THE POUR

New to White Wine? Here's a Crash Course on Finding Your Favorite.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 7, 2017 3:19:02 PM

white winePicking the right white doesn't need to be a fright. Looking at the miles of choices can feel overwhelming and we don't blame you for feeling bleary eyed as you try to discern a Pinot Gris from a Chenin Blanc. But don't let that stop you from experimenting and enjoying white wine.

Here's a crash course on finding the right white wine for your taste.

What's your taste preference? It's important, because different varietals have different characteristics. But what if you aren't really sure? That's okay, because we love helping people discover wine. It's not about what we like, it's about finding the right wine for you.

Do you enjoy sweet, dry, crisp, light, oaky or creamy wine? Having an idea of palate preferences will help you narrow your search. And, hopefully, you'll discover new wines along the way.

Character traits

  • Light and sweet are lightly sweet, aromatic wines while sweet may refer to very sweet dessert whites.
  • Crisp wines are light bodied and dry, with a fresh clean taste.
  • Dry means it is not sweet.
  • Oaky refers to wine aged in oak barrels and has a distinct vanilla flavor profile.

Varietals most commonly used to make white wines:

  • Chenin Blanc — South Africa is now the largest producer of Chenin Blanc in the world, creating a dry, zesty, crisp wine that is very similar to Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chardonnay — One of the most popular wines in the world, it can be light and crisp, or full-bodied and creamy.
  • Muscat — This ancient aromatic grape is actually a large family of grapes. Varieties include: Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (aka Muscat Blanc), Zibibbo (aka Muscat of Alexandria, Moscatel), Moscato Giallo (a rouge version of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains), Black Muscat, Orange Muscat, Muscat Ottonel (found in Eastern Europe), Moscatel de Setúbal (Found in Portugal)
  • Semillon — This full-bodied wine is the third most planted grape in France.
  • Sauvignon Blanc — This classic white wine has fruit flavors, a more vivid acidity, and a lighter body.
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris — Three main types include; minerally and dry, fruity and dry, and fruity and sweet.

While we can list the unique characteristics of each type of white wine, the best way to find your favorite is to taste them for yourself. Just stop by any of our 13 Haskell's locations and our wine experts can help steer you in the right direction. Cheers to finding the perfect white wine for YOU!

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Topics: Behind the Wine, Wine Tastings