There’s always time for a glass of wine. Wine is always a popular drink at parties and social gatherings since people learned how to get wine from grapes. It is common to hear people order either white wine or red wine. But did you know there are various categories of white wine? We demystify the technicalities of all the different types of white wine to help you pick out your next nightcap.
You can distinguish white wine using flavor profiles. Here, you are looking at the immediate taste of wine. The taste profiles are an umbrella of different wines that fall under each group. You can use this categorization to pick pairings or to choose the best options for your guests.
Herbaceous white wine
These wines tend to have a herbal feel to them. Partakers of herbaceous white wines describe them as having a taste resembling green peppers. One of the most common white wines under this category is Sauvignon Blanc.
Bold dry white wine
As the name suggests, bold dry wines are an explosive category that takes over your senses fast. They are matured in oak barrels, giving them time to break down all the sugars. They have a creamy finish. If you enjoy your white wine bold and dry, Chardonnay is the poster child of bold and dry
Bold Sweet white wine
Sweet and bold white wines are a favorite among people with a sweet tooth. Sweet white wines have hints of honey and lemon. As the intensity in sweetness increases, you might notice traces of raisin or tropical fruit.
Light sweet white wine
Light sweet wines have residual sweetness left from some of the grape sugars. They are not as intensely sweet as their bold counterparts. Their most notable trait, though, is their aroma. Moscato is an excellent example of a lightly sweet white wine.
Light Zesty white wine
You can describe light zesty white wine as airy and fresh. These wines are dry, yet they don’t overwhelm your palette. Chardonnay that hasn’t been aged in oak barrels gives off that light and zesty flavor.
Now that you know the primary white wine groups, you can delve deeper into specific white wine types.
Chardonnay is one of the most common types of white wine. It has a wide variety that ranges from fresh citrus flavors to creamy vanilla flavors. French Chardonnay, which comes from the vineyards in Burgundy, France, carries the citrus and fresh taste. Californian Chardonnay is aged in oak, giving it a rich, creamier vanilla taste. The oak aging process gives Chardonnay a buttery finish.
Chardonnay has a striking deep yellow color. Bottles have labels to distinguish the wine’s origin. The labeling helps in picking the best Chardonnay to pair with meals. Chardonnay is a total classic. It is an easy pick when you are spoilt for a choice of wine.
The Sauvignon is a crisp, dry, and fruity wine. Technically, Blanc is the French word for white. However, Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive green flavor. It has one of the broadest flavor profiles in the white wine catalog. This diversity is brought about by how widely it is cultivated in various regions across the world. Although it was once mostly grown in France, now you can find Sauvignon Blanc variants from as far as New Zealand.
It comes from green grapes. The green grapes give Sauvignon Blanc its light yellow hue. Its most standout feature is its acidity. Still, some newer Sauvignon variants have a slight mineral taste. Australian Sauvignon Blanc tends to be less fruity, typical with grapes found in warmer climates.
It’s an adventurous wine, with flavors ranging from grassy to sour green apple. You can also detect pear and mango finishes. The Sauvignon Blanc can be taken on its own or paired with chicken dishes.
Pinot Blanc is a grape mutation in the pinot family. The wine comes from a whitish berry mostly farmed in Burgundy. You can find this wine in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Pinot Blanc is recognized for its flavor diversity. It is more rounded, with less acidity than other dry whites. Pinot Blanc can have a sweet or smoky body.
Flavor-wise, this white wine can be imposing on both the tongue and the nose. It has an exciting blend of citrus flavors such as pear, yellow apple, and lemon. You can also taste a nuttiness from the walnuts and applewood.
Oak barrel aging reduces the acidity in Pinot Blanc, making it a light wine. Go for the Pinot Blanc if you are looking for a gentle finish on the tongue.
Pinot Grigio has the flavor profile of a cold, zesty citrus drink. It comes from a blue-berried mutation of the pinot noir grape. Flavors such as lemon, green apple, and lime are familiar with this wine. This wine has early roots in France. However, its influence and cultivation expanded beyond its borders, and it is presently common in Italy, where it is most prominent.
The Italian variety is airier than its zestier French variant. However, its popularity has made it one of the most counterfeited white wines. The French variant is punchier.
Carry a Pinor Grigio if you are unsure about a host’s white wine preference.
Moscato is a beloved white wine with sweet tooth wine enthusiasts. It has a long history as one of the oldest and genetically pure grape types. It has a silky sweetness that comes from a blend of pear, cherries, and orange.
Its standout feature is its low alcohol content – about 4-6 av. This feature makes it perfect to pair with sweet desserts.
Next time you’re looking for a surprise wine for your guests, get a Viognier white wine. It has a vivid floral aroma that matches its flowery taste profile. Like most white wines, this wine has French origins. However, this wine is now found as far as South Africa and South America.
It is a full-bodied wine that is easy on the tongue. Enthusiasts often describe it as creamy due to its low yield, this wine can be rated as rare. You can expect mango, tangerine, and violet hints on the tongue with this beauty. Oak-aged viognier will produce an acidic, spicy finish, while un-oaked variants will maintain their fruity profile.
White wine serving tip
White wine tastes better when served chilled. Sit a bottle of white wine in a bucket of ice and water. Let it slant to the side. Keep the temperature between 44- 50 ̊ F. However, don’t let white wine get too cold. Extremely chilled types of white wine will rob your senses of the full flavor profile.