The old world proverb that said, “keep your powder dry” (referring to the gun powder) may also apply to white wines which is said to be ‘drier the better’. However, the secret behind drywine is the fermentation process wherein sugar from the grape juice is converted into alcohol.
As a matter of fact, the percentage of the residual sugar that is known in wine circles as RS becomes the deciding factor in describing the dryness of the wine. For example, a wine may be described as medium and drywhen some RS is still there but not that much so that it can turn it into a sweet wine.
Usually white wines are associated with two charecteristics namely sweetness and fruity. Among them the Fruity nature of the wine need not indicate the wine’s sweetness level. On the contrary, it represents the wine’s fruit characteristics. French Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc is a case in point of fruitiness (grapefruit and lime) or Pinot Blanc (peach and the stone fruit apricot). Also, the fruity-natured white wines get their dryness from the bracing acidity of the fruit that has mothered them.
However, despite some sweetness still clinging on to the wine, it can seldom be noticed till the RS goes further than 3%. Incidentally, sweet wine ranges from around 5% and it can go up to a whopping 0% RS while their acidity supresses that overwhelming sweetness by turning them into balanced dry wines.
The incredible thing about this is that the above story may have some semblance of truth when a bottle of lemonade is considered without the touch of sugar. But the soury taste mellows immediately when sugar is added to the otherwise acidic beverage.
While singing the song of the white dry wine, Champagne cannot be ignored. It is perhaps among the most significant dry wines that is available. But Champagne too has quite a few categories to denote the sweetness level.
Extra Brut is considered to be an extremely dry Champagne where the RS factor is just 6%
Extra Sec may be called medium-dry,
Sec with 1.7% to 3.5% is considered sweet.
But dry white wines come in a big variety that is listed below.
- Sauvignon Blanc is found in wine countries all over the world including France’s Bordeaux and Loire Valley, South Africa’s Wines, Austria and New Zealand’s Marlborough and California.
- Albarino mostly comes from Spain
- Chardonnay is the premium quality from France
- Muscadet comes from Loire Valley
- Pinot Blanc is a medium dry variety from Austria, Italy and Germany
- Pinot Grigio is another medium dry type from Italy
- Viognier is medium dry and is from Northern Rhone
- Grüner Veltliner is from Austria and is medium dry
- Chenin Blanc comes with aromatics and is also from Loire Valley
- Riesling is found in most New World wine regions.