White wine is generally labeled into two categories labeled dry or sweet. To answer a question of which white wine is drier is very hard to answer due to the complexity and characteristics of the wines. Dry wines tend to have more complex flavors, higher alcohol, and less acidity than sweet wines. To explore the answer more in depth, we must define the characteristics of each varietal.
Pinot Grigio is also found by the name Pinot Gris sometimes. This wine is generally light and crisp and usually paired with simple light meals. Some Pinot Grigio’s are very dry with hints of natural citrus and apple flavors. Pinot Gris grapes mature early and thrive in cool climates. Now how dry this wine is depends on the region and wine making style. This is where the answer gets a little tricky. While some Pinot Grigio’s appear to be drier due to fermentation and are high in alcohol, others may appear sweeter due to early maturation with higher sugar levels. So depending on the region and it is possible to have a Pinot Grigio that seems a bit sweeter.
Chardonnay is a very neutral grape and the flavors it most commonly have are from the influences of Oak and Terroir. Many of the North American Chardonnays appear to have more Oak and vanilla hints than their French counterparts. This hint of vanilla and the oak can make the Chardonnay have a buttery, nutty feel to it which people may generally mistaken for sweetness. Chardonnay is world renown for being added to champagnes and many white burgundys out of France.
So the matter is that since they are both dry then which one is drier? That is why it is hard to answer but in general, Chardonnay is the drier of the two although it is possible to have a Pinot Grigio that may be dry as well.
I think the best way to decide is to pair it with food. Chardonnays are great with heavy hearty meals while Pinot Grigio’s are great with light dishes and seafood. So hopefully this article helps a little. As always,drink well my friends.
Further reading: Where do I Find Wine Recommendations?
Learn more about our wines and spirits here.