White Wines

White Wines
White wines are more delicate than red wines and are always served chilled.   Dry (i.e., not sweet) white wines include Chardonnay, Chablis, and Sauvignon Blanc.  These are normally served with fish, poultry, veal, blue cheeses, and anything with a cream sauce.  Sweeter white wines are often described as "fruity" and include Gewürztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling, and Chenin Blanc.  These are good with spicy foods, fruit, and desserts.
Bordeaux wine (white)
Bordeaux wine (white)
The Bordeaux region in France is renown for its red wines, but it also produces excellent white wines, made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes.
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Burgundy wine (white)
Burgundy wine (white)
Burgundy is a region in eastern France that produces excellent red and white wines. Some of the better wine-producing areas in Burgundy are Chablis and Pouilly-Fuissé, both of which produce exquisite white wines from Chardonnay grapes. Burgundy wines produced in the United States are usually inexpensive blends of different grape varieties.
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Chablis
Chablis
If made in France, this is a very dry, delicately flavored white wine that's made with Chardonnay grapes. It's great with seafood, especially oysters. If made domestically, like a California Chablis, it's a sweet and cheap jug wine.
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Chardonnay
Chardonnay
This elegant white varietal wine is crisp and dry, and great with seafood, poultry, ham, egg dishes, salads, and any dish with a rich cream sauce. California Chardonnays are often excellent.
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Chenin blanc
Chenin blanc
This is a grape variety that's often blended with others to make inexpensive white jug wines and domestic Chablis. It's relatively inexpensive and goes well with salads, seafood, poultry, ham, and spicy foods.
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French Colombard
This is a variety of grape that's often made into white jug wine.
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Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer
German and domestic versions of this white wine are somewhat sweet, flowery, and relatively low in alcohol. They're very good with curry and spicy Asian food. Imports from Alsace tend to be drier and are excellent with seafood and poultry.
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Johannisberg Riesling
Johannisberg Riesling
This is a grape variety that produces a fragrant, fresh-tasting white wine that's great with ham, sausages, smoked fish, shellfish, or spicy Asian food. It's the grape that's used to make excellent Rhine wines in Germany. Don't confuse these excellent wines with domestic Riesling wines, which are usually made with inferior cousins of the Johanissberg Riesling grape. Late harvest Johannisberg Rieslings are very sweet, and make excellent dessert wines.
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Muscadet
Muscadet
This is a district in Brittany, France, that produces a crisp, light white wine that's especially good with seafood. Always serve it chilled. Don't confuse this with Muscatel or Muscat, which are both dessert wines.
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Pinot blanc
Pinot blanc
This is a good, but unexceptional, dry white wine that's good with seafood and poultry.
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Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio
This is a dry white wine that goes especially well with seafood. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name, Pinot Gris the French.
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Pouilly-Fuissé
Pouilly-Fuissé
This is an area in the Burgundy region of France that's renown for its exquisite white wines. Made with Chardonnay grapes, these wines are great with seafood and hors d'oeuvres.
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Pouilly-Fumé
This is a highly regarded dry white wine.
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retsina
retsina
This is a white Greek wine that's flavored with pine resin. It's popular with Greeks, but hasn't caught on elsewhere. It should be served at room temperature.
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Rhine Wine
Rhine Wine
Riesling grapes are used to make white Rhine wine.
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Riesling
Riesling
If made in Germany or Alsace, a Riesling is a very good, somewhat sweet white wine. If made in America, it's usually a so-so white wine that's usually made from Sylvaner = Franken Riesling, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling grapes, mediocre varieties which coast on the reputation of their superior relative, Johanissberg Riesling.
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Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
This light white wine is often described as having a "grassy" flavor. It's terrific with seafood, poultry, and other delicately flavored dishes.
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Sémillon
Sémillon
This is a grape variety that's sometimes developed into a dry white wine, sometimes into a excellent dessert wine.
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Viognier
Viognier
This assertive white wine from California exudes a complex perfume of flowers and fruit. It's expensive and hard to find, but it's delicious with seafood and poultry.
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Vouvray
Vouvray
This is a slightly sweet French white wine made with Chenin blanc grapes.
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white wine
white wine
White wines are more delicate than red wines and are always served chilled. Dry (i.e., not sweet) white wines include Chardonnay, Chablis, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are normally served with fish, poultry, veal, blue cheeses, and anything with a cream sauce. Sweeter white wines are often described as "fruity" and include Gewürztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling, and Chenin Blanc. These are good with spicy foods, fruit, and desserts.
Learn more