Wine is a complicated business. There’s red, there’s white, there’s rose. There’s flat or sparkling. There’s also a wide variety of different wines within each of these. Here we’ll take a look at six kinds of white wine that are readily available.
1. Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio.
These wines vary widely, subject to the region they are made. They are medium to full bodied wines, with floral or spicy flavors. Some are noted for their aroma of orange blossoms and honey, or for their tropical fruit and citrus. They are perfect for serving with rich fish, soft cheese and breads or as an aperitif.
Chardonnay is an extremely popular white wine made from green skinned grapes. Depending on where in the world it is made, it may also have flavors of green plum, apples or pears, peaches or mango and even banana or fig. Chardonnay is a dry white wine perfect for serving with fish or chicken.
3. Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon blanc is a crisp, dry wine. Flavors range from grassy to sweetly tropical, and you may find hints of green bell peppers, grass, passion fruit or even elderberry depending on where the wine was made. Since climate affects the taste of the grapes Sauvignon Blanc from one region may have a very different flavor than one from a different part of the world.
Semillon wines tend to cost less than some other varieties of white wine but this doesn’t make them any less flavorful. The primary flavors found in Semillon are lemon, papaya, apples and pears. In cool climate Semillon, you’ll find more citrus tastes with lemon, lime or grapefruit. This wine is a close cousin to Sauvignon Blanc.
5. Ice Wine.
Ice wines are very sweet. They are also one of the hardest wines to make. To be a “true” ice wine, the grapes are harvested, frozen, from the vine. Commercially frozen grapes are not considered a true ice wine and are often called “dessert wines”. Ice wines have an intense fruit flavor and pair well with cheesecake, pound cake, ice cream or white chocolate mousse. For those who prefer more savory snacks, ice wine goes well with savory cheeses.
Rieslings are generally very aromatic (floral) wines made from delicate grapes that need careful handling during harvesting. Because Rieslings are not usually fermented or aged in new oak, they tend to be lighter weight wines that can be paired with a wide variety of foods, including spicy foods or Asian cuisine.
For people who are not wine connoisseurs, choosing the right wine can be hard. Learning which wines go with what kind of food can take time and effort. Talk to a wine expert at the liquor store and they can often guide you to what you’re looking for. Whether you lean towards sweet wine or dry, fruity or floral, finding a wine to complement your meal can be done with a little help from someone who knows wine.