Dry White Wine Varietals: Ranked for 2023

dry white wine

Dry white wines are a favorite of many wine lovers. They are versatile and can be paired with a variety of dishes. 

In this blog post, we will rank and review the best dry white wines on the market today. We will also provide you with information about each wine so that you can make an informed decision about which one to buy. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What are the 15 BEST Dry White Wines?

Below is my personal ranking for Best Dry White Wine (varietal and region).  

best dry white wine

1) Sancerre

Sancerre taste profile

Sancerre is a dry white wine that is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. And it’s produced in the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley, and is known for its crisp minerality and refreshing acidity.

Normally, this medium bodied wine is made without any wood aging. Furthermore, it has citrus notes with the finish often having distinct mineral notes and an herbaceous character. And this creates a lean freshness that lasts for quite some time after drinking it .

Sancerre pairs well with many different types of foods including seafood dishes, Asian dishes, spicy foods, and is a great choice on its own. And it’s simply my favorite dry white wine! 

2) Dry Riesling from Alsace

dry riesling taste profile

Yet another French wine on top of my list! Alsace is located in northeastern France and is known for its dry Rieslings. Because the climate in Alsace is cool and dry, which helps to give the wine its crisp acidity.

And it also has some floral aromas and flavors of pears, apples, lemons, flowers and spice Thus, making this dry Riesling a great choice for an everyday drinking wine.

And also its another versatile dry white wine that’s great for food pairing.

3) Sauvignon Blanc from California

sauvignon blanc taste profile

Ok let me preface by saying I grew up in California. So for me a Sauvignon Blanc from California is one of the most refreshing, consistent, and reasonably priced white wines. And they are very versatile from fruit-forward examples to more complex and nuanced versions. Plus with citrus notes to tropical fruit flavors, this dry wine always delivers.

There are many wine regions in California that produce Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, but Sonoma and Napa still make my favorites. 

Also, Sauvignon Blancs make a good white wine for cooking. And if interested in cooking with wine, check out this article.

4) Pinot Grigio from Italy

pinot grigio taste profile

Let me begin by stating that I love visiting wine regions in Italy. And I remember how great the Pinot Grigios tasted on hot Italian summer days. 

These bone dry white wines originate mainly from the northern part of Italy. And they are made with the Pinot Grigio grape, which gives it its light straw color. 

Citrus notes, pear, almond, and apple are the primary fruit flavors. And they may have some honey aromas and a saline like minerality to finish. Also, they are known for their high acidity. So this dry wine truly hits the spot when you are in need of a refreshing and crisp dry white wine.

And just FYI Pinot Grigio is typically called Pinot Gris outside of Italy, particularly Oregon, CA, and France. Even though Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris is the same grape, the taste profile is different depending on how you spell the white wine. 

Italian Pinot Grigio tends to be the crisp, mineral version of this dry white wine, while the CA/French Pinot Gris style tends to be fruity and dry.  

5) Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

New Zealand best Sauvignon blancs taste profile

Grapefruit and fresh cut grass. 

That’s all you need to know about New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Also, they are affordable, great-tasting, white wines with crisp citrus and tropical fruit flavors. 

And they are currently among the most popular white wines in the US. Think Kim Crawford, Matua, or Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. 

6) Gruner Veltliner from Austria

gruner veltliner taste profile

Grüner Veltliner is a dry white wine that originates from Austria known to be zesty and crisp.

And its light-bodied with high acidity, with flavors of citrus, minerals, herbs, and white pepper. 

Here’s a tip! This dry white wine is less well-known than other varieties therefore they typically have more affordable prices. When I order a wine bottle at a restaurant, I usually search for a Grüner Veltliner. Because it has tremendous value for a wine that pairs well with a variety of foods and cuisines. 

7) Albariño from Spain

albarino tasting notes

An Albariño is a dry white wine made in the Rias Baixas region of Galicia, Spain.

Its a light-bodied wine with aromas of apricots, peaches, and citrus. And the taste profile is dry and fruity, with notes of citrus and minerals. Because the grapes are frequently grown in coastal areas, they can also have a salty flavor.

And this combination of the cool, wet climate and the high clay content soil, produces wines with a unique flavor profile that are a perfect pairing for all seafood!

8) Chablis from France

chablis tasting notes

Chablis is a dry white wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown in the Burgundy region of France. The climate in Burgundy is cooler than other parts of France, which gives the Chardonnay grapes a higher acidity. This high acidity is what makes Chablis a dry refreshing white wine.

Unlike a buttery oaked Chardonnay from California, a Chablis is more of an unoaked Chardonnay that is more of a crisp white wine with moderate alcohol content. 

9) Viognier from France

viognier taste profile

If you’re looking for a dry white wine with a bit of a fruity edge, Viognier is the perfect choice. Originating from the Rhône Valley in France, this grape has a distinctly floral aroma and flavors of apricot, peach, and honeysuckle.

Viognier can be enjoyed on its own or paired with grilled chicken or fish. While this wine is becoming more widely available, it’s still relatively rare, so snap it up when you see it!

10) Assyrtiko from Greece

Assyrtiko taste profile

This dry wine, from wine grapes in Greece, has citrus fruits, tropical undertones, saline and evident minerality in a light-bodied, refreshingly crisp style. Next time you visit Santorini, you can visit many wineries producing this grape varietal.

It’s quite unique which makes it in our top 10!

11) Vinho Verde from Portugal

Vinho Verde means “green wine” in Spain. The wine is released 3 to 6 months after harvesting. Most Vinho Verde are slightly sparkling, light and refreshing due to its natural acidity. It has fruit and floral aromas that many wine drinkers enjoy!

12) Chenin Blanc from South Africa

The largest producing region for Chenin Blanc makes a refreshing dry wine to a rich flavored wine that Chardonnay wine drinkers would love. 

