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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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  • Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Front Label
    Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2002
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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    • Bodegas Godeval Vina Godeval Blanco 2002
      Other White Wine from Spain
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      • Brancott Gisborne Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
        Brancott Gisborne Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Gisborne, New Zealand
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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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          • Raphael Grand Cru Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
            Raphael 2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay 2002
            Chardonnay from New York, Other U.S.
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              15 28
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            • Vinum Cellars Chard-No-Way (dry Chenin Blanc) 2002
              Chenin Blanc from California
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              • Santa Margherita Pinot Bianco 2002 Front Label
                Santa Margherita Pinot Bianco 2002
                Pinot Blanc from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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                • Wente Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Front Label
                  Wente Sauvignon Blanc 2002
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Central Coast, California
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                    13 99
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                  • Andretti Chardonnay 2002
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                    • Schloss Saarstein Riesling Kabinett 2002 Front Label
                      Schloss Saarstein Riesling Kabinett 2002
                      Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                      • RockBare Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                        RockBare Chardonnay 2002
                        Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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                      • Meridian Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                        Meridian Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2002
                        Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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                        • Lindeman’s Bin Series Cawarra Semillon Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                          Lindeman’s Bin Series Cawarra Semillon Chardonnay 2002
                          Other White Blends from Australia
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                          • Clos Du Val Ariadne 2002 Front Label
                            Clos Du Val Ariadne 2002
                            Bordeaux White Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                            • Chalone Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                              Chalone Chardonnay 2002
                              Chardonnay from California
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                              • Pierre Sparr Mambourg Grand Cru Pinot Gris 2002
                                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
                                • WS91
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                              • Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese 2002 Front Label
                                Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese 2002
                                Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                                • Rutini Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                                  Rutini Chardonnay 2002
                                  Chardonnay from Argentina
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                                  • Baobab Sauvignon Blanc 2002
                                    Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
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                                    • Longoria Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2002 Front Label
                                      Longoria Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2002
                                      Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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                                      • Abadia da Cova Albarino 2002
                                        Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
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                                        • Gainey Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Front Label
                                          Gainey Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2002
                                          Sauvignon Blanc from Central Coast, California
                                          • WE91
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                                        • TwoTone Farm Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                                          TwoTone Farm Chardonnay 2002
                                          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                                          • Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2002
                                            Pinot Blanc from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
                                            • WS90
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                                            14 99
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                                          • Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
                                            Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2002
                                            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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