White wine is made from processing white grapes that grow in areas such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa. White wine grapes are also grown in the United States, in states such as Oregon, Washington, and California. These wines have less body than their red wine counterparts, and there are several different types of white wine to choose from.
Chardonnay is considered to be the highest quality of the white wines. Chardonnay grapes are very versatile and the overall quality of the finished product is subject to the region in which these grapes were grown and how they were processed. These grapes grow nicely in most of the above mentioned regions. Most Chardonnay wines tend to be full, a bit fruity, velvety, and golden. This wine works well with pork, poultry, and seafood dishes, especially those with bases made from butter or heavy cream.
Chenin Blanc hails mainly from white wine grapes from France and California, and is mainly used for table wines that are relatively inexpensive. Chenin Blanc typically has a light and fruity taste and pairs well with curried dishes, and spicy dishes such as Kung Pao chicken. Works nicely with foods containing tomato sauces and dense cream based sauces.
Gewurztraminer, meaning “spicy”, hails from Germany and sometimes from France. This is a bold white wine with a crisp, light acidity level. This wine pairs well with dishes such as duck, goose, foie gras, pork chops, ham, veal, sauerkraut, and sausages that are not spicy in nature. It also works well with dishes such as quiche, which contains eggs. This is a bold choice that may overpower more delicate food dishes.
Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, has a character dependant upon the region in which it grows. Called Pinot Grigio in both Italy and France, this wine is generally higher in acidity and possesses less body than the American version of the wine, known as Pinot Gris. This type of white wine pairs well with seafood dishes, cheese and crackers, and light pasta dishes.
Reisling wine has a light to medium body and a flowery and fruity aroma all its own. These grapes are typically grown in Germany and France, and less frequently in the United States. Reislings go well with Cajun dishes, Chinese foods, Tex-Mex, roasted pork, Thai dishes, roasted goose, roasted duck, and seafood.
Sauvignon Blanc, or Fume Blanc, comes mainly from South Africa, New Zealand, California, and the Bordeaux region of France.This wine is known for its light and crisp acidity and for containing several fruit components. This wine goes well paired with fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, and many other food types. It is best to avoid pairing this wine with Asian dishes.
Semillon makes a good dessert wine and is usually not a stand alone wine. It is many times used in a blend with a Sauvignon Blanc. This wine would mainly be served with cheese and cracker dishes.
Viognier possesses a peachy, apricot flavor and hails from grapes grown in France or California. This wine lacks the flowery aroma of some white wines and has a low to moderate acidity level. This wine is lesser known and more exotic than other wines. It pairs well which such foods as curried dishes, Thai food, Caribbean cuisine, Malaysian food, turkey, duck, and ham.
Pairing the right wine with the right foods can make for a memorable and delicious meal.