List Page Learn About Content Graphic

White Wine

Learn about white wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

undefined, null

Types of white wine varieties

While only a handful of white wine varieties are responsible for most of the commercial production of white wine worldwide, hundreds of native varieties are important not only to local culture, but to the diversity of the global wine world. 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. While they’re all important to local cultures and global wine diversity, these are the top white grapes used for production:

  • Chardonnay: Diverse styles, but often shows oak influence and a buttery quality.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Crisp, aromatic, often un-oaked. Citrus, grassy and tropical notes.
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris: Usually un-oaked, medium-bodied, with apple, pear and citrus.
  • Chenin Blanc: Made into dry, sweet, still and sparkling wines. Apple, pear, ginger, “steel wool” minerality.
  • Riesling: Tolerates cold weather, high in acid. Lime, peach and petrol notes. Can be dry, medium sweet or lusciously sweet.
  • Semillon: Often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Has a viscous texture and notes of citrus and tropical fruit. Susceptible to botrytis and used in rich dessert wines.

Styles of white wine

Apart from the differences between dry and sweet wines, there are 3 basic styles in dry white wines.

  • Light, crisp and uncomplicated. Think Pinot Grigio.
  • Medium-bodied, aromatic and flavorful. Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc.
  • Full, textured and richly-flavored. Chardonnay or Viognier.
  • Sweet white wine - Sweet whites occur when the winemaker stops fermentation before the yeasts have converted all the sugar to alcohol, the result being a sweet, low alcohol wine. A German Auslese Reisling is a good example of a still sweet wine.
  • Dry white wine - Dry white wine happens when the winemaker allows fermentation to continue until little to no residual sugar is left. These can be higher in alcohol, though the percentage will vary depending on the ripeness of the grapes. Cooler climate whites will be lighter in body, ranging from 11% to 12.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Warm climate whites will be fuller, from 13% to as high as 15% ABV in some cases.

Some of the most popular New World white wine regions are California’s Sonoma and Central Coast regions, New Zealand’s Marlborough region and Chile. In the Old World, legendary regions include Burgundy and the Loire Valley in France, Germany’s Mosel and Rheingau, Italy’s Veneto and Alto Adige and Spain’s Rias Baixas.

How is white wine made?

Unlike red winemaking, the juice from white grapes is not typically left in contact with the grape skins during the fermentation process. As quickly as possible after harvest, grapes are crushed and pressed, removing the juice from the grape skins and other solids. To preserve fresh aromatics and fruit, white wines are fermented cooler than reds. The winemaker may let the wine rest on its lees (spent yeast cells) for a period of time, providing additional texture or a “biscuity” quality. They may also initiate malolactic fermentation, a process that converts tart malic acid into softer lactic acid and lends a creamy, buttery essence to the wine. Whether and how to use oak is another important decision. Barrels, especially new ones, can have a dramatic influence on a wine’s aromas and flavors, adding notes of vanilla, toast, spice and coconut. Though, older barrels can provide neutral containers for the development of the wine.

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.

Red wine gets its color from time spent in contact with the skins. Since white wine juice is separated from the skins quickly, it tends to be pale. Un-oaked white wines are often light yellow, sometimes with greenish tints. White wines that mature in new oak will become richer in color; subtle oxidation that occurs with oak aging causes a more golden hue.

White wine color

Evaluating white wine color is best done in a well-lit room. Hold your glass against a white background and look closely. A very pale wine indicates an un-oaked, lighter-bodied wine that might come from a cool climate region like Italy’s Alto Adige or Germany’s Mosel. A straw-colored wine suggests Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Pinot Blanc, while fuller, oaked whites often appear golden in the glass. Deeper, darker colors result either from deliberate skin contact or longer, oxidative aging.

Pairing white wine with food

White wines can be versatile with food. Here are some terrific pairing ideas:

  • Chardonnay with poultry, lobster or crab, rich and creamy cheeses.
  • Sauvignon Blanc with light salads, light seafood dishes, goat cheese.
  • Albariño with shellfish.
  • Riesling (medium-sweet versions) with spicy Asian cuisine.

Health benefits of white wine

While white wine is lower than red wine in certain healthful compounds like resveratrol, multiple studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption raises HDL (good cholesterol), reduces the risk of blood clots and helps prevent artery damage caused by LDL (bad cholesterol). Moderate consumption is typically defined as up to one drink per day for women, two for men.

How do you serve white wine?

Light-bodied white wines like Pinot Grigio should be served cool, at 45F to 50F. Fuller white wines like oaked Chardonnay are best served at 55F. As for stemware, the best white wine glasses have a stem and a narrow bowl large enough to allow swirling without spilling. Ideally for storing white wine in any long-term sense, it should be at cellar temperature, about 55F.