13) Muscadet

The light dry white wine is made entirely from this single variety (melon de bourgogne grapes) and comes in many different flavors!

And coming from Loire Valley it’s one of the most dry wines with little, if any residual sugar. Muscadet is sharp and delicious with citrus and mineral notes.

14) Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is a medium dry wine grape that’s a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir. And its yet another french grape that makes a great dry refreshing wine with peach, pear, and citrus flavors. So next time when you have chance, give PInot Blanc a try!

15) Chardonnay from Napa/Sonoma

I’m not normally a Chardonnay wine drinker, but when you find a good one from Napa (like Alpha Omega, Far Niente) they are delicious! Well balanced acidity, with a little creaminess and a refreshing finish. 

What is Dry White Wine?

Dry white wine is basically not sweet wine. There is little, to no, residual sugar in the wine.

White Wine Sweetness Chart

white wine sweetness chart white wine

What is Residual Sugar?

 It goes back to how wine is made. When grapes get pressed into juice, the sugar of the juice is what turns the grapes into wine. Once you add yeast to ferment the grapes, the sugar turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) and wine is made.

dry white wine

So for sweet wine, you stop the fermentation before all the sugar turns into alcohol and CO2, this is called residual sugar. The more residual sugar the sweeter the wine. That’s how you create sweet and off-dry Rieslings, Moscatos, Ice wines, and many other sweet wines. 

If the residual sugar is equal to or greater than 30g/l, it’s considered a sweet wine. 

And for dry wines the yeast will eat up most, if not all, of the sugar to create dry white wines.

What are the 3 Most Popular Dry White Wine Varietals?


Most people in the US consider Rieslings as sweet wines. However, some of the best dry white wines are Rieslings (mainly made in Mosel, Germany and Alsace, France wine regions). Personally I would consider these some of the best dry white wines in the world.

There are basically 3 types of Riesling wines (and where they generally come from):

  • Dry Rieslings – Alsace, Upstate NY, German “Troken”, Austria,
  • Off-dry OR Semi-sweet Riesling – Washington, German (“Kabinett”)
  • Sweet Riesling  – California, Canada (Ice Wine), Australia, NZ

Check out our list for Top 11 Best Off-dry/Medium Sweet Rieslings => Click here

German Riesling

Germany is known for their Rieslings (and if you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out!). So to keep it simple with German Rieslings, look for these labels:

  • Trocken or VDP Grosses Gewachs – dry, also can be called VDP Grosses
  • Kabinett– Generally off- dry to semi-sweet, with crisp, balanced acidity.
  • Spätlese–  Usually sweeter than Kabinett wines
  • Auslese – Even sweeter than Spatlese (Dessert wine)

*please note –  this ripeness classification system communicates when the grape was picked, so it’s an indicator of initial grape sugar levels, not final bottled residual sugar levels.


People either LOVE or HATE Chardonnay. However most ppl in the US think of the big, full-bodied, buttery, oaky California Chardonnays. But there are almost complete opposite wines made from this grape based on where the grapes are from and how it was made.

For example, a Chardonnay from CA doesn’t necessarily mean this type of buttery Chardonnay. Some CA Chardonnays from cooler regions (ex. Sonoma, Ste Rita Hills), don’t use oak barrels and don’t do Malolactic fermentation (a 2nd fermentation that makes the Chardonnay buttery). And these wines are more crisp, fresh, and lighter body.

best chardonnay

And some of the best white wines in the world are made from Chardonnay grapes from France (Burgundy white wines, Chablis). Similar to Sauvignon Blancs in tastes, these wines are lean, crisp, wines with some minerality.

So in reality everyone should LOVE Chardonnay, because there are so many different versions of this varietal (even sparkling wine). 

Napa Valley Chardonnay is the complete opposite of the Chablis Chardonnay.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is probably the most well-known of the dry white wines. Originated in the Bordeaux region of France, but grown throughout the world in many regions of France, California, Washington, South Africa, NZ, Australia, Chile. 

And it’s a green-skinned grape that produces a lot of “green flavors” (think of fresh cut grass, herbs, green bell peppers, passionfruit, and grapefruit.)

Crisp and fresh should be the best description used for Sauvignon Blanc! 

Just FYI – 1st Friday in May is International Sauvignon Blanc Day

What Does Crisp Mean?

lemonade grape juice

Crisp wine refers to sharp acidity and the fresh dryness. Think of a freshly squeezed lemonade. A crisp wine leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and clean. A perfect pairing for a hot summer day. 


What white wines are dry?

Dry white wine is a type of wine that contains little or no residual sugar (sweetness). There are many different types of white wine, and not all of them are dry.

However, some of the most popular dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio. These dry wines are all produced in different parts of the world, and they each have their own distinct flavor profiles

Is Pinot Grigio A dry white wine?

While Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris) wines can vary in sweetness, most are dry with little to no residual sugar. However, these wines are still considered dry since the sugar is fully fermented during the winemaking process. For this reason, Pinot Grigios are considered a very dry wines.

Is Chardonnay a dry white wine?

Chardonnay is a dry white wine. It is made from the Chardonnay grape, which is native to the Burgundy region of France. Chardonnay grapes are even used for Champagne, the world’s most famous sparkling wine. 

What's the driest white wine?

Muscadet is generally considered the driest white wine.

It’s a wine that originates from the Loire Valley in France. The wine is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, which is known for its high acidity. Historically, Muscadet was not considered to be a high-quality wine, but it has undergone a renaissance in recent years. Many modern winemakers are producing exceptional Muscadets that are crisp and refreshing, with subtle mineral flavors. In terms of sweetness, Muscadet is drier than most other white wines.

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