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A Complete Guide About Wine: Understanding White Wine

A close up photo of white wine in a drinking glass to help us in understanding white wine

One of the first things to know in understanding white wine is it’s mostly made of white grapes; they are made without skins or seeds. The skins are separated from the juice and yeast is added for fermentation. White wines have a light, crisp, fruity flavor and aroma. Like red wine, white wine also have a range of benefits such as reducing coronary artery disease by 30%.

The overwhelming varieties of white wine can get too much, but when you understand the common types of white wine, you’re a step further into selecting the best one to enjoy or use in cooking. Now, before you buy your first white wine, here are the common types of it:

Common Types of White Wine

A close up photo of white wine in two drinking glasses to help us in understanding white wine

Riesling (Rees-ling)

As one of the hardest grapes to grow, Riesling has high level of frost resistance, making it possible to thrive in the cool continental climates of northern Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Riesling grapes are small and form compact bunches, thus are highly susceptible to rot and produced for sweet wines.

  • Taste:  Generally light. It has a prominent sweet, fresh, and fruity or sometimes floral elements ranging from fresh apples, citrus, and stone fruit.
  • Style: Riesling can be very high in acid but harmoniously sweet making for a combination of sweet and sour or dry (very acidic). Riesling is especially suitable for those who love sweetness in their wine.
  • Food Pairing: fish, chicken, pork, duck, turkey, cured meat, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Moroccan, German, washed-rind cheeses and fondue.

Chardonnay (Shar-dun-nay)

Chardonnay was the most popular white grape through the 1990’s. It can be made sparkling or still. It is the principle white wine of Burgundy (France), where it originated.

  • Taste:  Citrus-y or tropical ranging from lemon to grapefruit flavors. Sometimes also has notes of cinnamon, butterscotch, coconut, and toasted caramel ( fermented from oak).
  • Style: Medium to full-bodied .
  • Food Pairing: seafood such as lobster, crab, shrimp and chicken dishes,  pork, mushroom, French, cream sauces.

The photo of richmonts chardonnay, a type of white wine to help us in understanding white wine
Richmonts Chardonnay 2016

Semillon (Say-mee-yaw)

From the Bordeaux region, this wine is considered the 3rd most important and planted in France. It can also be found in Australia, South Africa, Argentina, USA and Chile.

  • Taste: fig-like, lemon, lime and citrusy, or close to Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Style: Full-bodied almost like Chardonnay
  • Food Pairing: Fish, clams, mussels, pasta or Asian food.

The photo of fifth leg semillon sauvignon blanc
Fifth Leg Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Muscat/Moscato (Moe-ska-toe)

One of the oldest wine grapes in the world, this fascinating wine can be found throughout the world. For example, Italy, Africa, Spain, France and more.

  • Taste: Oranges, tangerines, lemon, and ripe pear.
  • Style: Light-bodied, sweet, tropical flavors and light bubbles.
  • Food Pairing: Quite versatile and can blend well with meat, seafood, cheese and vegetables.

Sauvignon Blanc (Saw- vin-yawn Blonk)

Though it originated from France, New Zealand and Australia are also considered as several of world’s best producers of sauvignon blanc.

  • Taste: Generally lighter than Chardonnay and normally shows a citrus driven flavor meets with herbal and exotic characters such as kiwi, passion fruit, and honeydew. It also offers a fresh green smell like grass, mint, and green bell pepper.
  • Style: Light bodied to medium bodied.
  • Food Pairing: Considered a versatile wine for most food such as seafood, poultry, and salads.

Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio (Pee-no-Gree)

Both Pinot Gris and Grigio are in the same grape variety that originated in France and Italy,  but the wines have different styles, textures, and aromas. Pinot Gris is typically lighter, crisp, fresh while the Pinot Grigio adds more volume to the quality which are fuller-bodied, richer, and spicier.

  • Taste: Delicate citrus and pomaceous fruits with white floral notes.
  • Style: Light-bodied. Easy drinking often with some bitter flavor on the palate.
  • Food Pairing: Salad, delicate fish, and light cheese.

People enjoying white wine together

Also like red wine, storage is key with your leftover white wine. Aim to store your wine in cool, dark and still place or keep it refrigerated or chilled properly.

Last but not least in understanding white wine, visit LuxoFood to get your fill of quality food ingredients and beverages, along with other items to go with your white wine.

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