What Are the Different Kinds of White Wine?
Everyone knows that there is red and white wine, but what different types of white wine are out there – and how do they vary from each other? White wines differ from red wines in that the grapes have their skin removed before they are fermented, and they are more often served chilled. But there are many more subtle differences between the types of white wine.
From dry to sweet, tinted white, yellow, or light green, there is a wide variety of flavors within the realm of white wine. Here are the most popular and common kinds of white wine that you will encounter, with descriptions of their flavors, origins, and recommended food pairings.
One of the most popular kinds of white wine sold in restaurants is Chardonnay, and there is a range of tastes even within this type. The taste can vary from full-bodied and oaky if exposed to barrels, to medium with hints of fruit or vanilla spice. Made with green-skinned grapes, Chardonnay originated in France’s Burgundy wine region. This wine is commonly used in cooking and pairs well with fish and chicken dinners.
Almost as popular as Chardonnay, the straw yellow Sauvignon Blanc is a fruity white wine varietal that originates in France’s Bordeaux wine region. The taste is crisp with a citrus flavor and acidity, with grassy scents of lemon, gooseberry, and grapefruit. When exposed to oak barrels, Sauvignon Blanc is infused with vanilla flavors. This wine pairs well with seafood, such as coconut shrimp, chicken, cheese, and sushi. Great for after a full day of dog training for your favorite dog trainer in Boston.
This spicy and floral German wine originated in Alsace and comes from sugary pinkish red grapes. Gewurztraminer is a dry but sometimes sweet aromatic wine and has a crisp, bold flavor that smells of rose, peach, and quite strongly of lychee fruit. This medium-bodied alcohol pairs well with spicy meals, Asian food, and pork.
With a lower alcohol content than other wines, Moscato – also called Muscat – is a slightly bubbly, aromatic sweet wine that derives from the various Muscat grape family. Strong scents of honeysuckle, almonds, citrus, ginger, and orange blossom accompany a medium, acidic flavor. Moscato comes in sparkling, still, and desert varieties and pairs well with berries, fruits, and desserts.
Originating in the Rhine region of Germany, Riesling is a popular light white wine that is made in cool climates and ages well. This beverage has apple, citrus, and earthy aromas and is highly acidic. It ranges from very dry to very sweet flavors. Riesling pairs well with a most seafood, especially tuna and salmon, as well as chicken, pork, and spicy food.
This common white wine is quite popular in the United States, originating from the Burgundy wine region in France. More full-bodied than some other popular white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris possesses faint mineral and pear aromas and comes from a gray-blue grape. This versatile wine pairs well with seafood, turkey, Thai food, and spicy dishes.