Basic Guide to White Wine
Do you love the basic white wines but want to try more? This visual guide will help you see how different, lesser known varieties fit into the major styles of white wine and will help you determine what to try next! Since there’s so much to know about white wine, this is a great way to help visualize the basics. Salut!
A White Wines List for Beginners
Light & Zesty
These wines are light bodied and dry, with a fresh clean taste.
- Albariño (a specialty of Northwest Spain)
- Assyrtiko (a specialty of Greece!)
- Chablis (this is unoaked Chardonnay from Burgundy, France!)
- Chasselas (a rare delight from Switzerland!)
- Chenin Blanc (dry or “sec”)
- Cortese (aka “Gavi” from Italy!)
- Friulano (aka Sauvignon Vert)
- Grenache Blanc
- Muscadet (aka Melon de Bourgogne)
- Picpoul de Pinet
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris)
- Xarel-lo (a rare find from Catalonia, Spain)
These wines are typically light bodied with “green” and herbal aromas like grass, jalapeño, or bell pepper. These wines pair excellently with salads and herb-driven dishes!
- Erbaluce (a rare find from Piedmont, Italy!)
- Grüner Veltliner (an Austrian specialty)
- Sancerre (a Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley, France!)
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Vinho Verde (a white blend from Portugal!)
Bold & Dry
These wines will blow the top of your head off with their intense flavor and a creamy-vanilla note brought about with oak aging.
- Marsanne (a rare find from France and the US)
- Trebbiano (aka Ugni Blanc)
- White Rioja
Light & Sweet
Often with just a touch of residual sugar (from the grapes), these wines are slightly sweet and very aromatic.
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Bold & Sweet
These wines are very sweet and perfect for pairing with dessert and sometimes chocolate.
- Ice Wine
- Late Harvest
- Madeira (seek out Bual and Malmsey)
- Sherry (seek out Cream Sherry and PX)
- Vin Santo
- White Port
Explore Wine 101
Discover the tools, techniques, and types of wine in our Wine 101 Guide. Plus, you’ll find many more articles on how to explore the vast world of wine. There are over a 1,000 different varieties of Vitis vinifera, so it’s high time we start drinking them!