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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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  • Leasingham Magnus Riesling 2004 Front Label
    Leasingham Magnus Riesling 2004
    Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
    • WS89
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  • J. Hofstatter Pinot Grigio de Vite 2004 Front Label
    J. Hofstatter Pinot Grigio de Vite 2004
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
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    • Allegrini Soave 2004 Front Label
      Allegrini Soave 2004
      Garganega from Soave, Veneto, Italy
      • W&S87
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    • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2004  Front Bottle Shot
      Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP97
      • WS94
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    • Chateau Brondelle Graves 2004 Front Label
      Chateau Brondelle Graves 2004
      Bordeaux White Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
        3.1 11 Ratings
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      • Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese 2004 Front Label
        Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese 2004
        Riesling from Mosel, Germany
        • W&S92
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      • La Vieille Ferme Blanc 2004 Front Label
        La Vieille Ferme Blanc 2004
        Rhone White Blends from France
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        • Acacia Carneros Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
          Acacia Carneros Chardonnay 2004
          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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          • Greg Norman Estates Australia Estate Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
            Greg Norman Estates Australia Estate Chardonnay 2004
            Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
            • WS89
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          • Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2004  Front Label
            Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2004
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • WS96
            • RP93
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          • Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
            Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2004
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            • Argyle Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
              Argyle Chardonnay 2004
              Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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              • Markham Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                Markham Chardonnay 2004
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                • Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                  Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2004
                  Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP96
                  • WS92
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                  139 97
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                • Zed Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                  Zed Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                  • Aura Verdejo 2004 Front Label
                    Aura Verdejo 2004
                    Verdejo from Rueda, Spain
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                    • Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2004 Front Label
                      Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2004
                      Riesling from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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                      • Stoneleigh Riesling 2004 Front Label
                        Stoneleigh Riesling 2004
                        Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                        • Rudolph Muller Riesling Pfalz 2004 Front Label
                          Rudolph Muller Riesling Pfalz 2004
                          Riesling from Germany
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                            10 49
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                          • Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Auslese (375ML half-bottle) 2004 Front Label
                            Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Auslese (375ML half-bottle) 2004
                            Riesling from Pfalz, Germany
                            • RP97
                            • WS94
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                          • Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling 2004 Front Label
                            Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling 2004
                            Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
                            • WS90
                            2.2 8 Ratings
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                            11 79
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                          • Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                            Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay 2004
                            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                            • Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                              Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                              Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
                              • W&S90
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                            • Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                              Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                              Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
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                              • Neyers Napa Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                                Neyers Napa Chardonnay 2004
                                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                                • RP90
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