Fresh Dry White Wines

Wine Basics / Grapes and Wine Styles

I Like... Fresh Dry White Wines

Contents

Wine Basics Wine Basics

Popular grapes & styles

Albarino/Albarinho
Pinot grigio
Muscadet
Grenache blanc
Gruner veltliner
Chablis (chardonnay)

Other grapes/styles: Garganega, soave, picpoul, orvieto, assyrtiko, pinot blanc



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.




Albarino / Alvarinho

Where you'll find it: Spain/Portugal

Flavours:

Peach
Peach
Lemon & Lime
Lemon & Lime
Saline
Saline

Style: Refreshing & seafood-friendly

Food: Grilled seabass, moules mariniere

Drink it here: A seafood feast in a sunny garden




Muscadet

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

Flavours:

Green-apple
Green-apple
Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass
Mineral
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




Pinot grigio

Where you'll find it: Italy

Flavours:

Green-apple
Green-apple
Lemon
Lemon
Peach
Peach
Almonds
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




Grüner veltliner

Where you'll find it: Austria

Flavours:

White Pepper
White Pepper
Nectarine
Nectarine
Green-apple
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. Gruneris also great at cutting through carbs such as noodles, dumplings or potato salad.




Chablis (chardonnay)

Where you'll find it: Chablis, Burgundy

Flavours:

Wet Stone
Wet Stone
Lemon
Lemon
Peach
Peach

Style: Pure, structured and mouth-wateringly 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




Verdejo

Where you'll find it: Spain

Flavours:

Lime
Lime
Almonds
Almonds
Herbs
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


Other grapes and styles

Soave: Delicate, fragrant, sushi-friendly Italian white made from the gargenega 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.


Climate

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.


Mineral?

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.

Pasta

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

Seafood

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





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