About White Wine
Since the juice of all grapes is clear, white wine can be made from white or red grapes but is made with green-skinned “white” grapes most of the time. Consumers prefer freshness and purity of fruit flavors in white wine, so grape skin contact is rarely desirable in white winemaking.
Most whites are crisp and refreshing, though levels of acidity vary with grape variety and climate. A small percentage of the world’s white wines are aged in oak barrels for a richer style. Popular grape varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Riesling. White wines are usually lighter than red wines and are therefore served with lighter courses, such as fish and shellfish.
Should White Wines Ever Be Decanted?
Decanting is a hot topic. Opinions buzz about when, what, and how to decant. But nearly all that chatter centers around red wines. Is it ever appropriate to decant white, or even sparkling, wines?
While most consumers shy away from decanting white wines, it can greatly enhance your drinking experience. Like red wines, few white wines need to be decanted. However, if a young, complex white wine is a bit too tight, or the temperature isn’t quite right, a decanter can coax the best out of a bottling.
Sommeliers shared their advice on when it might be appropriate to decant a white or sparkling wine, how to do so without harming the wine and which regions and styles are worth consideration.
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