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Summertime Sippers: White Wine


Photo by Zan on Unsplash


When you’re looking at a wine list, or scouring the shelves at your local wine retailer, it’s likely you’re considering your taste for a Red wine or a White wine. Some people go as far to say they favor Red or White over the other altogether. But more seasoned wine-drinkers know there’s a lot more to wine complexity than the hue.


There are hundreds of white grape varieties, many growing only in specific regions throughout the world, in every corner of the globe. Some of the most common varieties you may see are:



Sauvignon Blanc

The typical flavors you see in Sauvignon Blanc include: herbal, grassy flavors, citrus, pineapple, peach. The grape itself grows well in several diverse areas of the world, offering a variety of ripeness depending on its growth region. Sauvignon Blanc has become the landmark white wine of New Zealand, as intense flavors of green citrus and berry fruits are most dominant. However in California, though it’s made in a variety of styles, the grapes are often ripened and barrel-fermented to carry a more tropical, peachy Chardonnay flavor profile.

Pinot Grigio

Riesling

Chardonnay

Gewürztraminer

Roussanne

Muscat


If you’re looking for an extremely helpful, comprehensive guide to White wines in general, we recommend checking out Wine Folly’s Basic Guide to White Wine.



Production Methods

As with any grape, there are a number of methods used to produce white wine. Often, there will be significant differences between the production of a white grape and the production of a red grape. With overall structure and taste in mind while producing wine, it’s no secret that white wines are to be made to taste differently than red wines.


The typical structure of red wines are rich, bold, and strong, achieved by increasing oxygen exposure, which generally results in aging in oak barrels, reducing the fruity, floral tones that are naturally present in the grape.


On the other hand, white wines are typically more on the floral, fruity, and citrusy spectrum, meaning they aim to reach the opposite profile of typical red wines. Therefore, the fermentation process is altered to allow white wines to flourish in these areas. They are often aged in stainless steel vats that allow the winemakers to control the oxygen exposure, which then gives them the control over the intensity of those floral, fruity, citrusy notes.


Vanguard Wines Recommendations

Check out the following Sparkling wine recommendations from our Vanguard Wines portfolio:



Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc 2020

100% Sauvignon Blanc

Reserved tropical fruits, partly herbal and predominantly mineral, leaning to oxidative in a positive way. Initial creaminess and peppery spice that tapers down to a crunch, celery-salt finish. From Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.



Domaine la Guintrandy 2021 Côtes du Rhône Blanc BIO

40% Viognier, 20% Marsanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne

Golden hue with green highlights. Aromatic notes of peaches, white flowers and ripe apricot. On the palate, the wine is full and rich, well-balanced with bursting exotic fruits on the finish. From Rhône, France.


Estrade Côtes de Gascogne 2019

40% Colombard, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Ugni Blanc

Fragrant, fresh and crisp, yet dry with white and citrus fruit notes throughout. With its light herbal edge, and tangy, bright character, this is the perfect white wine for an apéritif. From Côtes de Gascogne, France.



Giunta Chenin Blanc 2021 - 91 Wine Enthusiast, 89 Vinous

100% Chenin Blanc

Grainy seeds of red apple, lightly floral nose, with hints of cinnamon glazed pears. The palate has a soft approach with a rich, even spicy mid-palate. While the fruit is opulent and soft in portions it also has firm acidity with a lengthy crisp finish. From Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.


Valdemoreda Blanco 2020

100% Viura

Lush, bold notes of oaky vanilla and tropical pineapple. Supple hints of pear and peach tones to balance the acidity. A full-bodied, smooth, tropical treat with balanced dryness and a smooth finish. From Oyón, Spain.


Pflűger BioDynamite 2021

70% Riesling and 30% Gewürztraminer grown in the same vineyard

Exotic fruit notes and spices on the nose, accompanied by juicy citrus flavors on the palate. Fresh acidity, fruitful and bright. From Pfalz, Germany.



Brooks Pinot Blanc 2021

100% Pinot Blanc

An absolutely stunning and fresh white wine with bright acidity and layers of tropical, citrus, and stone fruits such as grapefruit, nectarine, Anjou pear, and pineapple, with a saline sand dollar finish. From Willamette Valley, Oregon.



Fattoria Nanni "Arsicci" Verdicchio

100% Verdicchio

This is an ‘easier’ Verdicchio with soft flavors of spring flowers - wisteria, slight citrus, and a trace of pleasing bitterness. In the mouth, pleasing calm textures, with balanced acidity. From Marche, Italy.



Carpinus Hárslevelű 2019

100% Hárslevelű

Fresh, ripe pure notes of honey, floral fragrant, lime peel, a touch of elderflower, white peach, and tropical aromas. A crisp, easy-drinking wine pairs perfectly with seafood and other light fares, as well as the warmth of summer time. From Tokaj, Hungary.


 

While this information is fact-based, that doesn't necessarily mean it’s strictly followed by every producer. Winemaking is an art-form in and of itself, making the producers the artists. What’s been covered is simply the foundation upon which winemakers can build their wines to their liking, taking into account the consumer and their desired techniques, regional traditions, or their own unique ideas. At the end of the day, wine is made to be enjoyed, and to bring a form of art to life. Certain varieties may not be for one person, but it may be for another. That is the beauty of wine, it carries its own beautiful versatility.


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