White Wine Varieties

Written by grace williams
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White Wine Varieties
A glass of chilled white wine (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

White wines vary from red wines in colour due to the removal of the grape's skin during pressing. The type of grape and the type of barrel used in the wine's preparation determines its flavour. The main grape production regions for white wines include France, Italy, Germany and the coasts of the United States. Because of their often sweet or acidic taste, white wines tend to pair well with chicken, seafood and other mellow foods.

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Originating from the Burgundy region of France, the dry white wine chardonnay saw a surge of popularity in the 1990s. The taste of this wine, often paired with fish, ranges from richly citric to buttery. The taste variation depends on the type of barrel used for the ageing process.

Sauvignon Blanc

The best varieties of sauvignon blanc originate from the Bordeaux region of France, New Zealand and Australia. The taste of the wine varies from herbal undertones (tasting slightly of vegetable undertones) to sour fruits (green apples, gooseberries) or tropically sweet fruits (melons, oranges). Australia produces the least fruity variety due to the warm weather in the region. Sauvignon blanc pairs well with poultry, vegetable dishes and seafood.

Pinot Grigio

The versatile white wine pinot grigio hails primarily from Italy. Versions produced in Austria and Germany are called, respectively, Ruländer and Grauer Burgunder, according to the French Scout website. The western United States also produce this wine. Most pinot grigio varieties carry a crisp, dry acidic flavour with slight notes of fruit. Ageing brings out the fruit flavours in the wine.


Mainly produced in Germany, with a notable showing from the eastern United States, Riesling pairs with chicken, pork and seafood dishes. This dry wine provides a lighter alternative to chardonnay, with a fresh acidity. The German variety carries more of a fruity sweetness while the American version offer less sweetness.

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