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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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  • Sine Qua Non On The Lam 2009 Front Label
    Sine Qua Non On The Lam 2009
    Other White Blends from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Chapelot Premier Cru 2009  Front Label
      Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Chapelot Premier Cru 2009
      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
      • BH92
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      289 97
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    • Manuel Jose Colares MJC Colares Branco 2009  Front Label
      Manuel Jose Colares MJC Colares Branco 2009
      Malvasia from Portugal
      • W&S92
      4.9 5 Ratings
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      42
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    • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
      Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2009
      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine Weinbach Schlossberg Riesling 2009 Front Label
        Domaine Weinbach Schlossberg Riesling 2009
        Riesling from Alsace, France
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        • Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
          Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay 2009
          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
          • WE90
          3.5 12 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.98
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          21 99
          15 98
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        • Tiamo Pinot Grigio 2009 Front Label
          Tiamo Pinot Grigio 2009
          Pinot Gris/Grigio from Veneto, Italy
            3.8 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            12 99
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          • Aveleda Vinho Verde 2009 Front Label
            Aveleda Vinho Verde 2009
            Other White Blends from Vinho Verde, Portugal
            • WE92
            3.3 15 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $8.99
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          • Bodini Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
            Bodini Chardonnay 2009
            Chardonnay from Argentina
            • RP90
            3.0 7 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.29
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            12 28
            12 28
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          • Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2009 Front Label
            Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2009
            Garganega from Soave, Veneto, Italy
            • WE92
            • RP92
            • WS91
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            Currently Unavailable $31.99
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            31 99
            31 99
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          • Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Front Label
            Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2009
            Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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            • Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
              Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2009
              Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
              • WS94
              • RP93
              • W&S90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $54.99
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              54 99
              54 99
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            • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
              Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay 2009
              Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile
              • WS90
              3.5 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $25.99
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              25 99
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            • Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Front Label
              Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc 2009
              Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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              • Brander Cuvee Nicolas 2009 Front Label
                Brander Cuvee Nicolas 2009
                Sauvignon Blanc from Central Coast, California
                • WE92
                • WS91
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              • Pikes Riesling Traditionale 2009 Front Label
                Pikes Riesling Traditionale 2009
                Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
                • RP91
                • WS90
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              • Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2009 Front Label
                Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2009
                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • WE91
                • WS90
                3.7 9 Ratings
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              • Bodegas Fillaboa Albarino Rias Baixas 2009 Front Label
                Bodegas Fillaboa Albarino Rias Baixas 2009
                Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
                • W&S92
                3.4 9 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                18 99
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              • Spice Route Viognier 2009 Front Label
                Spice Route Viognier 2009
                Viognier from South Africa
                • WS89
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                23
                19 99
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              • Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
                Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay 2009
                Chardonnay from California
                • WE90
                3.8 32 Ratings
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                15
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              • Robert Oatley Mudgee Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
                Robert Oatley Mudgee Chardonnay 2009
                Chardonnay from Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia
                • WS90
                3.0 7 Ratings
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                18
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              • La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
                La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009
                Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
                • WE91
                • RP90
                3.6 8 Ratings
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              • Pacific Rim Organic Riesling 2009 Front Label
                Pacific Rim Organic Riesling 2009
                Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
                • WE91
                3.7 10 Ratings
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                19 99
                19 99
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              • Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2009 Front Label
                Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2009
                Riesling from Alsace, France
                • WS90
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                30
                21 99
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              • Beni di Batasiolo Gavi di Gavi Granee 2009 Front Label
                Beni di Batasiolo Gavi di Gavi Granee 2009
                Cortese from Piedmont, Italy
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