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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 and styles 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 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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  • Von Kesselstatt Riesling Josephshofer TBA (half-bottle) 1989 Front Label
    Von Kesselstatt Riesling Josephshofer TBA (half-bottle) 1989
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WS94
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  • Marc Bredif Nectar Vouvray (half-bottle) 1989 Front Label
    Marc Bredif Nectar Vouvray (half-bottle) 1989
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS90
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  • Trimbach Gewurztraminer Sels Grains Nobles 1989 Front Label
    Trimbach Gewurztraminer Sels Grains Nobles 1989
    Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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    • Trimbach Riesling Selection Grains Nobles 1989
      Riesling from Alsace, France
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      • Domaine Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes Premier Cru 1989 Front Label
        Domaine Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes Premier Cru 1989
        Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP91
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        Currently Unavailable $279.99
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      • Schloss Plettenberg Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Beerenauslese (375ml half bottle) 1989
        Riesling from Nahe, Germany
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          Currently Unavailable $129.97
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          129 97
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        • Schloss Johannisberg Rosalack Riesling Auslese 1989 Front Label
          Schloss Johannisberg Rosalack Riesling Auslese 1989
          Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
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            Currently Unavailable $148.99
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          • Chateau Gilette Creme de Tete Sauternes 1989 Front Label
            Chateau Gilette Creme de Tete Sauternes 1989
            Bordeaux White Blends from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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              Currently Unavailable $237.99
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            • Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune Hors Choix Vendanges Tardives Riesling 1989 Front Label
              Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune Hors Choix Vendanges Tardives Riesling 1989
              Riesling from Alsace, France
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              • Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu 1989 Front Label
                Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu 1989
                Chenin Blanc from Touraine, Loire, France
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                • Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Haut Lieu Premier Trie 1989 Front Label
                  Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Haut Lieu Premier Trie 1989
                  Chenin Blanc from Touraine, Loire, France
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                    Currently Unavailable $155.00
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                    155
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                  • Stony Hill Chardonnay 1989  Front Label
                    Stony Hill Chardonnay 1989
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $74.99
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                      74 99
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