The Ultimate Guide To White Wine, Including How To Store, Serve, And Which Bottles To Buy.
By Rashmi Goel
A wine drinker who drinks only red wine may assume that all the fun goes to people who drink only red wine. The fun factor of great white wine just can't compare with that of great red wine. Great white wines are characterized less by summer's red fruits than by autumn's yellow fruits, from ever-popular chardonnay to zesty pinot gris. The palate is dominated by citrus, and herbs make regular appearances as well. It goes without saying that white wines are best served chilled, making them the perfect summer beverage. Over the past year, my understanding of what makes a wine meaningful has evolved dramatically. Wines have the power to forever change how you perceive the world, while others tangibly change society, and when we're lucky, we find a select few at the intersection of the two.
The Best Way To Serve White Wine
The right glassware is essential to making sure that your white wine is served to its full potential. The first sip will give you a sense of all those complex aromatics if you choose a large, rounded bowl with a slight taper towards the rim. Baccarat always sets the bar high. The rule of thumb is not to serve straight from the ice bucket of white wine in August, as doing so masks the flavors; essentially, you're masking the layers of fruit, floral, and spice. In general, young, lighter white wines should be served at around 7-10°C, while those with more body, such as oak, should be served between 10-13°C.
Choosing The Right Food To Pair With White Wine
As Whenever it comes to reds and rosés, we adhere to the adage: "What grows together, goes together". Italian pinot grigio pairs well with antipasti, burrata, and vongole. French Sancerre pairs well with goat cheese or grilled pork cutlets; and richer Australian chardonnay pairs well with lobster tails.
The Best Way To Store White Wine
If It's important to know how to store wine properly after you've spent time curating your cellar. It's best to keep the wine cool, dark, and flat (if your wine has a natural cork, it's best to lie it on its side to keep the cork moist). It is ideal to store red and white wines at a temperature of 12-14°C if they are going to be stored together.
In order to make the process of choosing the right white wine easier, we have compiled a list of the best white wines you can drink right now.
Frescobaldi Toscana Gorgona Bianco, 2020
The Mediterranean radiance of Gorgona 2020 is reflected in the warmth of the sun and the crispness of the unceasing sea breezes. There are gold highlights in the deep straw yellow color. There are pungent scrub notes of cistus, curry plant, lentisk, and juniper blending into broom and hawthorn blossoms in this elegant marriage of classical Mediterranean florals and fruits. With bergamot and pineapple notes lifting tropical fruit aromas, they are flanked by tropical fruit notes. It exhibits superb tangy fruit and crisp acidity that duet together in splendid harmony, an equilibrium that is complemented by the initial smooth mouthfeel and the extreme grace throughout the whole palate experience. In keeping with previous vintages of Gorgona, the 2020 vintage marks another significant milestone. Savoring it is like tasting the delights of a story that only this small island can tell.
Les Lunes 2020 Barra Vineyard Chardonnay
On predominantly red sandy loam soils, the Lolonis Vineyard is located in Redwood Valley near Ukiah. Compared to Barra Vineyard's clay loam, these soils are sandier. Having sandier soils gives this wine its flavors, aromas, and acidity. Generations have owned and farmed Lolonis Vineyard. Since the vineyard was planted, they have cultivated organically and stewarded their land properly. In the early 1970s, these vines were planted. Whole clusters of Chardonnay were harvested manually, pressed, and fermented using only indigenous yeasts and bacteria. Stainless steel tanks ferment the wine. After racking, the wine was aged on its fine lees in 300-gallon flexitanks. Before gentle bottling in May 2022, 18 ppm SO2 was added to the wine. A wine of focus and precision. A bright, fresh, and clean acidity drive the mouthfeel, while citrus and green apple fruit dominate the nose. In spite of the wine's tension and minerality, it is drinking well now and will pair well with mountain trout or a simple roast chicken.
