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Jul 17, 2012 02:13 PM

Summer Whites... Recs for bone dry white

Looking for a bone dry... hopefully reasonable priced (under $20) white that doesn't mind a big chill down. I like it dry and crispy and very cool. Thanks!

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  1. Starting very generally, since I'm not sure where you are located. Chenin Blancs from the Loire Valley might be a good choice.

    7 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      Chenin Blanc is not the first grape that comes to mind when I think of "bone dry" whites, since it seems to me most commonly we see Vouvrays from the Loire which are often favored for sweetness. Look for a "Sec" wine from this area.

      Look for German Rieslings marked "Trocken" or dry.

      I think Pinot Grgio wines are pretty damned dry, I drink very little of this wine. I like the German version GrauerBuirgunder, but examples I have had are seem richer, therefore less 'bone dry' than those wines produced in other areas.

      Dpends on how "bone dry" you want. To the best of my knowledge, the majority of white table wines not marketed in 1.5 litre and above format are finished dry. Pull something off the shelf, chill it and drink it.

      1. re: FrankJBN

        Huh, thanks for the clarification! For whatever reason, I've somehow been picking out chenin blancs that are not sweet (and don't say sec) but now I'm realizing there's a whole world of sweet chenin blancs that I have been skipping.

        When I think of a cool, clean crisp summer wine with strong acidic structure, mineral finish, and a hint of stone fruit on the palate I've turned to chenin blancs. A good somewhat widely available version at a decent price (in my opinion) is Champalou Vouvray. I REALLY like vivid fruit on the palate though, so hints of stone fruit to me is probably different for someone else.

        OP is that what you were thinking of when you said cool, dry wine? By dry did you simply mean zero sweetness? Sometimes when people say dry or sweet they are talking about the fruit taste on the palate and not how sweet or sour the wine is.

        I think FrankJBN gives excellent advice if you mean tart verging on sour wines with lots of lemon/lime/sour green apple notes (I think Vinho Verde also fits in this category).

        1. re: goldangl95

          Thanks for the great discussion here. I did mean zero sweetness -- something crisp on the palate not overly fruity.. but not sour definitely not sour or tart. I'll look for the Vouvray as I've enjoyed that varietal in the past.

          1. re: veggiequeen

            NZ SB's, though they will show better, if you let your hands heat up the glass a bit.


        2. re: FrankJBN

          >>> Chenin Blanc is not the first grape that comes to mind when I think of "bone dry" whites, since it seems to me most commonly we see Vouvrays from the Loire which are often favored for sweetness. Look for a "Sec" wine from this area. <<<

          "Sec" will be dry, but avoid "Sec Tendre" as these do have low levels of RS. OTOH, try Savennieres . . . bone dry.

          1. re: zin1953

            Also a thought to the OP, make sure to drink them young, the acidity that gives that zippy crispness drops out over time.

          2. re: FrankJBN

            I agree here. CB is a great, and versatile wine, but "bone dry" is not a characteristic that I attach to any. Yes, there are many examples with no RS, but with the fruit, one usually perceives some element of "sweetness," and especially if chilled to the max.

            Riesling is similar, thought there are some, that do NOT exhibit the RS elements, or the fruitiness, especially if nearly frozen.

            That "cold" aspect puzzles me, and really, really limits my suggestions, as I feel that most wines have an ideal temp, and it is seldom "cold." Champagne, upon serving, is about the only one, in my book, other than Sangria.


        3. One of my favorite summer wines (winter too) is a CĂ´tes de Gascogne blanc. They are usually a blend of some combination of Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc. Flavor descriptors such as fresh lime, grapefruit and other citrus notes are often used with these wines. Terms such as light-bodied, fresh, zesty are often applied. Usually, they run in the $8 to $12 range and I have yet to find one I did not like.

          1. A good muscadet would be very fun.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Maximilien

              Great call. I was not thinking of a Melon de Bourgogne, but many will be stone-dry, and can take some good chill (though most WILL blossom with a rise in temp).

              Just did not think of that choice.


              1. re: Maximilien

                I'm not knowledgeable about wines, am I wrong to think that muscadet is made from muscat grapes? The few muscat wines I've had have been dessert wines, one of them spectacular, but definitely sweet.

                1. re: EWSflash

                  Muscadet is made from the Melon (or Melon de Bourgogne) grape, which thrives almost entirely as Muscadet in areas throughout the coastal Loire. There are many varieties of muscat, some coarse, others more polished, that are made into wines that can be almost totally dry to super raisined, sparkling (lightly or energetically) or still. It's said that wines made form muscat are the only ones where you can still taste and smell the fresh grape. I love dessert muscats from France (St, Jean de Minervois in the SW, and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise in the Rhone) and Italy (the Pantelleria Islands off Sicily). Fresh muscat table grapes from Southern Italy are glorious, too.

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    There are several different varieties of Muscat grapes, but as bob96 has rightly pointed out, Muscadet is 100% Melon de Bourgogne, and contains not one drop of Muscat . . .

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      That is a very common misconception. However, Bob96 has provided the information, that you need.

                      Do not feel bad, as too many misunderstand the name vs the varietal. It took me some years to get my cousin to understand, but then she was a linguist, and kept getting lost in the roots of the words.



                  2. "Bone dry" does not bring much to mind when I think of white wines. I'm guessing you're talking about minerally wines, rather than sweetish. Muscadet would fill the bill for affordable and not at all sweet. Some Sauvignon blancs, especially from the Loire, would too -- but they might be above your price ceiling.

                    Most Alsatian white wines would qualify, as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      "Most Alsatian white wines would qualify, as well"

                      I've noted here previously, but I think it worth repeating, that while "old school" rule of thumb was that Alsace whites are bone dry wines, this simply is no longer true (if it ever was).

                      Many Alsace whites are off-dry or sweet. I had a sweet Pinot Gris with foie gras the other week although there was nothing on front or back label to indicate this. At least a couple of the large and popular producers in Alsace (Zind-Humbrecht for one I think) mark their labels with a sweetness indicator.

                      I don't think it is safe to say that "most Alsace white" would fill the bill for someone seeking dry wines. If unsure, inquire of the seller.

                    2. Bone dry (but in some variation with fruit) and under $20: picpoul de pinet, muscadet, seyssel, verdicchio, pecorino (abruzzo), greco di tufo, gavi, santorini/assyrtiko, xarell-o from catalonia,.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bob96

                        Thanks! The Picpoul de Pinet is one I've tried and does fit what I'm thinking about... Greco di tufo & gavi also. I will look for the others.