Authored by Tanya Nusser in Food and Cooking
Published on 08-01-2009
White wine, like all wines, are generally divided into three classifications: Sparkling, sweet and dry. Sweet and dry wines are then divided up by their degree of sweetness and/or dryness. Each type of wine has its own special method of production, which gives each kind its distinct characteristics. These characteristics are a result of how the wine is made (each manufacturer has its secret method for production which makes each wine special and different from all others), the kind of grapes used, and how each wine is blended to make it unique.
White wines are generally made from fresh crushed white varieties of grapes (although they can contain some light colored grapes as well), that have been crushed and fermented. Dry white wines are created when the sugars from the grape’s juices turn to alcohol by process of fermentation. These wines are known as “natural wine” because there is nothing else added to the fermented juice of the grapes. These wines are usually table wines that are to be drank with meals. So, how do you differentiate between dry white wines? Here are descriptions of a few of the most popular types of dry white wines in the world today:
Chardonnay- A Chardonnay wine is made with Chardonnay grapes and is usually a light, dry white wine that is wide bodied with citrus flavors. Many of these wines have distinct, fruity undertones with hints of apple, vanilla, or even melon. These wines are fermented in oak barrels which leads to the buttery flavors. Many Chardonnay wines are available in a sparkling variety as well.
Sauvignon Blanc- This clean and crisp tasting citrus-y wine that has a medium body and a bright acidity. A quality Sauvignon Blanc will have a smokey quality and dominating herbal characteristics. These wines are made worldwide from the Bordeaux region to Australia, with each region creating its own special type of wine.
Pinot Blanc- The Pinot Blanc is a versatile medium-dry wine that is made from Pinot Gris grapes from around the world. These wines are aromatic, fruity dry wines with an acidic bite. Pinot Blanc wines are light and crisp and go well with simple foods that do not have a lot of complexity in their flavors.
Riesling- The Riesling is a light to medium-bodied , medium-dry wine with hints of stone fruit such as peaches and fruits such as apples. This type of wine is generally a much lighter wine than varieties such as Chardonnay wines. While the Reisling wine can range in variety from dry to different levels of sweetness, it should always have a crisp and fresh taste.
Of course, there are many, many different varieties of white wines that are created around the world. Each type of wine created has its own special taste. While it is useful to know the characteristics of the different types of wines so that you can distinguish between them, there is really no wine any better than the other. With wine, it is all a matter of personal preference.