Bidaia Txakolina Blanc
From Bodegas Garaikoetxea Txakolindegia comes Bidaia Txakolina 2020, one of the most iconic txakolis in the world. Resulting of its spectacular vineyard, located near the Cantabrian Sea, this white monovarietal of the native Hondarribia Zuri stands out for its lightness and balance of needles acquired during fermentation. Fine and elegant bubbles and bright white color with greenish reflections. It has a sophisticated and fine nose. Green apples and fresh grapes are the predominant aromas, along with a hint of mint. There is a dry attack, followed by a broad and aromatic finish. Jovial and harmonious. Fish is a good pairing for it. Temperatures between 6 and 8oC are recommended when serving.
Souleil Vin De Bonté Blanc 2020
Founders Marianne and Thomas grew up surfing and shucking oysters in a sun-drenched wine region of southern France along the Mediterranean Sea. Childhood friends began dreaming about making a wine that embodied the feeling of an endless summer after years of cultivating their expertise in wine. In the pursuit of sustainability, they created Souleil Vin de Bonté, a vegan and organic wine that is made with a purpose in mind. It was clear to them that they wanted a wine that was fresh and elegant. An apéritif wine that can be served at a dinner party and as an apéritif - the French version of a sundowner - a wine that's perfect for starting and ending an evening like a true bon vivant. With flavors of juicy pineapple, guava, and orange blossom, this delectable white wine is balanced, bright, and profoundly aromatic. This wine pairs well with fresh salads, seafood, and cheese platters inspired by the South of France.
Tyler Winery Santa Barbara County 2020
A stunning "survey" of what the region is all about, Tyler Santa Barbara County Chardonnay is made by renowned winemaker Justin Willett. The fruit for this wine comes from four different vineyard sites: Bien Nacido, Dierberg, La Rinconada, and Sanford & Benedict. After fermenting with native yeasts in the cellar, Willett ages the wine for 11 months sur-lie in a combination of barrels and puncheons (no more than 10% new oak is used). Flavors of ripe stone fruit, citrus rind, green apple, lemon cream, and flint can be found in the resulting wine, which is ripe yet bright. With a modest 12.8% alcohol by volume, this restrained wine shows California Chardonnay's acid focus and balance.
Liquid Farm Golden Slope Chardonnay 2017
There is almost an homage to Meursault in the Golden Slope Chardonnay. As a white Burgundy, the style of this wine is somewhere between what you'd expect from a Californian white. The wine is perfectly balanced and is begging to be consumed this winter. If you are looking for a California Chard that can be cellared, this is the bottle for you. An old-world winery, Liquid Farm makes wine in California. A very minimal amount of intervention in the cellar is observed here, with the idea that the place makes the wine. The winemaking team focuses on letting fermentation run its natural course and only adding minimal amounts of guidance as needed. Chardonnay which is determinedly oaked is characterized by a minor amount of oak used. A 100% Chardonnay wine. There is a light bright yellow color to this wine in the glass. There is ripe orchard fruit and a hint of citrus zest on the nose. Despite its generous mouthfeel, this wine has a slight backbone of acidity that gives it the necessary backbone.
Cloudy Bay Chardonnay
This Chardonnay was made from vines with low yields and what an impact they have. The wine also matures in French oak barriques, making it a gem. The fame of Cloudy Bay has been centered on the success of its Sauvignon Blanc, one of the first New World wines to gain a serious following in the UK back in the 1990s. However, this is the crowning glory. There are aromas of stonefruit, white florals, smoked oak, and spice on the nose of this Chardonnay. There is a bright acid backbone on the palate, making it fresh and lively. There are flavors of nectarines & peaches, juicy citrus, and grapefruit pith to explore. With a fine mineral thread and a delicate texture, this wine has a good length. The wine will pair perfectly with richer foods such as steamed crab, grilled white fish, and fresh egg noodle pasta. The wine will taste exquisite in its youth but will continue to impress for 5 to 7 years.
East By North East Pinot Grigio
Top Friuli vineyard Pinot Grigio made by Steffano Chioccioli, who has a 100-point rating. This is a gorgeous white wine with floral, candied peel, orange, and peach notes from an estate that made Friuli Pinot Grigio famous. The crisp, delicate flavors of Pinot Grigio make it one of the most refreshing wines. The Pinot Grigio from this winemaker, made with grapes from Friuli's premium vineyards, is another matter. There is an intensity to the flavors that you wouldn't expect from this variety. A subtle spicy finish is complimented by intense apple and peach fruit notes. It's the perfect complement to fish and chicken dishes, or on its own.
