A popular drink worldwide, the white wine looks like sparkling water with a golden tint. The grapes from which white wine is made are the same color under the skin as the grapes from which red wine is made. The main factor for determining the color of wine is the color of the skin. The grapes from which white wine is made are immediately pressed after picking and the juice is removed from the skins with little contact. Sometimes, even the color of white wine differs, mainly due to the different type of grapes. Given below is information on the major types of white wines.
Chardonnay (Pronounced as Shar - doe - nay)
One of the best and most popular forms of white wine is the Chardonnay. This white wine can be made either sparkling or still. It is produced widely in France and California and in other major wine producing areas in the world mainly because of its versatility and adaptability. Chardonnay grapes are also the main grape used in the production of this white wine. When fermented in oak barrels, it gets a buttery taste and usually taste of ripe figs, peach, honey and butter, hazelnuts and spice.
Chablis (Pronounced as Sha-Blee)
Grown mostly in northern vineyards in Burgundy, France, the Chablis is essentially a dry steely wine. Ranked as Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru and Petit Chablis, the name Chablis is basically a generic name that is used to explain dry white jug or box wine. It is made from the Chardonnay grapes like all fine white wines.
Gewurztraminer (Pronounced as Gah-vurtz-tra-meener)
What makes the Gewurztraminer stand apart is its rich aroma. It should be taken in small and slow sips. The taste of this wine is quite spicy and pungent. The Gewurztraminer grapes are grown mostly in the Alsace in France, though some areas in Germany and USA (northern California) also grow this variety of grape. The grapes are basically pale green in color and prefer cool climate for excellent growth.
Pinot Blanc (Pronounced as Pee-noh Blanh)
The Pinot Blanc is produced from the grapes that belong to the Pinot family, unlike the belief that it is produced from Chardonnay. These grapes produce medium-bodied dry wines that are high in acidity and have a hint of apple and spice. These grapes grow well in Alsace and of late, California is producing some really good Pinot Blanc wines.
Pinot Gris (Pronounced as Pee-noh Gree)
The Pinot Gris is a dark-colored grape that has evolved from Pinot Noir. It is mostly produced in Alsace, Oregon and northeastern Italy. The Pinot Gris is generally dry and crisp, though it can be produced as a full-bodied wine also. The flavor and aroma, both are subtle and not too pungent. The taste is close to flavors of almonds, minerals and peaches.
Riesling (Pronounced as Rees-ling)
Mostly produced in Germany, Riesling wines are quite refreshing and are known for their high acidity. Recently, some vineyards in California have also started to produce some excellent Riesling wines. The Riesling grapes produce three different varieties of wine - dry, half dry and sweet. The earlier the grapes are picked, the drier is the taste.
Sauvignon / Fume Blanc (Pronounced as So-veen-yawn Blanh)
The Sauvignon Blanc wine is known for its crisp and grassy flavor. The grapes produce a white wine that is sometimes considered to be too light and acidic for die-hard wine drinkers. The grapes grow well in cold climate and need to be monitored closely for producing the finest wines. The best places for growing this one is California, New Zealand, Northeastern Italy, Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions of France.
Semillon (Pronounced as Say-me-Yaw)
Semillon is the best wine that is used to blend with other wines like white Bordeaux wine and Sauternes. This grape is used to make some of the finest wines of Australia like Honey Hunters. This wine is produced in Australia and Bordeaux. The Semillon grapes are a major variety of white wine grapes and ripen at a faster pace as compared to other grapes. They are less likely to be damaged in rain or frost and are sweet and juicy. The Semillon is a bright colored golden wine with even an oily texture sometimes.