White wine is a beverage for all occasions, whether it’s sitting on the patio on a warm summer evening, toasting the bride and groom at a wedding, or pairing with a nice dinner of chicken breast in cream sauce. Because white wine can vary so greatly in taste, it is not only good for any occasion, but also for any palette.
Here are seven quick wine facts:
1. Leave the skins out
White wine can be made from white-wine grapes or it can be made from red grapes, the same grapes that many red wines are made from. The difference, however, is that the juice will not be soaked in the grape skins during the fermentation process, which is the sole source of colour in a red wine.
2. Infinite flavour
While around ten varieties of white wine make up the majority of wine in the world, not only are there many other less popular varieties of white wine, there are also an almost infinite number of different flavours that can come from wines that are labelled as the same variety.
Due to different factors such as age, fermentation process, and the climate its grapes come from, a white wine can take on anything from a very bitter, dry flavour to a very sweet, light flavour.
3. A wine for beginners
As wine can be quite an acquired taste, for those just starting out it is often recommended that they try a white wine, as white wines contain flavours much different, and often lighter, than the flavours of a red wine. While even seasoned wine drinkers may still enjoy a nice white wine as well, the flavours of a white wine can be easier to develop a taste for at first than the heavier, stronger, and richer flavours found in red wines.
4. Goes with anything
While there are general rules about pairing wine with foods – the most common being to pair red meats and tomato sauces with red wines, and white meats, seafood, and cream sauces with white wines – pairing wines can go much deeper than that.
Since white wine is so diverse, if white is your choice, you will be able to find a wine to pair with virtually any food – even red meat. Wine pairing is most primarily about finding flavours in the wine to enhance the flavours in the food.
5. Cool it down
White wine is usually best served chilled, unlike red wine which is served room temperature or only slightly chilled. The temperature the wine is served at is meant to enhance the wine’s most prominent features.
Heavier white wines are served at warmer temperatures – although they are generally still chilled – while lighter, sweeter wines are served at cooler temperatures. Choosing the correct temperature is important as the wrong temperature can actually hide some of the flavours instead of enhancing them.
6. Harder to sneak as a “healthy” treat
Red wine gets all of the fame for having health benefits, and wine drinkers rejoice when they hear that it is recommended to have a glass a day. Unfortunately for white wine drinkers, white wines, while containing some minor health benefits, do not contain the same health benefits as red wine, as they do not have as many tannins and they often contain more sugar.
7. Specific glasses
White wine should be served in thinner wine glasses that have a more bowl-like shape. A lighter wine will be served in a narrower, taller glass, while a more full-bodied white wine will be served in a shorter, rounder glass. The shape of a wine glass is used to enhance the flavours of the wine, and maintain the desired temperature.