Most people (quite proudly) talk dry but drink off-dry. The acid test ('scuse the pun) is their shocked facial expression after a palate-cleansing sip of, say, Muscadet, Chablis, Gruner Veltliner, or Spain's lovely Albariño.
No cloaking oak or cleverly included residual sugar. Just really dry wines here.
Let's start with thirst-quenchingly delicious Pazo San Mauro 2018 Albariño from Galicia, the lush top-left corner of Spain that looks more like the Emerald Isle. It's a tiny 16th Century winery that housed the family of King Sancho I.
The original building still overlooks the vines, the Miño River and Portugal in the hazy middle-distance.
The salty Atlantic air calls for fresh seafood and crisp, aromatic Albariño like this, the local specialty, wines bursting with lemon, pineapple, minerality, and floral aromatics. This Pazo San Mauro is bone-dry and irresistible, $26.99. Call Michelle at Lifford Wines & Spirits, 416 779 4101.
You can hold the lime zest with your next drink, it comes with its own, built in! Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner 2017 white wine from the beautiful region of Kremstal, famed for this, the most elegant signature grape variety of Austria. Think chalk and white pepper with a notion of Bosc pear peel, lime zest and seafood-friendly acidity. Delicious as apero or with light end-of-summer dishes. It's in Vintages now at a more than fair $15.95 (Austrian wines tend to be a little pricy!)
Vinified totally in stainless steel (zero oak barrels!) and reflecting its region's ancient limestone seabed deposits (packed with stone-age fossils), here's a truly crisp and ultra-elegant Chardonnay naked as the day it was born. Very unusual in that so many Chards are raised in new and smoky, charry barrels! That's a different breed, altogether. Instead, this little darling from Jean Bouchard is a Petit-Chablis 2017 from northern Burgundy for $23.95, citric, mineral, incredibly pure and refreshing, at Vintages.
Many people still (incorrectly) think that all Rieslings are sweet. Back to the early days of wine awareness. Meanwhile, there are some absolutely fabulous dry versions, there for the asking; such as the Chateau des Charmes Estate Bottled 2015 Riesling Old Vines, an absolute stunner, and dry, too! Flinty dry and full of aromatic lime-citrus, persimmon, saline, mineral notes. It's just amazingly well balanced, unoaked and dry, like a perfect piano etude. Really well done. $18.95 at Vintages.
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