Wine styles

Guide to dry white wines

If you love super-fresh citrusy flavours and a mouthwatering finish, fresh dry white wines are for you. The beauty of white wines such as this is that they are delicious drunk on their own straight from the fridge as with food; seafood and creamy cheeses are particularly good.

I like... fresh dry white wines

Popular grapes & styles

Where you'll find it: Spain/Portugal

Flavours: Peach, lemon & lime and saline

Style: Refreshing & seafood-friendly

Food: Grilled seabass, moules mariniere

Drink it here: A seafood feast in a sunny garden

Where you'll find it: Loire (central/western France)

Flavours: Green-apple, lemon grass and mineral

Style: Crisp, whistle-clean & gently mineral.

Food: Fish pie, barbequed king prawns

Drink it here: As a Monday night treat – it's relaxed enough for anyday drinking

Where you'll find it: Italy

Flavours: Green-apple, lemon, peach and almonds

Style: Light, lemony & easy drinking

Food: Simple chicken dishes & pasta (especially with fennel)

Drink it here: On the patio with plenty of Italian nibbles

Where you'll find it: Austria

Flavours: White pepper, nectarine, green-apple

Style: Intriguingly spicy but fresh-tasting

Food: Chicken Katsu curry or crispy schnitzel

Drink it here: With lightly spicy food for an adventurous combination. Grüner is also great at cutting through carbs such as noodles, dumplings or potato salad.

Where you'll find it: Chablis, Burgundy

Flavours: Wet stone, lemon and peach

Style: Pure, structured and mouthwateringly mineral

Food: Baked Camembert, Brie or shellfish

Drink it here: A beach picnic with the freshest seafood or the creamiest cheeses you can get your hands on

Where you'll find it: Spain

Flavours: Lime, almonds and herbs

Style: Elegant, fruit-forward Spanish star

Food: Fish, olives and fried almonds

Drink it here: As a post-summer holiday pick-me-up; this will take you right back to those balmy Mediterranean days

Soave: Delicate, fragrant, sushi-friendly Italian white made from the garganega grape

Vinho Verde: Lightly sparkling, fragrant Portuguese blend from local grapes

Assyrtiko: A light but full-flavoured Greek white that tastes great with Halloumi cheese

Orvieto: Dry, round but fragrant Italian white, delicious with macaroni cheese or Greek salad.

How it's made

What makes a white wine fresh, fruity and dry?

Steel-tank fermentation

The vibrancy and pure fruitiness you'll find in these is enhanced by using inert (non-flavour giving) vessels in the fermentation and maturation process. Using huge steel tanks or concrete eggs(!) for this process means you keep the fresh, juicy fruitiness of the grapes rather than adding any of the toasty flavours you'd get from oak maturation.


You'll nearly always find these wines grown in cool climates. You might wonder how Spain and Portugal, which are usually considered warm, can make these wines such as these; but cool micro-climates can be caused by a huge range of geographical influences, such as mountain ranges (higher altitude = cooler climates) or cooling ocean currents. Climates that are less sunny mean that the grape won't reach full sugary ripeness, but have plenty of the fresh acidity that make these wines so mouthwatering.

Citrus and stone fruit flavours

Zingy citrus and juicy peach, green apple mineral and pear flavours are characteristic of these grapes. In a hot climate these flavours could develop into riper tropical-fruit flavours (think Aussie chardonnay). In Chablis however, the very same chardonnay grape keeps its mineral, citrus-fruit freshness due to the cooler climes.


Saline and mineral flavours are another delicious characteristic of some of these wines. No one knows 100% why a grape might take on mineral flavours such as wet stone, flint or salt (though you can find out more about it here) but one theory is that vines grown near the sea or on stony, mineral soils take up some of these geographically influenced flavours.

Food Matching

Fish & Chips

Fresh citrusy wines act like vinegar for fish and chips, cutting through rich batter beautifully.


Simple pasta and chicken dishes are perfect with these relaxed whites, especially with creamy sauces that need a bit of freshness and zing.


Seafood is the soulmate is fresh, dry whites, especially when the sun is shining.

Rosie Allen

The Society's Brand Marketing Manager

Rosie Allen

Rosie joined the team in 2016 and oversees all our content including 1874 magazine and Discovery pages.

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