Types of White Wine

Wine 101: Types of White Wine and Their Characteristics

 

White Wine

Hello all! It is the first Wine Wednesday post and I am super excited to write about a beloved beverage of mine: white wine.

There are so many different varieties of wine to choose from, but I decided to focus on some of the most common.

Fun Fact #1: I am embarrassed to admit that during my research I discovered that many wines are named after the grapes they are made up of (example: Chardonnay wine is made up of Chardonnay grapes)…duh, I guess…

Fun Fact #2: Most of the white wines of the world seem to be produced in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and Washington/Oregon/California, USA. So be sure to add those countries/states to your Adventures Abroad Bucket List! 😉

The biggest disclaimer I have for this post is this is what I found **in general** to be true, although different wines can vary **greatly** depending on a number of things (Location the grapes are grown, time they are harvested, how long the wine is aged, flavors and aromas, oaked vs. unoaked, etc.). Also, if you are wanting to dig deep into the details, Wine Folly is a great site with a plethora of information on just about anything wine-related.

Types of White Wine

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine world-wide, and often contains flavors of green apple, lemon, and pineapple. It is considered a dry wine with a high acidity, and is categorized into oaked vs. unoaked. Oaked Chardonnay, as its name suggests, means the wine was aged in a wooden barrel, and will take on more buttery, vanilla, and spicy flavors. The unoaked will have a much crisper and fruitier taste, as it will have aged in a non-wooden barrel, or a wooden barrel that will no longer influence the flavor of the wine.

Gewürztraminer

This type of wine I had never heard of before, but it kept popping up in my searches for popular whites, so I decided to include it. Gewürztraminer is known for its spicy, floral aroma, can be dry or sweet, and contains flavors of rose, grapefruit, honey, cinnamon, and other spices.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry, high acidic wine with fruit flavors of melon, fig, passion fruit, and other citrusy, tropical fruits. What is unique about this wine is it has herbal aromas and may contain bell pepper, jalapeño, grassy, and mineral tones.

Fun Fact: This wine is sometimes blended with Sémillon, a lower acidic more full-bodied wine that I’m having a hard time pinning down. It looks like it can range from apple, pear, and lemon-lime flavors to fig, melon, and light herb.

Pinot Grigio

My current fav! In my opinion, Pinot Grigio is in the middle of the dryness scale, although I found it often described as dry and acidic. It is a crisp, light, tangy, and refreshing wine with aromas of apple, pear, and fruit rinds (ex: orange and lemon rinds, pear or peach skins).

Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio (Italian grape) and Pinot Gris (French grape) are made from the exact same grape variety, but the wine styles are a bit different. Pinot Grigio tends to be light, crisp, fruity, and fresh while Pinot Gris tends to be heavy, spicy, and rich.

Riesling

Riesling is another hard one to pin down because of its versatility. It is a high acidic wine that can be dry or sweet, fruity, floral, or contain mineral tones. Dry Riesling contains lemon, earthy, and herbal tones whereas sweet Riesling contains flavors of apples, apricots, pears, and peaches.

Moscato

Moscato is made from the Muscat grape, is sweet and fruity with a lower alcohol content and lower acidity. It is so sweet it is often considered a dessert wine. Its flavors include peach, apricot, orange, and floral tones.

I hope this post has helped you identify some of the aromas and flavors that appeal to you in white wine! Although maybe a tasting is in order to really be able to distinguish the differences in each;)

For those of you who prefer red wines, stay tuned for next week’s Wine Wednesday.

Cheers!

See also Common Red Wines and Their Characteristics.

White Wine

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