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White Wine

Learn about white wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

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What are the types of white wine?

From lean and crisp to oaky and buttery, white wine comes in an array of styles and is produced in almost every wine region of the world. Although only about 25 pale-skinned grapes make the majority of the white wine produced, hundreds of native varieties are important not only to local culture, but to the diversity of the global wine world. White wine styles range from a simple and refreshing aperitif to a robust accompaniment to a hearty meal and some of the best can age for decades.

How is white wine made?

To preserve freshness, aromatics and primary fruit flavors, white wines are often fermented at cooler temperatures than reds. Unlike red winemaking, the colorless juice is not typically left in contact with the grape skins during the fermentation process. The winemaker has the choice to encourage or prevent malolactic fermentation, which turns the tart acidity of grape juice into the softer, creamier flavors of wine. Another important decision when making white wine is whether and how to use oak—the barrels’ age, provenance and time holding the wine all help to determine the final style, in terms of both flavor and texture.

What gives white wine its color?

White wines can vary in color from nearly clear lemon-green to medium gold to pale orange or almost light brown, depending on grape variety, winemaking methods and age.

How do you serve white wine?

Ideally for storing white wine in any long-term sense, it should be at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool white wine down to about 45F to 55F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking white wines, the best white wine glasses have a stem and a narrow bowl large enough to allow swirling without spilling.

How long does white wine last?

Opened, a bottle of white wine will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days to a week, maybe longer. Unopened, white wines stay good for one year to, in some cases, several decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning to strategically store white wine, seek the advice of a wine professional.

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  • Trefethen Library Selection Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
    Trefethen Library Selection Chardonnay 1995
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • Charles Krug Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
      Charles Krug Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 1995
      Chardonnay from California
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      • Josmeyer Riesling L' Exception 1995
        Riesling from Alsace, France
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        • Colin-Deleger Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers Premier Cru 1995 Front Label
          Colin-Deleger Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers Premier Cru 1995
          Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • RP91
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        • Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc (OU Kosher) 1995 Front Label
          Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc (OU Kosher) 1995
          Chenin Blanc from California
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          • Kalin Chardonnay Cuvee W Livermore Valley 1995 Front Label
            Kalin Chardonnay Cuvee W Livermore Valley 1995
            Chardonnay from California
            • RP95
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          • Kalin Cuvee CH Chardonnay 1995  Front Label
            Kalin Cuvee CH Chardonnay 1995
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • RP96
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          • Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 1995
            Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
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            • Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault 1995  Front Label
              Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault 1995
              Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Schmitt Sohne Piesporter Michelsberg QbA 1995
                Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
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                • Badia a Coltibuono Sella del Boscone Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
                  Badia a Coltibuono Sella del Boscone Chardonnay 1995
                  Chardonnay from Tuscany, Italy
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                  • Trimbach Riesling 1995
                    Riesling from Alsace, France
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                    • Lindeman’s Bin Series Semillon Hunter River 1995 Front Label
                      Lindeman’s Bin Series Semillon Hunter River 1995
                      Semillon from Australia
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                      • Silvan Ridge Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
                        Silvan Ridge Chardonnay 1995
                        Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                        • WS86
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                      • Latah Creek Chardonnay 1995
                        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                        • Eola Hills Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
                          Eola Hills Chardonnay 1995
                          Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                          • San Quirico Vernaccia 1995
                            Vernaccia from Tuscany, Italy
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                            • Trimbach Reserve Pinot Gris 1995
                              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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                              • M. Picard Dom Perdrix Blanc 1995
                                Chardonnay from Rhone, France
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                                • Chateau La Louviere White Pessac-Leognan 1995 Front Label
                                  Chateau La Louviere White Pessac-Leognan 1995
                                  Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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                                  • Eola Hills Sauvignon Blanc 1995
                                    Sauvignon Blanc from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                                    • Bridgeview Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
                                      Bridgeview 1997 Chardonnay 1995
                                      Chardonnay from Rogue Valley, Oregon
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                                      • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 1995 Front Label
                                        Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 1995
                                        Riesling from Alsace, France
                                        • WS89
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                                      • Petaluma Riesling 1995
                                        Riesling from Australia
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                                        • Tyrrell's Moon Mountain Hunter Valley Chardonnay 1995 Front Label
                                          Tyrrell's Moon Mountain Hunter Valley Chardonnay 1995
                                          Chardonnay from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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