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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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  • Chateau Raymond-Lafon Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1988  Front Label
    Chateau Raymond-Lafon Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1988
    Bordeaux White Blends from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
    • RP92
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    Currently Unavailable $59.97
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  • Schloss Schonborn Marcobrunn Riesling Spatelese 1988 Front Label
    Schloss Schonborn Marcobrunn Riesling Spatelese 1988
    Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
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      Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      44 99
      44 99
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    • Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc 1988
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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      • Trimbach Reserve Personnelle Pinot Gris 1988
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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          Currently Unavailable $33.99
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          33 99
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        • Ch. Megyer Tokaji 4 Puttonyos (500ML) 1988
          Other White Blends from Hungary
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            Currently Unavailable $26.49
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            26 49
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          • Ch. Megyer Tokaji 5 Puttonyos (500ML) 1988
            Other White Blends from Hungary
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              Currently Unavailable $30.99
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              30 99
              30 99
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            • Domaines Schlumberger Cuvee Anne Gewurztraminer 1988 Front Label
              Domaines Schlumberger Cuvee Anne Gewurztraminer 1988
              Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                Currently Unavailable $85.49
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                85 49
                85 49
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              • D'Oliveira Terrantez Reserva 1988
                Other White Wine from Madeira, Portugal
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                  Currently Unavailable $195.00
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                  195
                  195
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                • Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao Branco 1988  Front Label
                  Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao Branco 1988
                  Other White Blends from Portugal
                  • RP90
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                  Currently Unavailable $108.99
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                  108 99
                  108 99
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                • J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 1988
                  Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                    Currently Unavailable $149.97
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                    149 97
                    149 97
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                  • Disznoko Tokaji Aszu Eszencia 1988 Front Label
                    Disznoko Tokaji Aszu Eszencia 1988
                    Other White Blends from Hungary
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                      Currently Unavailable $252.99
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                      252 99
                      252 99
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                    • Contini Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 1988 Front Label
                      Contini Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 1988
                      Vernaccia from Sardinia, Italy
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                        Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                        31 99
                        31 99
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                      • D'Oliveira Terrantez 1988 Front Label
                        D'Oliveira Terrantez 1988
                        Other White Wine from Madeira, Portugal
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $123.00
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                          123
                          123
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                        • Chateau Gilette Creme de Tete Sauternes 1988 Front Label
                          Chateau Gilette Creme de Tete Sauternes 1988
                          Bordeaux White Blends from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $236.99
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                            236 99
                            236 99
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                          • Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1988  Front Label
                            Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1988
                            Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $160.99
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                              160 99
                              160 99
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