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Wednesday August 27, 2008 - California Wines

Another Great California Wines Article

A Quick Guide to White Wines

The color and characteristic of a wine is derived from the grapes used. In this article, we take a quick look at white wines commonly enjoyed by wine enthusiasts.

A Quick Guide to White Wines

When discussing white or red wines, it is always important to remember that much of the discussion falls into a bit of a fuzzy area. Why? Well, white wines are rarely white for the first thing. Second, many a winery actually mixes wines of all varieties together to produce a desired flavor and aroma. Thus, the "white" wine you are drinking may not be entirely white. Having said that, there is little reason to avoid discussing what are traditionally known as white wines.

The dominant grape in the white wines is undisputedly the Chardonnay. It is a rare day you can find any wine drinker who has not sipped more than a few Chardonnay whites. The wine is incredibly popular for a number of reasons. First, there is a lot of it because the vine can be grown practically anywhere and is! Second, the wine is known for an "oak" flavor, which is extremely popular with wine drinkers. Third, the wine is very flexible and can be produced with a wide variety of fruit aromas and flavors. Chardonnay white wines traditionally have been very dry and full bodied. With the wide range of wineries producing vintages, however, a wide variety of flavors and bodies are on the market.

Sauvignon Blanc should either be next or dead last on our list of whites. This is a take it or leave it grape. The taste is sharp and dry. This is a not a wine where you will find fruity mixes and such. It is a classic, traditional white that people either love or hate. Personally, I love it and it goes number two since I am writing this article!

Riesling white wines are next on our list. This is a German wine that is excellent if you buy from a German winery. You can find French and American wineries producing it, but it simply isn't the same. This is a light wine often described as "refreshing" although I must admit I have never understood that term. The Riesling whites take a beating by wine gurus, but you can find this dry, light white to be just the trick. It is markedly different than the Chardonnay, so give it a try.

There are a variety of other white grapes that are used to produce interesting vintages, but we are going to skip them to discuss a less-known grape that is up and coming. The Viognier grape is found in the Rhone Valley in France and is used to produce a flavorful, dry white that is excellent. It is typically a medium body wine with low acidity and often has a fruity aroma to it. It is a personal favorite that I suggest you try.

When it comes to white wines, there is no disputing Chardonnay is the king of the vine. Still, you should make an effort to move beyond the king to discover the interesting other vintages available.

About the Author

Xavier Moldini is with - a directory of wineries.

Thoughts about California Wines

A Quick Guide to White Wines

The color and characteristic of a wine is derived from the grapes used. In this article, we take a quick look at white wines commonly enjoyed by wine ...

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