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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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  • Lucien Le Moine Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2004  Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2004
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
      Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP95
      • 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
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        21 99
        12 99
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      • Bodega Lurton Torrontes 2004 Front Label
        Bodega Lurton Torrontes 2004
        Torrontes from Argentina
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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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        • Markham Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
          Markham Chardonnay 2004
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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          • Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2004 Front Label
            Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2004
            Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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            • Argyle Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
              Argyle Chardonnay 2004
              Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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              • Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
                • WE91
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                32 99
                26 99
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              • Rudolph Muller Riesling Pfalz 2004 Front Label
                Rudolph Muller Riesling Pfalz 2004
                Riesling from Germany
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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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                • Antinori Orvieto Classico Campogrande 2004 Front Label
                  Antinori Orvieto Classico Campogrande 2004
                  Other White Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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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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                    119 97
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                  • Peter Lehmann Portrait Eden Valley Riesling 2004 Front Label
                    Peter Lehmann Portrait Eden Valley Riesling 2004
                    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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                      19 49
                      14 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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                        18 99
                        18 99
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                      • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                        Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
                        Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
                        • RP90
                        4.0 5 Ratings
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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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                        357 97
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                      • Haywood Vintner's Select Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                        Haywood Vintner's Select Chardonnay 2004
                        Chardonnay from California
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                        • Neyers Napa Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
                          Neyers Napa Chardonnay 2004
                          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                          • RP90
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                          45 99
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                        • Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                          Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                          Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
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                          • King Estate Pinot Gris 2004 Front Label
                            King Estate Pinot Gris 2004
                            Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                              14 99
                              14 99
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                            • Lucien Albrecht Reserve Pinot Blanc Balthazar 2004 Front Label
                              Lucien Albrecht Reserve Pinot Blanc Balthazar 2004
                              Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
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                                Currently Unavailable $14.29
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                                14 28
                                14 28
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                              • Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2004 Front Label
                                Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2004
                                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Germany
                                • W&S88
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                                12 79
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                              • Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Front Label
                                Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2004
                                Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                                  21 39
                                  12 99
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