Wine Types & Selection Tips : Types of White Wine

By Brian Lemay 1 comment


Now we’re going to talk about types of white
wines. Again white wines, the styles are dictated by the regions they come from. I start off
with my favorite region which is Burgundy. Burgundy wines, mainly Chardonnay, in France
they’re rarely labeled wine, certainly the Burgundy people rarely label the wine by the
grape variety on there. They will label the wine by the village from which it comes from.
But if you’re getting a Burgundy, it’s normally a Chardonnay. There is enough chance that
you may be buying a Bourgogne Aligote which is the second white wine variety from that
region. They make lovely delicate style wines to – from Chablis all the way through to expensive
wines that are richer, and more powerful. Saint Albains is an example, Puligny-Montrachet
is another example. So Burgundy is the first name you’ll come across, they often use the
word Bourgogne on the bottle. And then you have the village name from which the wine
comes from. In this case Saint Albains, and in this case Chablis. Now when you buy your
wines, when you’re looking for white wine, again this – they come in varieties, varietal
wines like Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, so you can buy wines by variety.
And the white wines come in single grape varieties. Some wines actually blended, Semillon Sauvignon,
you will get from Bordeaux and from the Hunter Valley in Australia. That’s a typical example
for blended white wine. But in the main white wines appear these days to be mainly single
varietals. If you’re looking at the style of wine you want, geographically, areas like
Chile and Argentina produce simple, light, and sometimes you can get more richness in
them but fairly easy drinking wines. Italy, very food friendly wines, so they maybe show
more acidity and more intense flavor profiles. If you go to Australia for something like
a Chardonnay, here’s typically an Australian Chardonnay, from Adelaide Hills, you would
be getting often very intense Chardonnay, with more oak in it. But the thing about oak
in white wine is don’t shy away from it. What is very important about white wine is balance,
the balance between the fruit, the acidity, and any other ingredient like the oak. As
long as they’re in balance they make a great wine to have. And in this case for Australian
wines I expect more richness to come out, more fruits to come out, something like a
Burgundy I expect not just intense fruit, more complexity, minerality, a range of flavors
coming through there. Riesling as well as Gewurtstraminer and Pinot Gris, you tend to
find these wines in the longer bottles, being made in Germany, north of France. You may
get one or two from Italy. This happens to be an Australian example. And New Zealand
are also making great Rieslings as well. They’re light, they can be off dry or bone dry, so
you need to be careful with these sort of wines if you’d like a very dry wine, make
sure you ask your wine merchant for a bone dry wine. And that applies across the board.
Some wines like Sauvignon are considered very dry, where Chardonnays are slightly softer.
But not off dry. Another wine which – the white wine which comes across as sweet, is
a Chenin Blanc. You can buy Chenin from the Loire area. Chenin will have anything from
an off dry taste to bone dry taste. You can also have it almost to dessert sweetness,
but it’s still a wine to be used within – with food or sipping. These are just some
of the examples of white wines, there are hundreds, literally hundreds of white wine
grape varieties and this is just where your adventure takes you. You could do the ordinary
wines like Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay Sauvignon, or you could do wines Riesling, Gewurtstraminer,
the more exotic foies, or something like a Pinot Gris from the Oregon Valley. So just
keep your mind open, try as many different white wine varieties as possible. Find what
your favorites are, and then also find the best wine varieties for the types of food
you like, and then you will have a great enjoyment experience with the different styles of wine.

1 Comment

UnbaisedWine

Apr 4, 2016, 1:40 pm Reply

Great thanks!

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