The Ultimate White Wine Guide: Food Pairings, Profile, Taste and Style


White Winemaking KitsAs this white wine guide will show you, there are several varieties of white wine. Yet, all are made using yellow or green (“white”) grapes and fall into two predominant categories: dry and sweet. Dry white wine, the most common of all wine types, carries an aromatic aroma and a tangy taste and is created from complete fermentation of the wort. Sweet wines are produced by ceasing the process once fermentation begins, before the grape’s sugars convert into alcohol. Typically, white wines are enjoyed before meals or with desserts. White wines are considered a refreshing, lighter drink.

 

Below, you can find a list of the most popular white wines. This white wine guide will show you each wine’s full profile, taste, style and its best food pairings. 
 
Want to make your own white wine? View our White Wine Kits.

Chardonnay

Originating in Burgundy, France, Chardonnay is now the world’s most planted white grape. Warmer climates tend to have more pineapple and apple flavors while warmer climates have more starfruit flavors. Common styles of Chardonnay include oaked Chardonnay that is rich and creamy and unoaked Chardonnay which is lighter and has more tropical flavors. Chardonnay is also used to make Champagne alongside Pinot Noir, or by itself as a ‘Blanc de Blanc’.

Chardonnay Profile 

Chardonnay is a full body, medium acidity wine. It contains medium to high alcohol content.

Chardonnay Taste

Chardonnay has an apple, pineapple and buttery taste. If the wine is oaked, it will have a cedar and yeast taste.

Chardonnay Style

Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine that is bolder and stronger.

Food Pairing

Shellfish, tofu and oysters are great examples of what pairs well with Chardonnay wine.

View our Chardonnay Winemaking Kit.

Chardonnay Semillon

Chardonnay and Semillon blend isn’t the most common white blend but creates a unique complex wine. Semillon adds peach, chamomile and saline flavors to the lemon and pineapple flavors of Chardonnay. New world wineries like those in Australia and California are where you will find this. The wine is typically done in stainless steel tanks.

Chardonnay Semillon Profile

Chardonnay Semillon is a medium to full body white wine with medium acidity. This wine contains medium to high alcohol content.

Chardonnay Semillon Taste

Chardonnay Semillon contains hints of citrus, lemon, peach, fig and chamomile.

Chardonnay Semillon Style

This blend creates a medium to full-bodied white wine.

Chardonnay Semillon Food Pairing 

Shellfish, tofu and brie are excellent pairing options with Chardonnay Semillon wine.

Gewurztraminer

Originating in northern France and southern Germany, Gewurztraminer has become a widely popular white wine that is typically made dry to off-dry in Old World countries and comes in dry to sweet in New World countries. Dessert wines in the Alsatian region of France are made with Gewürztraminer, Vendanges, Tardives, and Sélection de Grains Noble grapes.

Gewurztraminer Profile

Gewurztraminer is an aromatic white wine with medium body and contains low acidity.

Gewurztraminer Taste

Gewurztraminer contains hints of floral, honey, grapefruit and orange.

Gewurztraminer Style

The floral hints create an aromatic white wine and dominant aroma in the Gewurztraminer.

Gewurztraminer Food Pairing

Spicy cuisine, cured meat are teriyaki all pair well with Gewurztraminer at the dinner table.

View our Gewurztraminer Winemaking Kit.

Pinot Grigio

Also known as Pinot Gris, this wine originated in northern Italy where it tends to have a more mineral profile. Cool climates have a tarter citrus flavor while those made in warmer climates like Australia have a softer nectarine and apricot flavor.

Pinot Grigio Profile

Pinot Grigio is a light body white wine with high acidity. It contains medium to high alcohol content.

Pinot Grigio Taste 

Pinot Grigio contains hints of lemon, cantaloupe, nectarine and peach.

Pinot Grigio Style 

A light-bodied white wine, Pinot Grigio is delicate and lean.

Pinot Grigio Food Pairing

Fish, crab and cream cheese pair well with a Pinot Grigio wine. Serve these dishes for maximum enjoyment of this wine.

View our Pinot Grigio Winemaking Kit.

Riesling

Originating in Germany, Riesling wines range from dry to very sweet across the globe. Germany has their own labeling terms for this that includes Trocken (dry) up to Trockenbeerenauslese (very sweet). Riesling grows best in colder climates but is also seen in Australia.

Riesling Profile

Riesling is an aromatic, light body white wine that contains high acidity. It has low alcohol content.

Riesling Taste

Riesling contains hints of petrol, green apple, citrus and honey.

Riesling Style

Riesling is aromatic white wine with a delicious scent.

Riesling Food Pairing

Spicy cuisine, cured meats and duck pair well with Riesling wine.

View our Riesling Winemaking Kit.

Sauvignon Blanc

Originating in France, Sauvignon Blanc is now one of the most widely planted white grapes. Cooler climates give off a tarter citrus flavor while warmer climates lean toward a ripe peach flavor. This wine is sometimes used in blends and is even oaked in some places in California thanks to Robert Mondavi creating the Fumé Blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc Profile

Sauvignon Blanc is a light body white wine with high acidity. It contains medium alcohol content.

Sauvignon Blanc Taste

Look for hints of honeydew melon, grapefruit and peach in this wine.

Sauvignon Blanc Style

Sauvignon Blanc is a light-bodied white wine.

Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing

Shellfish, fish and salty cheeses pair well with this wine.

View our Sauvignon Blanc Winemaking Kit.

Verdicchio

Almost exclusively grown in Le Marche, Veneto, Italy, Verdicchio is a popular Italian aperitif. This grape is famous for its slightly oily texture and olive oil flavor.

Verdicchio Profile

Verdicchio is a light-bodied wine with high acidity. It contains low to medium alcohol content.

Verdicchio Taste

Taste hints of olive oil, saline, peach and lemon curd in this wine.

Verdicchio Style

Verdicchio is a light-bodied white wine.

Verdicchio Food Pairing

Almonds, cured meats and quiche pair well with Verdicchio.

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