A comprehensive guide to types of white wines, their origin, and taste.
Originating in the Burgundy region of Eastern France, the grapes for this wine are prepared in a number of ways, out of which oaked and unoaked are the basics. The amount of charring that the oak is treated with, determines the wine’s toastiness and adds flavors like Caramel, Vanilla, Cream, and Smoke Spice. So, for creamy flavours and softer Chardonnay, try age old oak wine and for higher acid and more refreshing flavours, try the unoaked one. The wine can be made sparkling or still. The riper the wine, the more it’ll taste of pineapple, mango, and apricots, while the less ripe it is, the more it’ll taste of green apples and lemon. In cool climates, it tends to be medium to light bodied with a fairly noticeable acidity, giving it a flavor of green plum, apple, and pear, whereas in warmer locations, the flavour becomes closer to melon, peach, and citrus. It’s best served with Creamy or poultry and pork dishes or roast vegetable tarts.
This sweet, Italian wine is one of the oldest cultivated grape varieties in the world and is sweet and flavorful in taste. Moscato is one of the few kinds of wine which truly smells like grapes. The strong flavors include peaches, lemons, oranges, apricots, and nectarines while the subtle flavors include caramel, vanilla bean, rose, and jasmine. This medium, high acidity wine tends to be sweet, and low in alcohol, so it can be consumed alone, or you can serve it with Asian dishes and a dessert like pudding or fruit tart.
- Sauvignon Blanc
With its origin in Bordeaux and the French Loire Valley, this extremely popular white wine is made differently in every region, such as in France, it is made by blending it with other grapes and aging it through the oaking process. Generally having an herbal taste with undertones of black pepper and freshly mown grass, the dominating flavors range from sour green apples, pears, and gooseberries to tropical fruits like melon, mango, and blackcurrant. Quality unoaked Sauvignon will have Smokey qualities. In cold climate and less ripe climate, you will have strong flavors of limes and green apples, while in a warmer climate, the wine will taste like peaches and passion fruit, with a dash of gooseberries, grass, jalapenos, and bell peppers. The wine has medium to high acidity and contains pyrazines – special aromatic compounds that give rich flavors to the wine. It is best served with seafood, poultry, and salads.
A major white grape in the Bordeaux region of France, Semillon wine is made differently in different regions, like in France, it is made by blending it with Sauvignon to tone down its strong berry-like flavors, and in Australia, it is made in 4 different ways out of which one way is to blend it with either Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. It features a distinct fig like character and can be served with fish, or even better, served dry, with clams, mussels, or pasta salad.
- Pinot Grigio
Originating in the Burgundy region of France, the most famous Pinots come from the French region of Alsace, and are complex and rich, with a variety of flavors. The crisp, dry wines with good acid bite are typically made in Germany while those made at Oregon or Alsace have aromatic and fruity flavors. These wines are greatly dependent on the region and the wine making style. The light Italian Pinot Grigio is mostly served with seafood while richer wines from Alsace or Meinklang can be gulped down with roasted chicken.
It is an aromatic wine grape variety that makes one of the world’s most intensely flavored and aromatic wine, which varies in taste from spicy and nutty, to fruity flavors like rose petals, peaches, lychees, and allspice. The grapes are generally used to make either a very sweet wine, or a very dry wine, both with crisp acidity and strong flavors. The wine is not as refreshing as other types of dry whites are. It is primarily grown in Alsace and Germany, but it is also grown in Italy, Australia, the U.S., West Coast, and New York. The wine is best served with Asian food, pork, and grilled sausages.
The Riesling Grape is native to Germany, but now it is grown in almost all wine regions. The grapes produce fresh wine with hints of apples, apricots, and flowers. The grapes usually have mid to high acidity. It is generally lighter than Chardonnay. In Germany, the wine is slightly sweet with steely acidity for balance. Riesling from Alsace and Eastern U.S. is also excellent, equal in the aroma, but generally drier. The wine processed in California is not much famous as they tend to be too sweet without enough acidity to balance the flavour. During wine making, the delicate nature of Reisling grapes requires gentle handling so that it does not get crushed. Also, the absence of Malolactic fermentation gives Riesling its ‘thirst quenching quality’. The wine goes through a process of cold stabilisation, where it is stored above the freezing point. The wine is seldom oaked. The dry version should be served with fish, chicken and pork dishes. The crispiness of the wine goes better with tuna or salmon while the acidity level makes it apt to consume it with spicy Japanese food.