The Top 3 Dry White Wine Types
I have been asked several times about dry white wines and how to choose a wine from a wine list.
Dry wines with high acidity are the best with seafood starters or fish main courses, but this is not always easy to understand if you do not know how to look for what you want.
I will give you a few tips and you will find it easier to choose if you read this before going out with your friends or family.
When I refer to dry white wines I mean wines that have less than 7 g of sugar per liter, but most of them do not go beyond 4 g/l and only very rarely more than 5 g/l.
I must say that wines with 1g/l or less of sugar are not sweet and I do not recommend them because you will lose the taste for dry wines after a few glasses.
Dry White Wines come from all wine regions in the world and there are already good ones at around 10 dollars. Some people think that only French wines can be dry and even tasty, but this is not true as long as you look for what you want.
Italian white wines have always been very good and prices range from 8 to 15 dollars (they used to be much cheaper).
You may find some odd grapes like greco, catarratto, moro-frankish, sauvignon etc.They are excellent wines that can be bought even in supermarkets or restaurants for around 10 dollars.
Now, that being said - It is very important that there is an open dialogue between waiters and customers to avoid misunderstandings at dinner time. Now let's try to unpack the subject. At the restaurant, what do you need to know?
There Are Three Primary Dry White Wine Types
1.) Young wines with good acidity, which are ideal for starters, fish or shellfish dishes.
Varieties such as Verdejo from Rueda in Castilla y León, Viura from the Jumilla DO in Murcia and Albariño from Galician Rias Baixas.
These wines have a great price/quality ratio and give a very satisfactory result on the table when customers choose them. They all have a track record for being lighter and aromatic whites.
Some of my favorite young dry white wines are:
- Rueda Verdejo Erre de Berberana 2014, which has a great balance and aromas of citrus and herbs. It is the best Spanish dry white wine in its price range.
- The Jumilla Viura Erre de Vinyes Daurades 2015, with aromas of apples and pears and good body.
- The Galician Albariño Cerro da Soixa 2013, very fruity with tropical fruit flavors such as pineapple and mango. Ideal for fish dishes. I also like the La Meseta Albariño Pintas 2016 from Rias Baixas, an excellent value for money [price] / quality ratio, just step below the Cerro da Soixa, although it is perhaps less fruity.
- Another great option from La Mancha which I particularly like for its good value for money [price] / quality ratio is the Pétalos Verdejo from Valtomejía 2015, a wine with a good price/quality ratio and very well balanced to accompany fish dishes. It stands out because it offers complexity while not costing too much.
- Finally, I would also recommend wines such as the Albariño Táganan 2016 from Rías Baixas and the Verdejo Castejón de Sos 2014 from Castilla y León , both of exquisite quality and excellent price/quality ratios. They are wines that should be appreciated by all wine lovers.
2.) Wines which have aged for a few years
These are perfect for fish dishes, although they are also good with meat. Varieties such as Godello from Valdeorras in Galicia, Albariño from Rias Baixas or Verdejo from Toro DO.
These wines may be more expensive but they provide an excellent result on the table when customers choose them.
They are great white wines to serve at restaurants. What customers say is that these types of wine are one of their favorites on the menu.
Some of my favorite Semi-Aged White Wines
- Valdeorras Godello Erre de la Sierra 2014, which is a more expensive wine but it is worth the price. It opens with good acidity and a great body and its aging process enhances aromas such as acacia flowers, almonds, and fresh walnuts. The best dry white wine of this variety on the market currently.
- Rías Baixas Albarino Coto Redondo 2016, one of my favorite aged varieties from Galicia at a very interesting price/quality ratio. In addition to having an elegant nose, it has a good balance between fruit and acidity with flavors that remind me of pears with honey or nectarines. for pairing with fish dishes.
- Valdeorras Albariño Erre de Pontenova 2013, at a slightly higher price but offering very good value for money [price] / quality ratio. With an aging process that has enhanced aromas such as almond and fresh walnuts. Ideal for fish dishes.
- Toro Verdejo Cepa 21 2014, an excellent aged white wine and undoubtedly one of the best varieties in its price range, with the richness and intensity typical of this DO. For pairing with any dish, but especially meat or fish.
3.) Wines that need aging like Chardonnay
Note: I do not recommend drinking young because they get dilute and lose their aromas.
Torrontés (from Argentina, Chile or Rueda) and Albariño from Rias Baixas.
Chardonnay is a very versatile grape variety which adapts to many geographical areas and it is no coincidence that 90% of the wines in the world are made with it - both oaked and unoaked-, but some varieties such as Chardonnay from Valdeorras DO in Galicia, Viura from Jumilla DO or Godello from Valdeorras DO need more aging than others such as Muscatel de Setúbal (DO Portugal).
My Favorite Longer Aged Dry White Wines
- Valdeorras Godello Lepanto 2013, a very complete wine with good aging. It shows notes of acacia flowers and almonds, in addition to fresh walnuts.
- Rías Baixas Albariño Peña do Encanal 2014, this is a great aged white wine from Galicia, which shows good acidity and full body due to its long aging process with nice aromas of acacia flowers with a note of nectarines in the background, in addition to a good mineral presence; ideal for fish dishes.
- Viura Cepa 21 2016. A more expensive wine but it has a great price/quality ratio. Viura is the most widely planted grape in Jumilla and has excellent aging properties. Although it is a young wine, its aromas of acacia flowers and ripe pears are already noticeable. Ideal for fish dishes.
- Galicia Albariño Sol de Cambre 2015, is an excellent aged white wine from Galicia which shows good acidity and full body due to its long aging process with nice aromas of acacia flowers with a mineral presence, ideal for fish dishes.
I will add here that some producers age their white wines for one year in oak barrels, which also affects the final price of the wine.
In general, young wines have less alcohol content than aged ones.
This is how you choose a dry white wine at a restaurant. Cheers!