Learn about white wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...
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.
- White Wine9390
- Sauvignon Blanc1110
- Other White Wine794
- Other White Blends714
- Pinot Gris/Grigio498
- Rhône White Blends220
- Chenin Blanc217
- Bordeaux White Blends188
- Gruner Veltliner174
- Pinot Blanc119
- Melon de Bourgogne16
- Grenache Blanc13
- Muller Thurgau5
- Pedro Ximénez2
- South Africa355
- New Zealand353
- Other U.S.243
- Country of Georgia11
- South America3
Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2011Riesling from Alsace, France
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
Rhys Vineyards Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
Jean Perrier & Fils Savoie Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie 2011Other White Blends from France
Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2011Riesling from Mosel, Germany
Arizona Stronghold Dala Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Other U.S.
Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio 2011Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
Rooiberg Winery Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
Chateau de Fieuzal Blanc 2011Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Ruffino Pinot Grigio Lumina 2011Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Blanc 2011Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
Tangent Paragon Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011Pinot Gris/Grigio from Central Coast, California
Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
Skouras Moscofilero 2011Other White Wine from Greece
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St-Aubin La Chateniere 2011Chardonnay from Burgundy, France