flavors that include a full-bodied nuttiness and a buttery texture. It pairs well with a rich meal filled with meat and spices.

3. Ice Wine

Bottle of Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine Reserve

Average Price: starts at $11 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 6% ABV 

Why We Like It: This sweet wine is made from grapes that have been frozen. The residual sugar in white wines like this is typically around 180 to 350 grams per liter. 

It is the sweetest wine on this list, so expect more sugar content and high acidity. Besides, the alcohol volume in ice wine is slightly lower than in other dry white wines.   

2. Assyrtiko

Bottle of Assyrtiko by Gaia

Average Price: around $25 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Assyrtiko is typically bone dry. It is made from grapes grown in Greece. This wine exhibits a high acidity level due to its dry texture. 

This is one of the driest white wine styles you can have. But, this dry wine is usually used in Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine. So, it stands for either dry or sweet wine.  

1. Moscato/Muscadet

Bottle of California Roots Moscato Wine

Average Price: starts at $7 per 750ml 

Alcohol Content: 9% to 12% ABV 

Why We Like It: These white wine grapes can create bone-dry white wines. But Muscadet typically makes dry wines wine while Moscato creates semi-dry wines.

Moscato contains more residual sugar than Muscadet, but they are both dry wines, as they lack sweetness compared to red wines or dessert wines, which mostly have significantly more residual sugar. 

*Average prices are based on the suggested retail price, which may vary depending on the store and brand. 

FAQs Related to What is the Driest White Wine

What makes white wines dry?

White wines are considered dry if they lack sweetness since “dry” is the antonym of “sweet.” The amount of sugar in white wines determines their dryness. 

Wines that are dry have undergone the fermentation process using grapes with low sugar content [4]. Some popular dry white varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Moscato, White Port, and Champagne.

What’s the driest white wine for cooking?

The driest white wine for cooking is Pinot Grigio. The crisp and versatile characteristics of white Pinot Grigio make it an ideal choice for cooking. 

The residual sugar of Grigio is less than 1 gram per 5 oz serving. 

Are all white wines supposed to be dry?

White wines are typically dry, but some varieties can produce sweet wines. White wines can have dry to sweet characteristics depending on the grape variety used. 

The fermentation process and how much residual sugar is incorporated dictates the degree of dryness that the wine experiences. 

What Is Considered the Driest White Wine?

Sauvignon Blanc is often regarded as one of the driest white wines due to its crisp acidity and minimal residual sugar content.

Is Sauvignon Blanc the Only Dry White Wine Option?

While Sauvignon Blanc is commonly known for its dryness, other varietals like Albariño, Pinot Grigio, and Grüner Veltliner also offer dry profiles with refreshing acidity.

What Makes a White Wine Dry?

The dryness of white wine is determined by the absence of residual sugar. During the winemaking process, yeast converts grape sugars into alcohol, and in dry wines, most or all of the sugar is fermented, resulting in a lower sugar content.

Can the Region of Origin Affect the Dryness of White Wine?

Yes, the climate and winemaking techniques of the region can influence the dryness of white wine. Cooler climates tend to produce wines with higher acidity and drier profiles, while warmer regions may yield wines with more residual sugar.

How Can I Identify a Dry White Wine?

Look for terms like “dry,” “brut,” or “sec” on the label, indicating low residual sugar. Additionally, wines from cooler regions or certain grape varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño are typically drier in taste.

Are Dry White Wines Always Light in Body?

Not necessarily. While many dry white wines are light-bodied and crisp, some varietals like Chardonnay can also be dry while exhibiting a fuller body and creamy texture.

Can Dry White Wines Pair Well with Food?

Absolutely! Dry white wines’ crisp acidity and lack of sweetness make them versatile for food pairing. They often complement lighter dishes like seafood, salads, poultry, and cheeses.

Final Say

Wine drinkers like light-bodied and crisp white wines are usually satisfied by dry white varieties. These typically have high acidity with a very refreshing finish. 

So, we highly recommend Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato/Muscadet, and Gruner Veltliner in this consideration. 

Dry whites are versatile; you can pair them with various food, particularly seafood and pasta dishes. 

Some premium varieties we recommend include Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. These are ideal for picnics and special occasions, as well. 

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/port-wine 
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/5-things-to-know-about-chardonnay-the-worlds-most-popular-white-wine/2019/07/26/eed6635c-ad55-11e9-a0c9-6d2d7818f3da_story.html 
  3. https://www.wsj.com/articles/albarino-a-taste-of-coastal-spain-in-a-wine-glass-1467743225 
  4. https://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/1/4/292 
Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar