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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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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru 1999  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru 1999
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • RP94
    • BH94
    • WS90
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  • Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 1999  Front Label
    Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 1999
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • BH92
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  • McPherson Semillon/Chardonnay 1999
    Other White Blends from Australia
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    • J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 1999 Front Label
      J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 1999
      Riesling from Mosel, Germany
      • WS93
      • W&S90
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    • Montevina Fume Blanc 1999 Front Label
      Montevina Fume Blanc 1999
      Sauvignon Blanc from Sierra Foothills, California
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      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling 1999
        Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS88
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        Currently Unavailable $16.19
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      • Sanford Sauvignon Blanc 1999
        Sauvignon Blanc from Central Coast, California
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        • Francis Ford Coppola Bianco 1999 Front Label
          Francis Ford Coppola Bianco 1999
          Other White Blends from California
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          • Jacques et Francois Lurton Pays dOc Chardonnay 1999
            Chardonnay from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
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            • Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Chardonnay 1999
              Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
              • WS90
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              Currently Unavailable $32.99
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              32 99
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            • Terrale Chardonnay 1999
              Chardonnay from Italy
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              • Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay 1999 Front Label
                Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay 1999
                Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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                • Louis Martini Chardonnay 1999 Front Label
                  Louis Martini Chardonnay 1999
                  Chardonnay from California
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                    13 49
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                  • Arrowood Reserve Speciale Chardonnay 1999
                    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                    • Prager Smaragd Chardonnay 1999
                      Riesling from Austria
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                        39 99
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                      • Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay 1999 Front Label
                        Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay 1999
                        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                        • WS91
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                      • DeLoach O.F.S. Chardonnay 1999
                        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                        • W&S92
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                      • Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 1999
                        Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
                        • WS88
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                        27 49
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                      • Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 1999 Front Label
                        Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 1999
                        Vermentino from Italy
                        • WE88
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                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                        15 99
                        15 99
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                      • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay 1999
                        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                        • WS87
                        • RP87
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                        27 99
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                      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer 1999 Front Label
                        Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer 1999
                        Gewurztraminer from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                          10 99
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                        • Sine Qua Non Tarantella 1999 Front Label
                          Sine Qua Non Tarantella 1999
                          Rhone White Blends from California
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                          • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Semillon Chardonnay 1999 Front Label
                            Penfolds Koonunga Hill Semillon Chardonnay 1999
                            Other White Blends from South Australia, Australia
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                            • Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc (half-bottle) 1999 Front Label
                              Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc (half-bottle) 1999
                              Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
                              • WS87
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                            • Geyser Peak Chardonnay 1999
                              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                                16 99
                                14 99
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