On this post, I’ll be your guide through the world of three different types of white wines and through the world of grapes used to make white wines. Why is it important for you as a consumer to know something about the grapes wines are made from. Well many wines today especially those from South in North America, Australia, and New Zealand are labeled with the grape. So if you know a little bit about the grapes, you’ll be able to tell if you might like wine even if you’re choosing the type of white wines that doesn’t have the name of the grape on the label. If you can describe to the store clerk or your restaurant waiter what grapes and wines you like you’re more likely to find a bottle of wine that you’ll enjoy.
In this post, we’ll focus on three common grapes and the types of white wines made from them. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc Blanc. We’ll only talk about wines that are made from one grape so, in other words, we won’t focus any attention on wines that are made by blending more than one grape. And we’ll address three main questions about each grape.What is it like? So, in other words, we will describe the aromas and flavors that the wines made from that grape have. What should I try; we’ll give some suggestions for wines that are good representations of that grape. So you can test those wines for yourself and see if you like them or not and what does it pair with. So we’ll discuss some food and wine pairings so you can try these wines with foods and see how they work.
Types Of White Wine-Chardonnay
Let’s start with Chardonnay which is probably the most famous or most infamous white wine grape. People sometimes say to me I just don’t like Chardonnay. But there are so many different styles of white wine Chardonnay that it’s possible to find a Chardonnay that even the most anti Chardonnay crowd will enjoy. People who don’t like Chardonnay generally refer to a particular style of wine. And it’s usually the full-bodied wines with noticeable butter and vanilla flavors. Of course, there are always people who love those kinds of lines. But Chardonnay also makes types of white wine that have not been aged in oak and have a completely different flavor. There clean on the palate crisp and refreshing with a mineral aroma as different from the full-bodied oaky and buttery Chardonnays as they can be. The Chardonnay grape grows pretty much anywhere grapes will grow. And because grapes tend to express the features of the place where they grow Chardonnay grapes from other parts of the world have very different features. Also, Chardonnay is one of the grapes that can be made to taste in many different ways depending on the preferences of the winemaker. So when getting to know Chardonnay, you need to know something about where it comes from and how it was made. In general, Chardonnay that grows in cool climates will have medium to high acidity medium body and alcohol and aromas of apple pear and citrus. These wines are also more likely to have minerally or flinty aromas. Chardonnay grapes from warmer climates usually have lower acidity fuller body and higher alcohol. They’re also more likely to have tropical fruit aromas. Depending on how it’s been aged. So in other words whether it’s been aged in oak or not Chardonnay can vary widely in flavor. Chardonnay that hasn’t been aged in oak has more crisp and minerally flinty aromas. But Chardonnay that has been aged in oak has more buttery flavors, flavors of butter popcorn cheese or vanilla. Especially when has been aged in new oak. So to learn more about Chardonnay and explore the range of wines that this grape can make a try at least two different styles. For a full-bodied Chardonnay try one from California or if you’re trying a French one try to find one from Burgundy. And here we have a couple of good suggestions. These wines usually go well with buttery dishes and sauces so with fuller bodied foods. They go well with fish and shellfish that has been cooked in butter cream sauce. And they also go well with chicken when it’s roasted or in cream sauce. For crisp unoaked Chardonnay try something from the French region of Chablis. Here we have a couple of suggestions. Chardonnay that hasn’t been aged in oak is lighter in the body and so usually goes with lighter foods such as salads and vegetables or simple grilled fish.
Types Of White Wine – Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio
Another common white wine grape is Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. The grape is called Pinot Gris when grown in France and Pinot Grigio when grown in Italy. When it’s grown in other places such as California and Oregon, it can go by either name and so it will depend on the winemaker. Pinot Gris from France is usually fuller in body lower in acidity. It has a deeper color, and it’s higher in alcohol. It often has aromas of ripe fruit and melon, and it’s quite a concentrated wine. When grown in Oregon and California the grape can go by either name and can have a variety of aromas from lemon apple and pear through exotic fruits in flowers to buttercream vanilla or almond when it’s aged in new oak. Pinot Grigio which is what the grape is called in Italy, usually has a lighter body. It’s higher in acidity it’s lighter in color, and it has lower alcohol. It often has aromas of apple pear or citrus. Sometimes aromas of stone fruit such as peach and it can also be chalky or flinty and flavor. To explore The Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio grape and all these types of white wine made from it try several different wines from different parts of the world. So, for example, try something from Alsace in France which will be very concentrated and riper tasting. Then try something from northern Italy. Usually, the north east of Italy makes some of the best Pinot Grigio. And try types of white wine from Oregon and California. Here they have many producers of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio.
Usually pair well with fish especially when it’s grilled and prepared simply. It goes well with pasta with seafood, and it also can go well with chicken when it’s roasted or poached.
Types Of White Wine – Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc types of white wine are usually pale yellow to greenish in color light to medium in body. They have high acidity and are crisp and refreshing. They can have a variety of aromas. From cut grass and herbs to gooseberry grapefruit lemon and lime and sometimes honey doom or melon. As I said earlier, New Zealand has really built a reputation for excellent Semyon blanc. Some of the most famous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc comes from Marlborough which is on the southern island of New Zealand. A very famous producer is Cloudy Bay a good producer is also Oyster Bay. But Sauvignon Blanc in a different version also comes from the Loire Valley France which has a strong reputation for making wines from this grape. So for a very different style of Sauvignon Blanc crisper and less herbal try wine from Sancerre or from Pouilly Fumet which are both in the Loire Valley of France.
Sauvignon Blanc types of white wine usually pair well with goat cheese. This is especially true for Sauvignon Blanc from France. They also pair well with green vegetables such as artichokes and asparagus which are in general difficult to pair with wine. They pair well with dishes that have herbs. They pair well with salads vegetables and all sorts of vegetarian dishes but also fish and shellfish when they’re lightly grilled. So in this episode, we discussed three common grapes that are used to make white wines and the general features of the wines made from those. We talked about what these wines smell and taste like, and we also talked about what they pair well with. We also offered some suggestions for you to try to start getting to know these wines more closely and getting to know the variation of wines that these three grapes can produce. Thanks for reading us and keep tasting wine and keep learning about wine.