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What are Some Different Kinds of White Wines?

Rieslings pair well with light cheeses.
Chardonnays are the most popular type of white wines.
White wines come in a number of different types, and are often classed by the French regions in which their grapes were once grown.
Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes described as having a pear-like flavor.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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White wines come in a number of different types, and are often classed by the French regions in which their grapes were once grown. However, other wines from Italy and Germany also are quite popular and make excellent choices for accompaniment with meals or desserts. Here are a few of the more popular types of white wines:

Chardonnays are some of the most popular whites. The grapes are often used in the production of sparkling wines, as well as in typical “still” wines. Chardonnays have complex flavors and should exhibit a little bit of oak, citrus, melon, and butter. Generally the flavors should be numerous and distinguishable from one another. Excellent Chardonnays are made in France, California and New Zealand. Some also hail from South America.

Sauvignon Blanc wines have a higher acid than Chardonnays. Some compare the tastes to green apples, pears, or to grass. They also taste slightly smoky. These pair very well with fish and poultry. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc also makes an excellent accompaniment to a Caesar or Chef Salad. The grapes for these Sauvingnon Blancs benefit from a cooler climate, which is readily provided in areas like France’s Loire Valley, the Northern California coastline, and in areas of South America, Australia and New Zealand.

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Muscat wines tend to be sweeter, but can still make excellent white wines. The trick is to balance the sweetness with enough acid and dryness so the wine is not overpowering. Muscats got a fairly bad reputation for many years as being the cheap wine of alcoholics. Today however, complex Muscats are often served with dessert or as an after dinner drink.

Rieslings are also among the sweeter and lighter whites. They pair well with fish, poultry, pork, and light cheeses. Like Muscats, Rieslings require that precarious balance between acidic tastes and sweet. Some use Rieslings to make late harvest wines, which are often called dessert wines. Late harvest Rieslings are especially sweet because the grapes are allowed to develop a fungus called botrytis, often called the “noble rot.”

Gewurztraminers also may be overly sweet. However, certain vineyards, like the Navarro Vineyards in Philo, California are famed for producing them with a perfect blend of acidity and sweetness. Navarro also produces a late harvest Gewurztraminer that is not to be missed by those who love dessert wines. These white wines have a distinctive aroma, and flavor, easily distinguishable from other varietals.

Often, white wines are blended to produce white table wine. Some blends can be excellent and inexpensive. Usually a wine labeled as a varietal must contain a regulated percentage of the required grapes. For example, a Chardonnay must have a certain amount of Chardonnay grapes. Blended wines can be excellent, picking up on the flavors of several of the different grapes that make white wines. One should also look for Italian wines like Pinot Grigio, similar in flavor and aroma to Sauvignon Blancs.

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musicshaman
Post 3

Can anyone tell me, among white wines, is dry better or is fruity better?

I have been looking at some Burgundy white wines, and I want to know which is the best one to choose.

Can anybody clue me in?

galen84basc
Post 2

@zenmaster -- I think that sparkling white wines have to be my all time favorites. There's nothing better for me than sitting on the couch after a long day with a little piece of chocolate, or some strawberries, and a flute of sparkling white wine.

That is my all time favorite relaxation method!

zenmaster
Post 1

I have to say, I am a sucker for a good dry white wine. My favorite is a Chablis Grand Cru, but I'm also a fan of many other white Burgundy wines.

Not a total fan of fruity white wines, but I'll take a white Zinfandel if other wines aren't available.

What do you guys think is the best white wine?

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