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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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  • J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling 1999 Front Label
    J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling 1999
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WS93
    • W&S90
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  • Terrale Chardonnay 1999
    Chardonnay from Italy
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 1999
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      • RP92
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    • Prager Smaragd Chardonnay 1999
      Riesling from Austria
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      • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay 1999
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        • WS87
        • RP87
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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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        • Duboeuf Viognier 1999
          Viognier from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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          • Vine Cliff Chardonnay 1999
            Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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            • Toasted Head Chardonnay 1999
              Chardonnay from California
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              • Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 1999
                Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WS87
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              • Dom. St. George STG Chalk Hill Chardonnay 1999
                Chardonnay from Chalk Hill, Sonoma County, California
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                • Clos Du Val Carneros Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 1999
                  Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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                  • Barons de Rothschild Legende R 1999 Front Label
                    Barons de Rothschild Legende R 1999
                    Bordeaux White Blends from Bordeaux, France
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                    • Le Bonheur Chardonnay 1999 Front Label
                      Le Bonheur Chardonnay 1999
                      Chardonnay from South Africa
                      • WS88
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                    • DeLoach California Chardonnay 1999
                      Chardonnay from California
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                      • Louis Latour Meursault Blanc 1999 Front Label
                        Louis Latour Meursault Blanc 1999
                        Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • Columbia Crest Chardonnay 1999
                          Chardonnay from North Coast, California
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                          • Antonin Rodet Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 1999
                            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                            • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 1999
                              Riesling from Alsace, France
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                              • Sterling Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1999
                                Chardonnay from North Coast, California
                                • WS86
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                              • Torres Vina Sol (1.5L) 1999 Front Label
                                Torres Vina Sol (1.5L) 1999
                                Other White Blends from Spain
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                                • Tarapaca Chardonnay Riserva 1999
                                  Chardonnay from Chile
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                                  • Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio 1999
                                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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                                    • Columbia Crest Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Front Label
                                      Columbia Crest Sauvignon Blanc 1999
                                      Sauvignon Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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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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