How long does white wine last?

Once opened, a bottle of white wine will usually stay fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days or so. Unopened, white wines stay good for about a 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, reach out to a wine expert/professional.

Aging white wine

Most white wines are meant to be enjoyed soon after release, but some can age for decades. High quality Rieslings, as well as some White Burgundies and Semillons are in this category.

Filter by
507 Items
507 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
507 Items
  • Rombauer Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Rombauer Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WW92
    4.5 174 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
    Try the
    39 99
    39 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE91
    4.0 65 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    17
    14 99
    Save $2.01 (12%)
  • Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • TP94
    • WW90
    • JS90
    3.9 71 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
    Try the
    28
    21 99
    Save $6.01 (21%)
  • Novellum Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Novellum Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Vin de France, France
    • JD94
    4.1 101 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
    Try the
    16 99
    16 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Paco & Lola Albarino 2020  Front Label
    Paco & Lola Albarino 2020
    Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
      4.0 84 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
      Try the
      21 99
      21 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Louis Jadot Macon-Villages 2020  Front Label
      Louis Jadot Macon-Villages 2020
      Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
      • TP91
      3.6 84 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
      Try the
      16 99
      16 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Raeburn Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Raeburn Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WW91
      4.0 52 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
      Try the
      18 99
      18 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2020  Front Label
      Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2020
      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
      • WW91
      • W&S91
      4.1 34 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
      Try the
      30
      26 99
      Save $3.01 (10%)
    • Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume 2020  Front Label
      Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume 2020
      Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $47.99
        Try the
        47 99
        47 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Kris Pinot Grigio 2020  Front Label
        Kris Pinot Grigio 2020
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
          4.0 40 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $11.99
          Try the
          11 99
          11 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Willm Kirchberg de Barr Riesling 2020  Front Label
          Willm Kirchberg de Barr Riesling 2020
          Riesling from Alsace, France
          • WW93
          4.8 24 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
          Try the
          24 99
          24 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
          Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2020
          Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • WW89
          4.0 22 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
          Try the
          24
          19 99
          Save $4.01 (17%)
        • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
          Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $27.99
            Try the
            27 99
            27 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Fuisse 2020  Front Label
            Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Fuisse 2020
            Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $35.99
              Try the
              35 99
              35 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Willm Pinot Gris Reserve 2020  Front Label
              Willm Pinot Gris Reserve 2020
              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
                4.4 33 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
                Try the
                18 99
                17 99
                Save $1.00 (5%)
              • Frescobaldi Gorgona 2020  Front Label
                Frescobaldi Gorgona 2020
                Other White Blends from Tuscany, Italy
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $159.99
                  Try the
                  159 99
                  159 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Balthazar Pinot Blanc 2020  Front Label
                  Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Balthazar Pinot Blanc 2020
                  Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
                  • WW91
                  3.8 13 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $15.99
                  Try the
                  15 99
                  15 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Gerard Bertrand Change Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
                  Gerard Bertrand Change Sauvignon Blanc 2020
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
                  • WW89
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $15.99
                  Try the
                  15 99
                  15 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
                  Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2020
                  Chardonnay from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
                    4.0 5 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $42.99
                    Try the
                    42 99
                    42 99
                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                  • Chateau Vitallis Pouilly-Fuisse 2020  Front Label
                    Chateau Vitallis Pouilly-Fuisse 2020
                    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $38.99
                      Try the
                      38 99
                      38 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Bianco Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2020  Front Label
                      Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Bianco Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2020
                      Pinot Blanc from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
                      • JS89
                      4.0 18 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $18.99
                      Try the
                      18 99
                      18 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • August Kesseler Rheingau Riesling R Kabinett 2020  Front Label
                      August Kesseler Rheingau Riesling R Kabinett 2020
                      Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
                      • JS93
                      3.8 15 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $17.99
                      Try the
                      17 99
                      17 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Rudd Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
                      Rudd Sauvignon Blanc 2020
                      Sauvignon Blanc from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $105.99
                        Try the
                        105 99
                        105 99
                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                      • Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2020  Front Label
                        Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2020
                        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
                          4.0 32 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $16.99
                          Try the
                          16 99
                          16 99
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Conundrum White Blend 2020  Front Label
                          Conundrum White Blend 2020
                          Other White Blends from California
                            3.9 52 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $17.99
                            Try the
                            17 99
                            17 99
                            Save $0.00 (0%)
                          Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

                          Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
                          Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

                          It's easy to make the switch.
                          Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

                          Yes, Update Now

                          Search for ""

                          Processing Your Order...