Penfolds Max's Chardonnay
Freshly sliced peaches and hints of mandarin give way to a creamy texture reminiscent of crème brûlée/panna cotta that coats the entire mouth. With a lingering, fresh finish, this wine reveals a wet stone minerality. Despite its price point, this Chardonnay is very complex and textural. It was a very dry growing season, but good rains in June and August ensured optimal soil moisture levels for bud bursting. During flowering, wet, cold weather prevailed, which resulted in a poor fruit set and a significant reduction in crop size. Warm weather prevailed throughout the summer, with two heatwaves in January. Adelaide Hills vines were well positioned to weather the summer, unlike vines in some warmer regions. There are a few problems associated with heat spikes. Mild conditions led to a successful growing season. Grapes from Chardonnay displayed strong varietal characteristics and good acidity.
M’hudi Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
It is fermented and matured in 500L French oak barrels with selected wine yeasts to produce a rich and ripe wooded Chenin Blanc. In the barrels, the wine rests for 10 months. It produces a very aromatic and richly textured wine with characteristics characteristic of Chenin Blanc grown under these conditions, as well as the age-old traditions of dry land viticulture. An attractive light gold color. There is a scent of fruit salad and quince on the nose. Tastes rich and creamy. Featuring pineapples, stewed fruits, and dried apricots. A complex piece with a lot of depth. Chenin Blanc is one of the best South African wines. The wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least five years. A seafood casserole, chicken curry, or fragrant cheese would be perfect accompaniments.
The Anarchist 2021 White Blend
Blended from six varietals, this wine has a dynamic style. Each component contributes to a lively discussion among interesting friends. Tempting scents include white blossom, tamarind, and glints of wet slate. There are hints of pink grapefruit granita, lychee, lemon zest, and fresh herbs on the palate. A crisp, scintillating palate is complemented by hint of minerality. The Anarchist's award-winning label design illustrates how algorithms are used to create complex patterns. The algorithm also incorporates data representing individuals who challenged paradigms and changed human history across centuries and continents. In the end, the resulting art reveals a stunning challenge to the status quo. This wine contains 55% Gewürztraminer, 20% Viognier, 9% Pinot Gris, 8% Riesling, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, and 1% Chardonnay.
The Pearl Of The Garda: Lugana Superiore Madonna Della Scoperta 2019
Lugana, known for its refined white, has illustrious origins (his origins have been authenticated since the eighteenth century, but viticulture dates back at least to the Roman era). The clayey soils, the favorable microclimate of the lake, and the local Trebbiano variety, Turbiana, all contribute to the wine's structure and longevity. The Lugana appellation on Lake Garda warrants more international recognition given its history as a viticultural region, despite the fact that other Italian wine regions enjoy their share of the spotlight as well. There is a grape called Turbiana cultivated in Lugana since well before the wine was certified in 1700, grape that is cultivated between Verona and Brescia. Hazelnut and flint aromas mingle with hay aromas and Spanish broom. Combined with yellow grapefruit and white almond, the elegant palate carries a flinty note. A rice dish with vegetables or Asian pasta goes well with it.
Brick House Ribbon Ridge Chardonnay 2019
As the fruit for the 2019 Ribbon Ridge Chardonnay was grown just yards from the crush pad and wine press, it was fresh as it began its journey to become wine. During fermentation, the wine was aged in large neutral French oak cooperage barrels. Upon completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine had a rich, round texture. A twelve-month barrel period was followed by an eight-month tank period. A bright citrus and stone fruits flavor dominates the palate of this savory Chardonnay that is unencumbered by oak.
