The Diversity of White Wines – From Crisp and Dry to Luscious and Sweet


Whether served as an apéritif before a meal or with cheese as the main course, white wines can complement many types of cuisine perfectly. But for wine consumers unfamiliar with the category, finding a white that satisfies can be challenging. That’s why it’s essential to understand the variety of grape varieties and styles of white wines, ranging from light and refreshing to rich and decadent. Obtain the Best information about The Diversity of White Wines.

The diversity of white wine styles reflects the varied characteristics of the numerous white grape varieties cultivated worldwide. White wines typically feature citrus fruit flavors and aromas and tend to be lighter-bodied than red wines, which are more affluent and heavier. White wines can also be dry, semisweet, or sweet, depending on the grape and winemaking style used to make them.

Chardonnay, pinot grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc remain the best-selling white wine varietals on Drizly, accounting for 39 percent, 31 percent, and 21 percent of shares, respectively, in 2021. But that doesn’t mean they are the only options available, with new varietals and a slew of production techniques helping to drive growth in the category.

Riesling is one of the most versatile white grape varieties in terms of flavor, with quality examples hailing from Mosel and Rhine, Germany; Alsace, France; and New York, California. Ranging from syrupy to dry and stony, the sourness and minerality of riesling can be influenced by its growing climate, with drier styles showing citrus, green apple, and floral characteristics. In contrast, higher-acidity rieslings exhibit more tropical fruits.

Pinot Grigio is another popular white wine varietal, often produced in a dry and crisp style. However, it’s also possible to find ripe, fruity examples of the variety from cool-climate regions with lusher versions with peach and apricot notes.

Those looking for a sweeter experience can turn to a range of botrytized wines, including the beerenauslese and trochenbeerenausleses of Germany and Austria, Tokai ascus of Japan, and Sauternes of France (Fig. 7.4). Botrytis cinerea infection of the grapes leads to a reduction in juice concentration and degradation of varietal impact compounds, leaving behind the distinctive luscious aroma of the botrytized grapes, often with apricot, honey, and fig.

As a result, winemakers have developed numerous methods to produce and age white wines. Some rely on temperature-controlled fermentation to preserve the freshness and character of the grapes, while others, like chardonnay, use malolactic fermentation to soften its natural acidity into a creamy palate with notes of butter and toffee.

New wine drinkers can explore the range of flavors white wines offer by starting small and savoring each sip. It’s a good idea to take the time to swish the wine around your mouth and taste each of its elements, from tart acidity to alcohol warmth to the fruit and herb characteristics. This approach will help you to build a repertoire of white wines that appeal to you and your palate.

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