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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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  • Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2011 Front Label
    Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2011
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • JS94
    • W&S93
    • WW93
    4.3 9 Ratings
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  • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • V92
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  • Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    • Rhys Vineyards Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Rhys Vineyards Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
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      • Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011 Front Label
        Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011
        Other White Blends from Vinho Verde, Portugal
        • W&S90
        3.4 12 Ratings
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      • Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
        Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
        • RP91
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      • Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2011 Front Label
        Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2011
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
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        • Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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          • Jean Perrier & Fils Savoie Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie 2011 Front Label
            Jean Perrier & Fils Savoie Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie 2011
            Other White Blends from France
            • WS91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            17
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          • Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            • J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2011 Front Label
              J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2011
              Riesling from Mosel, Germany
              • WS92
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              37
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            • Arizona Stronghold Dala Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Arizona Stronghold Dala Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Other U.S.
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                18
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              • Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011 Front Label
                Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                  23 99
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                • Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio 2011 Front Label
                  Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio 2011
                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
                  • WS87
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                • Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Front Label
                  Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2011
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                    • RP97
                    • WS93
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                  • Rooiberg Winery Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Front Label
                    Rooiberg Winery Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011
                    Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
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                    • Chateau de Fieuzal Blanc 2011 Front Label
                      Chateau de Fieuzal Blanc 2011
                      Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
                      • JS94
                      • WE94
                      • WS92
                      • RP92
                      0.0 0 Ratings
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                      58 99
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                    • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011 Front Bottle Shot
                      Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011
                      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                      • WS88
                      • BH88
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                    • Ruffino Pinot Grigio Lumina 2011 Front Label
                      Ruffino Pinot Grigio Lumina 2011
                      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Tuscany, Italy
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                      • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Blanc 2011 Front Label
                        Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Blanc 2011
                        Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
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                        • Tangent Paragon Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
                          Tangent Paragon Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011
                          Pinot Gris/Grigio from Central Coast, California
                          • WE90
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                        • Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                          Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011
                          Chardonnay from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                          • WS90
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                          19
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                        • Skouras Moscofilero 2011 Front Label
                          Skouras Moscofilero 2011
                          Other White Wine from Greece
                          • WS90
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                          15 99
                          15 99
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                        • Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St-Aubin La Chateniere 2011 Front Label
                          Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St-Aubin La Chateniere 2011
                          Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
                          • WS92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                          47 99
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