While red wine is perceived as the preferred vino of wine connoisseurs, let’s not forget its lighter cousin, white wine. White wine is perfect for a whole host of situations, whether you are looking to toast with a plate of oysters, or drink in the sun.
But, how are you supposed to order off a wine list with any semblance of certainty if you don’t know your oaky Chardonnays from your crisp Chenins. Here are some of the best-known white wines, and a little bit about each of them.
Lots of people consider Chardonnay a safe bet, as it is something familiar, however, it can be more full-bodied and intense than people are anticipating, so there is a lot to be considered. On the whole, Chardonnay will be fruity, full, and silky. When it comes to American Chardonnay you can expect it to be creamy and buttery, or, if you opt for an unoaked Chardonnay you should expect a lighter body and a stronger, fruitier flavour.
In comparison to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is drier, tarter, and more acidic. New Zealand Sauvignons will have tastes of green fruits and citrus fruits, such as grapefruit. The strong flavours of Sauvignon Blancs make them a perfect wine to drink on their own, without food. Some Sauvignon Blancs will have a slight mineral taste, but this won’t distract from the citrus flavours.
Without overlooking Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio is probably the true crowd-pleaser when it comes to white wine. Pinot Grigio is light to medium in body, always crisp and usually dry. In a shop shelf lineup, you can pick out a Pinot by its light yellow, almost straw-coloured, colour. Pinot Grigio is often a crowd-pleaser because the taste is pretty consistent, not matter which region you go for. This fact can make it a great choice if you want to order a safe bet.
A soft, sweet wine with floral notes and a mouthfeel that might make you feel like your tongue is ‘coated’, Gewurztraminer is a lesser know, underrated white wine. Sweeter than a Sauvignon, but not as saccharine as a Riesling, Gewurztraminer is great for anyone looking for a middle ground between dry and sweet, to please a mixed crowd.