Getting to Know White Wines

Light and crisp

  • Light and crisp describes the majority of white wines made worldwide, not every wine occasion calls for assertive flavours, or the richness of oak ageing
  • This category is light, lively and refreshing – the perfect wine to pour as an aperitif, or with mid-week dinner choices like chicken or pasta
  • Versatility defines this style – which combines an invigorating lightness with palate-cleansing acidity.

Examples:

  • White wines from north and central Italy
  • Un-oaked Chardonnay from France or Ontario
  • Dry Riesling from regions with a cool climate

Off-dry and fruity

  • This category brings forward fruit aromas and flavours, with just enough sweetness to balance the acidity, which is a normal component of perfectly ripened grapes
  • The fruitiness comes in flavours that range from ripe apple, to fresh peach, to juicy melon

Examples:

  • Riesling from Germany
  • Vidal from Ontario
  • Vinho Verde from Portugal

Serving suggestions:

  • Asian dishes
  • Aromatic curries
  • Charcuterie
  • Smoked pork dishes

Aromatic and flavourful

  • The aromatic varieties aren’t shy when it comes to announcing their presence and personality
  • These audacious wines deliver their perfume and their flavours with a thrilling intensity
  • The aromas are unmistakable: Sauvignon Blanc with pea pod and citrus notes, the lychee and grapefruit bouquet of Gewürztraminer, the heady floral and grapy notes of Muscat
  • These wines can stand up to adventurous flavours and textures in food, and appeal to those who like to stretch their own personal boundaries

Examples:

  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gewürztraminer from Alsace
  • Torrontes from Argentina
  • Muscat from California

Full-bodied and rich

  • This group of wines is luxurious, with full flavour and a lengthy finish
  • These are also the white wines with capacity for ageing, and in many cases an affinity for oak ageing that contributes additional layers of spicy complexity

Examples:

  • Chardonnay from warm climates in California and Australia
  • White Burgundy
  • Rhône whites such as Viognier and Pinot Gris from Alsace

Serving suggestions:

  • Rich dishes with butter sauces
  • Roasted veal
  • Seafood with mango salsa

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