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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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  • Vine Cliff Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
    Vine Cliff Chardonnay 2000
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • Wente Riesling 2000
      Riesling from California
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      • Louis Jadot Beaujolais Blanc Grand Clos de Loyse 2000 Front Label
        Louis Jadot Beaujolais Blanc Grand Clos de Loyse 2000
        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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        • Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2000
          Greco from Italy
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          • Olivier Leflaive St. Aubin Remilly 2000
            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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            • RP89
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          • Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
            Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2000
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • WE90
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          • Pascal Jolivet Les Caillottess Sancerre 2000
            Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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            • Callaway Chenin Blanc Dry 2000
              Chenin Blanc from California
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              • Girard Russian River Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
                Girard Russian River Chardonnay 2000
                Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WE89
                • WS86
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              • Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2000
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
                • WS95
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              • Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2000 Front Label
                Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2000
                Other White Blends from Rioja, Spain
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                • Covey Run Riesling 2000
                  Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                  • Franciscan Estate Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
                    Franciscan Estate Chardonnay 2000
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                    • WS87
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                  • Sterling Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
                    Sterling Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2000
                    Chardonnay from North Coast, California
                    • WS87
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                  • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2000 Front Label
                    Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2000
                    Riesling from Alsace, France
                    • WS91
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                  • Buena Vista Sauvignon Blanc 2000
                    Sauvignon Blanc from California
                    • WE86
                    • WS85
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                  • Benziger Fume Blanc 2000
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
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                    • Beringer Founders Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000
                      Sauvignon Blanc from California
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                      • Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Front Label
                        Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2000
                        Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
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                        • Edmeades Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
                          Edmeades Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2000
                          Chardonnay from North Coast, California
                          • WS87
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                        • Snoqualmie Sauvignon Blanc 2000
                          Sauvignon Blanc from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                          • Franciscan Estate Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
                            Franciscan Estate Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay 2000
                            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                            • WE92
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                          • Dom. St. George Sauvignon Blanc 2000
                            Sauvignon Blanc from California
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                            • Tamas Estates Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
                              Tamas Estates Chardonnay 2000
                              Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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                              • Barton & Guestier Muscadet 2000
                                Melon de Bourgogne from Loire, France
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