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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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  • S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling 2015  Front Label
    S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling 2015
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • W&S93
    5.0 5 Ratings
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  • Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Front Label
    Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2015
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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    • RP93
    • JS92
    • WS91
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  • Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2015 Front Label
    Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2015
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    • RP95
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    • D95
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  • David Bruce Russian River Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
    David Bruce Russian River Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche 2015  Front Label
    Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche 2015
    Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • WS94
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  • Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
    Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP94
    • JD94
    • WE93
    • WS92
    4.2 6 Ratings
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  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Jadis 2015  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Jadis 2015
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • WE95
    • WS93
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  • Emmolo Plumerai Sauvignon Blanc (1 Liter) 2015 Front Label
    Emmolo Plumerai Sauvignon Blanc (1 Liter) 2015
    Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
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  • Chateau Simone Palette Blanc 2015 Front Label
    Chateau Simone Palette Blanc 2015
    Other White Blends from Provence, France
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    • Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
      Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2015
      Chardonnay from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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      • Chateau Pape Clement Blanc 2015 Front Label
        Chateau Pape Clement Blanc 2015
        Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
        • JS98
        • JD97
        • RP95
        • WE95
        • WS94
        • D93
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2015 Front Label
        Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2015
        Other White Blends from Carneros, California
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        • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris 2015 Front Label
          Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris 2015
          Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
          • WE91
          4.5 12 Ratings
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        • Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2015 Front Label
          Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2015
          Garganega from Soave, Veneto, Italy
          • WE96
          • JS94
          • D94
          • RP93
          3.9 14 Ratings
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        • Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
          Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
          • JD94
          • RP93
          • WS92
          • WE91
          3.5 14 Ratings
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        • Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
          Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
          • JS92
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        • Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
          Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
          • WE91
          • WS90
          • RP90
          • JD90
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        • Replica Retrofit Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
          Replica Retrofit Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from North Coast, California
          • WE91
          4.1 27 Ratings
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        • Mercer Estates Pinot Gris 2015 Front Label
          Mercer Estates Pinot Gris 2015
          Pinot Gris/Grigio from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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          • Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
            Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
            • D94
            • RP92
            • V92
            3.1 7 Ratings
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          • Lioco Estero Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
            Lioco Estero Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • WW93
            4.4 5 Ratings
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          • Do Ferreiro Rebisaca 2015 Front Label
            Do Ferreiro Rebisaca 2015
            Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
            • RP93
            3.2 8 Ratings
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          • Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
            Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
            • RP92
            • JD91
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          • Albert Boxler Pinot Blanc 2015 Front Label
            Albert Boxler Pinot Blanc 2015
            Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
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            • A Coroa Godello 2015 Front Label
              A Coroa Godello 2015
              Godello from Valdeorras, Spain
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