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White Wine, Pinot Grigio Or Sauvignon Blanc

Which white wines have the least sugar? Any without sulfates?
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

Both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio tend to be dry wines unless labeled otherwise; that is, they contain only the barest trace of unfermented sugars. Pinot Grigio is more variable as some basic, popularly priced examples may have a touch of residual sugar (which most drinkers wouldn't detect). This is uncommon in those from Italy but may be the case with some others. When this variety is labeled Pinot Gris (same grape, just the French equivalent) in Alsace, France or other regions, there is a greater chance that it may have some detectable sweetness. You would have to do some research into the specific wine to find out, and this isn't always easy to do. A very few Pinot Gris are sweet, late-harvest styles, but they are made in tiny volumes. Similarly, you can find late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc from wineries in California, New Zealand, and Chile. This is clearly identified on the label, so there isn't any chance you'll buy one by accident.
As for sulfates, check this forum for other answers I have written about sulfites (not sulfates), the most common additive to protect wine. Because sulfites are effective and safe for all but a tiny fraction of people, they are used in every winemaking country. However, if you want to avoid sulfites, look for wines - there aren't many - claiming no sulfites have been added, as is required to obtain the USDA Organic seal. Bear in mind that sulfites are a by-product of alcoholic fermentation.

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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