For a long time, I wanted to learn about wine, but I didn't know where to start. It's a somewhat closed-off world, which makes it pretty frustrating when you're a newbie. All you want to do is learn more about something you enjoy – is that so much to ask?
Luckily, I have saved you the trouble of digging through tons of beginner wine materials, and compiled this comprehensive guide to white wines! I hope to soon follow it up with a guide to red wines.
Refer back to it often, and pretty soon, you'll be well on your way to becoming a wine expert!
Pair it with: chicken, herbed fish, soft cheeses
Notes of: green apple, citrus, pineapple, papaya
One of the most popular, versatile grapes, grown all over the world. It's described as bold and dry. It's available aged in oak, or "unoaked": oak-aged is more buttery or creamy.
Pair it with: Asian food, pork, duck, spicy food, stinky cheese, dried fruit
Flavors: lychee, grapefruit, flowers, talc
A highly aromatic sipping wine. From Alsace, it's very floral; from Oregon and Northern Italy, it's particularly crisp with notes of grapefruit.
Muscat / Moscato
Pair it with: dessert, Asian food, shellfish, firm cheeses
Flavors: oranges, tangerines, nectarine, apricot
Typically sweet and fruity, it's often considered a bit of a dessert wine, but you can certainly drink it on its own or with flavorful foreign (think Asian) foods.
Pair it with: goat cheese, cilantro-heavy food like Thai and Mexican; Mediterranean food
Flavors: green apple, citrus, fresh cut grass, gooseberry
Like Chardonnay, but lighter and more elegant, with a slightly herbaceous character. It's got a light body and is quite dry.
Pair it with: fish, shellfish, seafood, chicken, turkey
Flavors: lime, lemon, fresh pear, white nectarine, melon, apple
An excellent food wine. Its high acidity makes it less sweet than Chardonnay. There are several variations, depending on where it's from.
=> Italian: very dry, brilliant acidity with a note of bitter almond.
=> French: fuller with faint honey notes.
=> American: fruitier, less acidic, slightly heavier.
Pair it with: seafood, poultry, salads, herbs like rosemary, basil, or mint
Notes of: bell pepper, freshly mown grass, sour green apple, pears, blackcurrant
Green, herbaceous flavors set this white wine apart. Bright aromas and a strong acidic finish. Unoaked, it sometimes displays a smokey quality. Location matters, yet again:
=> French: From Sancerre or Poilly-Fumé, quite grassy and herbaceous.
=> California: Said to resemble a peachy, tropical Chardonnay.
=> New Zealand: Green citrus and berry flavors dominate.
Pair it with: chicken, pork, duck, seafood like tuna, eel, shrimp, and spicier Japanese dishes
Notes of: lemon, lime, apricot, peach, honeysuckle, diesel, rubber
Fresh, with a high acidity and a light body. It's one of the most aromatic grapes in the world, so make sure to give it a good sniff! Rieslings can range from dry and stony to floral and sweet. Sometimes fruitier smells are intermingled with weird ones, which smell almost like petrol.
Clip this so you can refer back to it next time you're looking for the perfect wine pairing! Or when you're just searching for the right wine to sip.
I'd love to hear about your individual experiences with these wines; maybe we can get a whole community of Vingle wine-lovers going! :) I mean, we've got the Wine community, but it's a bit quiet at the moment. Who else out there loves wine and wants to learn more about it??