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Rated between 95-100 points by major wine critics over the last two years. Described as both clean and succulent, with a long finish and both sweetness and salinity. Ready to drink but can be cellared.
Even dry German Rieslings could be sweet to some palates.
Scoring between 92-94 for recent vintages, this wine combines oaked chardonnay style with vibrant apple, lemon and minerals. Reflects its coastal terroir.
Not as buttery as California chardonnay can get.
Rated 95 points by Decanter for ripe citrus aromas and gentle wood flavors. Herbal notes and tropical fruit combine with interesting chalky texture.
Tartness turns off some tasters.
Rated 96 points by Wine Advocate. A hint of bubbles makes it playful on the tongue. Combines exotic fruit, mineral, and floral flavors. Will withstand aging.
As a moelleux, it may be too sweet for some.
Highly refreshing wine rated 93-94 points for juicy melon and stonefruit flavors, balanced by cold stone and acidity. Can be drunk now or held for a few years.
On the dry side for this varietal.
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Although it often takes a back seat to its more popular cousin, white wine shouldn’t be overlooked. It can be light and sweet or bold and dry, and it encompasses just as much variety and versatility as red wine. White wine is ideal for serving with fish, chicken, Asian cuisines, cheese plates, and fruit.
In general, white wines are known for their zesty, floral, and fruity tastes, though some are aged in oak barrels to add rich, bold notes. There are dozens of varietals and countless unique blends, made all around the world. What’s more, white wine features 10 distinct flavor profiles, including creamy, floral, tropical, and honey, among others.
All that means there is a lot to consider when buying a bottle of white. Our guide will help you navigate the wide world of white wine. For our top picks for the best white wines, see the matrix above.
A varietal is a wine made from a single type of grape. There are dozens of white wine varietals to explore and enjoy. Here’s a closer look at the four most popular white wine varietals, which occupy a range of bodies and flavors:
White wine can be divided into three general categories. The wines within these categories vary widely in acidity, flavors, aromas, and notes.
Most whites tend toward medium to high acidity but little to no tannins. Full-bodied whites have higher-than-average alcohol contents, though most whites are at or below the average of 11.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) for wine.
White wines feature any number of 10 different flavor profiles, which serve to categorize the wine for consumers. A white wine may include flavors of citrus, stone, or tropical fruits. It may be creamy, bitter, or astringent. You’ll also find whites with herbaceous flavors, including grassy or green aromas or floral aromas like lilac or rose. Honey is a common aroma as well.
Wine chillers: Wine Enthusiast Double-Walled Iceless Wine Bottle Chiller
As most white wine should be served and enjoyed chilled, a wine chiller is a must for any white wine lover. We like this simple and convenient iceless option by Wine Enthusiast that keeps bottles cold for up to three hours.
Wine coolers: Whynter 24-Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
To properly store white wines, a wine cooler is a smart investment. This cooler from Whynter will keep up to 24 bottles at the proper serving temperature so they can be enjoyed whenever you like.
Wine preservers: OXO Steel Vacuum Wine Preserver
Perhaps you only want a glass of white from the bottle. Keep the rest preserved for longer with a wine saver like this one from OXO. This is especially useful when you’re enjoying sweeter whites where you may only want one glass after dinner.
Insulated wine growlers: Corkcicle Canteen Classic Collection Stainless Steel Thermos
White wines, particularly herbaceous, light, and zesty options, are terrific options on warm spring and summer days. Fill up this Corkcicle thermos with your favorite white when you’re leaving the house and want to keep your drink properly chilled.
White wine makes a fantastic addition to sauces. You can create zesty or creamy sauces on the stovetop that feature white wine, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, carrots, and dry herbs.
White wines range in price due to vintage (the year in which the grapes were harvested), region, and rarity. Generally, varietals don’t much influence the price until you get into the high-end range, which includes those few whites that age well. In general, white wines are cheaper than reds.
Inexpensive: A decent bottle of white wine can be had for under $15. This will likely be from a recent year and may have a lower alcohol content, but it will still be enjoyable alone or with a meal.
Mid-range: Between $15 and $45 you’ll find a quality bottle of white of any varietal and from any region. In this range, you should find exactly the type of wine you desire.
High-end: For $45 and up, you’ll find older bottles of high-end white wine. These will likely be full-bodied whites that age well. Bottles in this range are best for aficionados who are sure of what they are getting.
Q. How long does white wine last after it’s opened?
A. Light-bodied whites last from five to seven days after they are first opened, provided the cork is put back in or the screw cap is sealed. Full-bodied whites, such as chardonnay, only last three to five days after being opened. A quality wine preserver may extend this expiration date by a week or two. Open bottles of white wine should be kept in the refrigerator.
Q. How should I store white wine?
A. White wine, like red, should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Keep bottles on their side in storage. For added convenience, store white wine in a wine fridge, where the temperature can be regulated to allow for immediate enjoyment when you’re ready.
Q. What’s the biggest difference in taste between white and red wines?
A. You can find both white and red wines that are light and sharp or bold and smooth, with any number of floral, fruity, or sweet notes. The biggest taste difference is that white wine has little to no tannins, while red wine may have a lot. Tannins give red wine a bitter taste and dry your mouth when you drink. Tannins also contribute to aging, allowing reds to be enjoyed over a longer period of time.
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