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White Wine Guide– Read Before You Buy!

White Wine Buying Guide

Are you looking for the perfect white wine for your next meal or special occasion? Look no further! Thirst’s White Wine Guide 2023 is here to provide a comprehensive overview of all that white wine has to offer. 

With tips, tricks, and expert knowledge, this guide will help make sure your experience is as smooth and flavorful as possible. From classic varieties like Sauvignon Blanc to lesser-known surprises like Torrontes, our guide promises an unforgettable journey into white wines. 

So grab a glass and get ready – it’s time to uncork some good times!

Characteristics of white wine

White wines have lighter and fruitier flavors compared to red wines, and they usually have fewer tannins. They aren’t typically aged in oak barrels, and they have less dominant characteristics and flavors on the palette. A good white wine will have a fruity flavor profile with notes of pear, apple, peach, apricot, melon, and tropical fruit.

The variety of white wines is vast, which means there are more choices than ever before. That is why we need to talk about the most popular types of white wine.

 Popular Types of White Wine

Here are some of the most popular types of white wine:

1. Crisp and Refreshing White Wines

a. Sauvignon Blanc

A light, crisp, and slightly acidic white wine with notes of citrus, gooseberry, bell pepper, or melon.

b. Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Pin Grigio has lime, lemon, pear, white nectarine, and apple as its main fruit flavors. Additionally, depending on the grapes’ growth location, it may have subtle honeyed undertones, floral scents like honeysuckle, and a mineral-like taste akin to saline.

c. Albariño

Albariño is a white wine grown on the Iberian Peninsula with refreshing coastal flavors. It has rich stone fruit flavors, a slight saltiness, and a refreshing acidity that people love.

2. Aromatic and Floral White Wines

a. Riesling

Riesling is a full-bodied white wine with an intense floral nose and flavors of apple, peach, and lemon. It has a crisp acidity and a slight hint of sweetness that makes it refreshingly delightful.

b. Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer is an aromatic white wine with a bouquet of tropical fruit, lychee, rose, and spices. On the palate, it has flavors of peach, pear, melon, and honeyed apricot.

c. Moscato/Muscat

Some wine enthusiasts have strong, differing opinions about Moscato wine. It can be loved for its sweet fruity scent or strongly disliked. Despite what many might think, Moscato is a versatile and complex wine that can be enjoyed as both an aperitif and a dessert wine.

3. Rich and Buttery White Wines

a. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a popular grape that is used to create different styles of wine. These styles vary from sparkling Blanc de Blancs to rich, creamy white wines that have been aged in oak barrels. It has notes of green apple, pear, citrus, and stone fruit as well as buttered toast or creamy vanilla, depending on its aging process.

b. Viognier

Viognier is a lush white wine with floral aromas and flavors of apricot, peach, banana, and honeydew melon. It has a rich mouthfeel and slightly sweet taste, with medium acidity that gives it structure.

c. White BurgXZundy/Chablis

The wines served here have a distinct aroma of lean and tart fruits such as lime zest, tart green apple, quince, and under-ripe pear. This aroma is even more prominent compared to the average Bourgogne Blanc. Apart from this, the wines also have a brine-like aroma reminiscent of oyster liqueur, along with subtle notes of brie rind, yogurt, and white flowers that are typical of such wines.

4. Light and Fruity White Wines

a. Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a versatile wine that comes in many styles. You can find it as a dry white or sparkling wine, perfect for summertime. Some Chenin Blancs are aged in oak barrels, offering flavors similar to Chardonnay. So, you can choose a Chenin Blanc wine that fits any occasion.

b. Vermentino

Vermentino is a type of white wine that is produced mainly in Italy, particularly on the island of Sardinia. One interesting aspect of Vermentino is that it can have a complex flavor profile similar to Sauvignon Blanc. 

Another advantage of this wine is that it is relatively unknown, which means that you can find high-quality options at a reasonable price. In this discussion, we will explore the characteristics of Vermentino wines and provide tips on what to look for and where they are produced.

5. Off-Dry and Sweet White Wines

a. Late Harvest Riesling

Late-harvest wines are produced from grapes that are left on the vine even after they have fully ripened. Over time, the grapes become sweeter as each grape gradually dehydrates and its sugar content becomes more concentrated.

Late-harvest grapes are grapes that are usually harvested 1-2 months after the regular harvest time. They are used to make wine that has higher residual sugar and alcohol content compared to standard table wines. 

b. Sauternes

Sauternes is a sweet wine type from Bordeaux that is produced using the rare white grapes from the region.

Sauternes (and Barsac) are exceptional dessert wines that are made primarily from Sémillon grapes which have a thin skin and are blended with Sauvignon Blanc to add some brightness and acidity. These wines have a particular affinity for oak and can be aged for several decades.

c. Ice Wine

Ice wine, also called Eiswein in German, is a sweet wine that is made differently from other wines. It is produced using grapes that are frozen while still on the vine. This freezing process naturally concentrates the sugars in the grapes, giving ice wine its distinct taste.

Tips for Choosing and Enjoying White Wine

Many people don’t fully appreciate white wine, often regarding red wine as the superior grape-based drink. However, white wine is highly intricate and exciting, just like red wine.

Here are some tips to help you choose and enjoy the best white wines:

1. Know Your Wine!

To choose the right wine, it’s important to have knowledge about the different options available. You can learn about various types of white wine from experts’ books or the internet. Remember that not all wines pair well with every type of food, and some are best enjoyed on their own.

To learn about the various types of wine and their unique flavors and recommended food pairings, it is important to conduct thorough research. Wines are categorized based on the type of grapes used in their production, and wine is referred to as a varietal only if it is made using a single grape variety.

2. Price

There are many different types of white wine available at a range of prices. To simplify the process, it’s helpful to decide on a budget before making a purchase. The price of wine is influenced by the type of grapes used and the region where they are grown.

3. Taste

According to experts, the process of tasting different varieties of wine is not only interesting but also crucial in selecting the right one. As you continue to taste, you will develop your palate and gain knowledge about wine. Tasting is considered the best way to select a wine since you can only fully understand its character after experiencing its taste.

If you’re looking for a place to taste wine, try checking out the wine specialty store in your area. You can try all the different types of wine that catch your attention. Remember, the best wine is the one that you personally enjoy.


What white wine should I start with?

If this is your first time trying white wine, you may want to start with Pinot Grigio. It is one of the most user-friendly white wines on the market, Pinot Grigio wines are light-bodied and crisp, both in finish and flavor characteristics.

How do you drink white wine for beginners?

To enjoy white wine to the fullest, use a glass with a narrow mouth and hold it by the stem to maintain its cool temperature. This is different from red wine, which requires a wider glass and can be held by the bowl. It’s also important to remember that white wines should be served chilled, between 40-50°F.

What are the five characteristics of white wine?

There are five characteristics of white wine sweetness, acidity, tannin, alcohol, and body.

How do you pick white wine?

The best way to pick white wine is to conduct thorough research, taste different varieties of wine, and decide on a budget before making a purchase. It’s important to consider the region where the grapes were grown and the type of grapes used in production. Then, select the one that you personally enjoy. 

We hope this comprehensive white wine guide from Thirst will help you on your delicious journey of white wine exploration. Now, let’s uncork the good times and experience the wonders of white wines! Cheers!

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