Seven Hills Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Casey McClellan is one of the most talented winemakers in the Walla Walla Valley and is entering his fifth decade as a winemaker, and this bottling marks his fourth vintage of producing a Sauvignon Blanc. In this particular blend, just ten percent of the final blend is aged for five months in French barrels. There is also a small amount of Sèmillon (4%) as well as a touch of Muscat to give the wine a bit more complexity. There's no doubt this is Sauvignon Blanc, and the nose is loaded with gooseberry, lime, fresh-cut celery, and a faint hint of meow. As the scale of McClellan's production led him to bottle this wine in West Richland, which is home to his sister winery Double Canyon, he adopted a brisk, invigorating approach with a continuation of lime and gooseberry flavors. Featuring a mild sweetness and a sturdy acidity, this bottle pairs well with baked salmon.
Benovia Russian River Chardonnay 2018
They now primarily source Chardonnay from the Martaella Estate Vineyard. Their heirloom clones of Chardonnay maintain bright acidity and exhibit floral and mineral notes. Chardonnay flourishes in this region of the Russian River Valley because of the low-fertility soils and cool temperatures. Before whole-cluster pressing, the fruit was harvested at night and rigorously hand-sorted. After the juice had settled overnight, a barrel fermentation was carried out with indigenous yeast. With flavors of delicious golden apples, poached pears, and marzipan, this Chardonnay bursts with aromas. There is a hint of dried apricot and white rose in the nose, combined with balanced acidity and a long, complex finish. A subtle minerality on the finish is attributed to barrel fermentation and oak aging for 12 months.
A mark of authenticity is the winemaking know-how handed down through generations at Maison Calvet. With a wide selection of iconic appellations and fine wines, Calvet is the reference in French wine in the heart of the region. Today, Maison Calvet is present in every region of France, offering you the chance to discover the rich diversity of France's terroirs through its highly original journey. France's vineyards call out to be explored on an irresistible journey. The Chablis vineyards are situated in northern Burgundy near Auxerre along the Serein ("Serene"). Limestone plateaus cut through valleys that make up the Chablis region. Burgundy's Premier Cru wines are grown on a stratum dating back to the Kimmeridgian (155 million years BC) with alternating marl and limestone, reminiscent of the warm and shallow sea that covered the region then. The color is bright pale yellow. There is a nice minerality to the nose, offering complexity along with an open nose of white fruits. With its fresh lemon flavor and a well-balanced palate, this wine has a pleasant finish.
Domaine Marie Bérénice 2021 Bandol Blanc
The greatest voices in the wine world right now come as a package deal - for years, I've relied on Victoria James and Lyle Railsback for guidance on what to drink. Railsback's latest import endeavor, France+Western, is Railsback's love letter to the "great unknown" of fine wine. The company currently champions independent growers across France and Italy, including Domaine Marie Bérénice in Bandol, where winemaker Damien Roux makes some of the appellation's most interesting reds, whites, and rosés. In the 2021 Bandol Blanc, Clairette and Ugni blanc are blended from organically farmed older vines. At less than $40, its delicate salinity and white flower-driven flavor profile make it an attractive value. It's a great place to start if you enjoy tasty (and sustainably produced) wines full of personality as well as supporting small businesses.
Penfolds 2019 Bin 51 Riesling
There are many attributes associated with Eden Valley that are reflected in Bin 51. Riesling from the high altitude and cool climate of the region can be cellared for a long period of time with great finesse and elegance. It's no secret that South Australia is renowned for producing world-class riesling, and Eden Valley has always been a prominent player. They are characterized by scented floral and citrus aromas, a mineral edge, and pronounced natural acidity, which contributes significantly to the palate texture and flavor. As Penfold's involvement in Eden Valley Riesling winemaking continues, Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling represents a new chapter in the long history of this variety. Pairs well with seafood.
2017 Granbazán Albariño Limousin Rias Baixas
A classic, aged cuvée made by a winery hailed by Decanter as among Spain's finest Albarino producers, this wine display a richness and freshness found in only a handful of whites. They also cost a lot more. During the International Wine Challenge, it won the title of "Best Spanish White Wine" and an award for its "brilliant ability to age.". The color is golden with a bright rim. Lemon peel, orange marmalade, ginger, saffron, and layers of sun-kissed lemon peel lead the aromas. A long-lasting finish and excellent mineral structure define the mouthfeel, which offers weight, length, and tension. Drinking young Portuguese Albarino unoaked, especially with freshly shucked oysters, is pure delight.