White wine types are developed in almost all wine-growing regions of the world. Different varieties of white wines showcase a range of sights, tastes, and smell that is unparalleled.
White wines are more than just dessert wines to satisfy your cravings. With aromatic, crisp and tart taste notes, varying levels of these compounds can be identified in these wines. These compounds are called “stereoisomers” and can chemically mirror real fruit smells, so if you think you can smell nectarine in a wine, you are smelling a combination of aroma compounds.
There are a number of varieties of white wine styles that pair amazingly well with all kinds of food, even meats. The secret behind finding a wine which you will love and enjoy is sampling some of the popular styles available. This will help you make an informed decision about your preferences and tastes so you know which bottle to pick!
Dreaming of Chardonnay
A premium variety to top the list of white wine types, it is native to the Burgundy regions of France. Made of green-hued grape, it grows all over the world today but is better suited to colder climates such as Pacific Northwest, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Chardonnay was the most popular and most guzzled white grape wine through the 1990s. Sparkling or still, the taste of this wine is typically voluminous. Known to be more velvety than other wider-bodied and dry white wines, it imparts many rich citrus flavours. It is fermented in new oak barrels which adds hints of vanilla, toffee, coconut, and toast to it. A typically younger Chardonnay should give citrus fruit flavours with hints of melon and lots of creaminess.
Pair a young chardonnay with light and delicate foods like lightly cooked crab, prawns and fish. Chicken and vegetables are also a good option for this type of wine.
For older, barrel-aged and ‘reserved’ chardonnays, pair them with similar dishes but with an extra degree of richness. Fish and grilled veal chops, butternut squash and pumpkin ravioli is a good option. Foie gras and cheddar cheese are also ideal pairings.
A glass of Pinot Grigio
Found extensively in the Venezia and Alto Adige regions of Italy, Pinot Grigio is also grown in western coastal regions of the USA. This fine variety of white is known as different names in different areas of Europe. In Austria and Germany, it is known as Rylander or Grauer Burgundy. Similarly, it is known as pinot gris in the region of France. Typically dry and crisp, this kind of variety is largely found in Italy and Germany. Alsace Pinot Gris or Oregon exhibit fruity, aromatic flavours.
Best suited for Thai and spicy Chinses cuisines, it also well suited to antipasti especially seafood and vegetable-based ones. Octopus, fried fish and vegetables are also well paired with this dry white.
Sauvignon blanc, S’il Vous plait
Originally from France, sauvignon blanc is grown in the Bordeaux region where it is blended. New Zealand and Loira valley also produce some great varieties of this wine. Some Australian sauvignon blancs which are grown in warmer areas, tend to lack fruit qualities and are flatter.
Sauvignon blanc normally exhibits a herbal character suggesting freshly grown mown grass and bell peppers. Flavours of the sour green fruit of apples, pears and gooseberries dominate this range. Unoaked quality sauvignon blancs display smokey qualities and have a strong acidic finish with bright aromas. These wines are best suited to cold climates.
This type of wine pairs best with green herbs to complement its herbaceous undertone. Any dish having parsley, rosemary, cilantro or mint, makes for a great pairing for sauvignon blanc. Alo best suited to white meats like chicken, pork chops and turkey. Fish including sea bass, sole and redfish will pair well too.
Riesling for days
This classic German wine, made from the grape of the Rhine and Mosel, is found in all wine regions of the world. This wine from Alsace and Easterns US is also a great variety. Although it is usually made in a different style, it is just as aromatic but drier. California varieties are not as popular owing to its sweet flavour with insufficient acidity for balance.
A lighter body than the chardonnay wines, these aromas include fresh apples. Rieslings are fresh but vary in taste according to its district and winemaking.
Best suited to go well with fish, chicken and pork. The crisp flavour of a Riesling works very well with salmon and tuna and the acidity complements the smokiness of eel and cuts through the spicy layers of Japanese foods.
This variety belongs to the muscat family of grapes and is grown in most vine-friendly climates including Italy, Rhone Valley and Austria. Often found to be sweet and fruity with a characteristic grapefruit and musky aroma. These wines are easily recognisable for anyone who has tasted a Muscat grape.
Moscato wines pair well with dessert but are best had on their own.
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