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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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  • Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2005
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS96
    • W&S96
    • V93
    • RP90
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  • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005  Front Label
    Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    269 97
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  • Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005
    Chardonnay from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 2005  Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 2005
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    49 97
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  • Val de Sil Montenovo Godello 2005 Front Label
    Val de Sil Montenovo Godello 2005
    Godello from Spain
    • W&S91
    3.1 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.29
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    12 28
    12 28
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  • Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    70
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  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Front Label
    Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2005
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.29
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    18 28
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  • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2005 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2005
    Rhone White Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • W&S94
    • RP92
    3.5 22 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
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  • Dr. Thanisch Riesling Classic 2005 Front Label
    Dr. Thanisch Riesling Classic 2005
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WE88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    17 49
    15 99
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  • Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    • Simi Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Front Label
      Simi Sauvignon Blanc 2005
      Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
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        16 79
        12 99
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      • Bayten Buitenverwachting Riesling 2005 Front Label
        Bayten Buitenverwachting Riesling 2005
        Riesling from South Africa
        • WS89
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.29
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        12 28
        12 28
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      • Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese 2005 Front Label
        Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese 2005
        Riesling from Mosel, Germany
        • WS93
        • WE90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        39 99
        39 99
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      • Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2005 Front Label
        Bodegas Montecillo Blanco 2005
        Other White Blends from Rioja, Spain
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        • Sartarelli Verdicchio Classico 2005 Front Label
          Sartarelli Verdicchio Classico 2005
          Verdicchio from Italy
            3.2 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $6.99
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            10 99
            6 99
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          • Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Front Label
            Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2005
            Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
            • WE88
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          • Domaines Barons de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux Blanc 2005 Front Label
            Domaines Barons de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux Blanc 2005
            Bordeaux White Blends from Bordeaux, France
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              Currently Unavailable $13.29
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              13 28
              13 28
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            • Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 2005 Front Label
              Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 2005
              Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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                9 99
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              • Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon 2005 Front Label
                Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon 2005
                Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
                • WS92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                22 99
                22 99
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              • Kumkani Viognier 2005 Front Label
                Kumkani Viognier 2005
                Viognier from South Africa
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                  15 99
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                • Hartford Court Four Hearts Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
                  Hartford Court Four Hearts Chardonnay 2005
                  Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                  • RP91
                  • WE91
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                • Domaine Matrot Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Chalumeaux 2005 Front Label
                  Domaine Matrot Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Chalumeaux 2005
                  Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                  • BH92
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                  62
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                • Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
                  Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio Chardonnay 2005
                  Other White Blends from Veneto, Italy
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                  • Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
                    Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2005
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $16.29
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                      16 28
                      16 28
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                    • Prinz Salm Schloss Wallhausen Riesling Spatlese 2005 Front Label
                      Prinz Salm Schloss Wallhausen Riesling Spatlese 2005
                      Riesling from Germany
                      • W&S91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      23
                      19 99
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