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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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  • Mirassou Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Mirassou Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from California
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    • Donnhoff Oberhauser Bruke Riesling Spatlese 2002 Front Label
      Donnhoff Oberhauser Bruke Riesling Spatlese 2002
      Riesling from Nahe, Germany
      • RP97
      • WS92
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    • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
      Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP99
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    • J.J. Prum Riesling Kabinett 2002 Front Label
      J.J. Prum Riesling Kabinett 2002
      Riesling from Mosel, Germany
      • WS90
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    • Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 2002 Front Label
      Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 2002
      Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
      • WS97
      • W&S96
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    • Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
      Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
      Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      • Cuvaison Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Carneros, California
        • WE91
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      • Pieropan Soave Classico Superiore 2002 Front Label
        Pieropan Soave Classico Superiore 2002
        Garganega from Soave, Veneto, Italy
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        • Beringer Chenin Blanc 2002 Front Label
          Beringer Chenin Blanc 2002
          Chenin Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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          • Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
            Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay 2002
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • RP89
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          • Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Blanc 2002 Front Label
            Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Blanc 2002
            Rhone White Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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            • Geyser Peak Ricci Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
              Geyser Peak Ricci Chardonnay 2002
              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                23 99
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              • Redbank Long Paddock Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                Redbank Long Paddock Chardonnay 2002
                Chardonnay from Australia
                • WS88
                • WE87
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              • J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese 2002 Front Label
                J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese 2002
                Riesling from Mosel, Germany
                • RP90
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                Currently Unavailable $82.99
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                82 99
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              • Hogue Fruit Forward Chardonnay 2002
                Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                • Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2002 Front Label
                  Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2002
                  Other White Blends from Rioja, Spain
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                  • Pindar Sunflower Special Reserve Chardonnay 2002
                    Chardonnay from New York, Other U.S.
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                    • Marchesi di Gresy Moscato d'Asti La Serra 2002
                      Muscat from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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                      • Domaine Famille Ligneres Las Vals Blanc 2002 Front Label
                        Domaine Famille Ligneres Las Vals Blanc 2002
                        Rhone White Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
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                        • Bogle Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                          Bogle Chardonnay 2002
                          Chardonnay from California
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                          • Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                            Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay 2002
                            Chardonnay from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                            • WS87
                            • RP87
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                          • Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo Big House White 2002 Front Label
                            Bonny Doon Ca' del Solo Big House White 2002
                            Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
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                            • Murphy-Goode Reserve Fume Blanc 2002 Front Label
                              Murphy-Goode Reserve Fume Blanc 2002
                              Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
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                              • Voss Vineyards VV2 Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Front Label
                                Voss Vineyards VV2 Sauvignon Blanc 2002
                                Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
                                  3.7 6 Ratings
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                                • Guigal Condrieu 2002
                                  Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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