Wine Basics – A beginner’s Guide To White Wine

Are you in love with wine, especially the white wine variety but did not know much about its history and culture? Are you tongue-tied at social meets when people discuss white wine because you have never given it a thought to learn more about it? That thing is passe now. We tell you everything you must know about white wine, from how it gets made to what foods you can pair with it. Stay with us!

Appearance

White wine is a wine with zero amount of skin, and that is precisely why it is straw yellow or yellow gold in color. Some of the varieties can also exhibit a greenish tint in yellow.

History of White wine:

History books vastly disagree on the exact time that White wine came to be found. Historians believe that the first traces found are from about 7500 years ago in what is Iran today. The Middle East has always been a white wine-producing country since antiquity. Ancient records are claiming to manufacture it in someplace between Anatolia and Armenia. The surplus was exported to Mesopotamia in and around the 3rd Century BC.

We also know that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed ‘vinous’ white wine and the ‘bitter’ white wine to patients as early as 460 BC in Ancient Greece. Romans also produced white wine and banquets that included white wine was an innate sign of prestige.

This is how white wine gets made:

White grapes need lesser heat to ripen than the red variety of grapes. There is no issue with tannins because white wine does not have tannins in them. There needs to be a good balance of taste and enough acidity. That is why grapes used for producing white wine need to harvest before they ripen. Most of the grapes harvested for the white variety of wines come from the northern mountain regions.

Only the white flesh of the grapes gets used. After the harvesting gets done, the grapes go for pressing, and the juice gets extracted. This juice is then fermented in large tanks where sugar is gradually transformed into alcohol in the presence of yeast and other enzymes.

Here are some of the world-famous white wines and what food they best pair with:

  1. Chardonnay
    This white wine originates in Burgundy and then later spread to many other countries. The wine produced can vary between sparkling or still. It has a full-bodied taste and rich citrus undertones. The variety of grapes is mostly found in many different geologies, such as the US to Africa to Australia. It pairs exceptionally well with fish or other seafood and poultry.
  2. Sauvignon Blanc
    This originated from the Bordeaux region in France. From here, it spread southwards into the Loire Valley. It was first discovered by Anglo Saxons and traveled with them to the US, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It has typically mineral aromas and therefore is far from fruity flavors. It is mostly flat. Some of the most popular flavors are sour apples and gooseberries. The best foods to pair with it are seafood, chicken, and salads.
  3. Riesling
    The grape used in making this wine is often that of the highest quality due to the soil and the fantastic continental climate. The wine is light in appearance when you compare it with other wines. The aroma is that of green apple but not very sour—Riesling pairs beautifully well with fish, chicken, pork, and veggies.
  4. Müller-Thurgau
    By far the best-known grape variety throughout Europe. It has a fruity and refreshing taste and is a well-balanced wine. However, it cannot be stored for too long and has to be consumed immediately on the downside. Goes well with all kinds of meat and salads.
  5. Muscat
    This variety of grape wine has a distinct aroma. Sourced from grapes grown in the Italian and Austrian countryside, it has a sweet and fruity flavor. It is best consumed on its own. There are no specific food pairing recommendations for Muscat, but many do not like to mix it with food.
  6. Petite Arvine
    originated in the Swiss area in the early seventeenth century. It has a dry flavor and also extracts from berries with thick skins. It is a prized variety among the vintners and goes excellently well with central and northern European cuisine.

Aging of white wine

White wine does not age on a wine rack or cellar as the red variety simply because it gets fermented devoid of its grape skin. Because the tannin levels are low in white wine, the wine aging range also decreases. Add to this that some white wines have very low acidity, which quickens the chemical reaction that causes wines to go bad.  

FAQs

How long does white wine last once you open it?

Once opened, white wine cannot last longer than a few hours if kept outside at room temperature. However, if you are refrigerating it, it will last you two or three days but remember to plug in a cork stopper. Some of the white wine can keep good for up to five days if stored in a suitable wine fridge.

How many calories does white wine have?

You can gain about 120 calories if you consume 1 serving of white wine, roughly 147 grams. A 750 ml bottle of white wine can give you about 600 calories.

Conclusion:

White wine is undoubtedly delicious. Understanding its subtle flavor and its aroma bouquet will help you pair it well with food. The perfect pairing of white wine with your food can lift the dish from an okay-okay affair to an extraordinary one. Think of how you can impress your date or your boss or a business associate with your knowledge about white wine; we think it can even transform a regular meeting into a rendezvous that you and your friends will remember for a long time to come.