(Almost) everything you need to know about white wine

Whether you like aromatic whites or rich whites, I am sure you often find yourself strolling around the liquor store wondering how good your wine knowledge really is. At least I do, and I spent two years pouring and serving wine at a bar. I didn't learn much. Anyway, since wine is no longer just for old folks (younglings like it just as much), I have compiled a simple list to help you get around all sorts of major white wines.


Dry vs. Sweet: self explanatory

Low Acidity vs High Acidity: grapes from warmer climates result in high sugar and low acidity, cooler climates result in low sugar and high acidity. Basically, if the wine is sour and fresh to the taste, it is high in acidity and if it is flat, it is low in acidity. Common fruit with acids: apple, grapefruit, grape, lemon, etc.

Unoaked vs. Oaked: Fermented in stainless steel vessels versus traditional French oak barrels. When unaoked, wine has light and citrus-y nature of its grapes without the overpowering aromas of oak barrels.

1. Aromatic White
- Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Gewürztraminer with fruity and floral aromas.
- Usually low in levels of alcohol and light in taste
- Can be dry (Pinot) or very sweet (Riesling/Gewürztraminer)
- Can be aged (Pinot, 5 years) or young (Riesling/Gewürztraminer)
- Can be high in acidity (Riesling) or low (Pinot)
- Good with seafood, chicken, curry dishes, salads, cheese, egg

2. Crisp White

- Unaoked Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling, Unaoked Chardonnay with crisp citrus aromas
- Can be very dry to dry and usually high in acidity
- Usually not aged for that fresh taste, except for Dry Riesling
- Best paired with seafood, fried/spicy chicken, thai dishes, heavier salads with cream sauce, light seafood pasta

3. Rich White
- Oaked Chardonnay, Oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, etc., with rich flavours like citrus and tropical fruit, as well as honey, spice, nut and vanilla aromas from oak barreling.
- Dry in taste
- Full in body and with low (Viognier) or medium acidity (Sauvignon and Chardonnay)
- Usually not aged for long
- Best paired with heavier seafood, pasta with cream sauce, turkey, veal, risotto, sushi

Hope that helps.
PS: I am not favouring white over red. I will write on red a bit later cause I would rather not bore you to death.