The 101 on Wine Part I: White Wine
Wine, wine, wine. Honestly I never knew I would be able to understand the world that is wine appreciation, but wine can be on of life’s greatest pleasures, with just a little knowledge. A glass of wine will become more enjoyable once you know a thing or two about the art that is wine and then you get to know your wine palette just a little better. Sure, wine can be intimidating, but wasn’t your first day of school? Wine will open doors for your dining experience and mind. Step away from that Smirnoff Ice and welcome the world of wine.
Here are a handful of popular types of white wine and a guide to understanding just exactly what they are, and if it’s the type for you. I am no expert, whatsoever, but we can surely learn together.
White wines are usually served chill and are lighter in taste than red wines making them ideal for spring and summer. They are usually consumed with lighter meals, i.e. lunch, smaller dinners, and appetizers. There are many varieties of white wine, but here are a few you are sure to run across.
Even the name itself sounds classy. This is the more popular white wine and since it’s grown in nearly all wine-producing countries, it is difficult to summarize its different flavors and aromas. Chardonnay may smell like apples, lemons, peaches, or tropical fruit and normally is taken over by oak. Most prefer the rich, buttery mouth feeling that Chardonnay can create.
Personally my favorite white wine, Riesling is one type of white wine that has become underappreciated. Riesling originated from Germany and can be bone dry to incredibly delightful and rich, but it is one of the sweeter wines. The more popular aromas and flavors of Riesling include floral to stone fruits (apple, pear, peach, or apricot).
If you’re looking for the sweetest of sweet white wines, this is the one for you. Also popularly known as Muscat wine, this is one of the best dessert wines (considering it’s the sweetest). This wine contains a lot of antioxidants, which we all know is good for you. I refer to Moscato as more of the beginner’s wine, so give it a try and you may fall in love with its light, sugary taste.
– White Zinfandel
Not exactly a true white wine, White Zinfandel is pink or coral in color and considered a blush wine, which is a white wine made from red grapes. Although it is a popular wine among the public, it isn’t considered a serious wine, but hey, it still tastes amazing. For fans of simple aromas of strawberry or cherry with a little bit of spritz, I introduce you to White Zinfandel.
– Sauvignon Blanc
This type of wine is for those who prefer dry wines. Sauvignon Blanc has a grassiness that can range from subtle or be very pronounced. Flavors may range from white melon, citrus, and subtle fig, to white peach and mango. Fun fact – the grape used for this wine comes from the French word “sauvage” (wild) and “blanc” (white). This wine pairs really well with fish, cheese, and sushi (who knew!).
Hopefully this shed a little light onto the world of white wine and you’ve gained a better understanding of which type is best for you. Do not be intimidated when you go into the wine aisle and have no idea what to look for. It’s all about experimenting and understanding what you’re drinking. Go to wine tastings! Go to a vineyard! Peabody’s in Boone have several wine tastings a month; always look out for their signs.
Look out for Part II of the 101 on wine with lessons about red wine.
And keep in mind that drinking underage is illegal, so wait to open that bottle of wine until you are of age!