White Wines

White Wines

The following contains a listing of white wines generally paired with entrees, appetizers and some desserts. The white wines list below provides an overview of the various wine varietals and some baseline information. If you are looking to learn about a white wine varietal, check out the list below. These white wines are used in Chef Vivant’s professional wine pairing algorithm for all of our entree and appetizer recipes.

Albarino or Alvarinho is a grape used mostly in Northwest Spain and Portugal that makes dry, light bodied wines with peach and/or apricot fruit with floral qualities. Best drunk from 1-3 years from vintage.

Chablis is made from Chardonnay grapes in a cool climate in France with calcium rich soil that yields a light to medium bodied dry white wine that has high acidity and a distinct minerality with fruit of lemons and apples. Best drunk from 2-5 years from vintage.

Chardonnay is a grape that yields a light to full bodied white that is very food friendly. It comes in a myriad of styles dependant on the place of origin and the winemaking techniques used in production. Often with fruits from apples and citrus to tropical fruits. Can have woody flavors from oak aging such as vanilla, cinnamon, smoke and actual oak. Best drunk 1-3 years from vintage.

Gewurztraminer is a grape that has a distinct rose florality with medium acid and produced in styles from dry to sweet. It commonly shows lychee and stonefruit qualities and is often matched with asian dishes. Best drunk from 1-4 years from vintage.

Gruner Veltliner
Gruner Veltliner is a grape known solely in Austria that yields dry whites with powerful flavors of green apples, minerals and white pepper with slightly vegetal aromas and flavors. It can be made in styles from medium/light to full bodied.

Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a grape grown in Italy and makes one of the most popular dry whites in the world. They come in styles from light/medium to medium/full bodied and can have mild to rich intensity with citrus and stone fruit flavors. Most are best enjoyed from 1-3 years from vintage.

Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio but known by this name outside of Italy, primarily in Alsace, France and Oregon. They are medium to medium full in body and mostly show stone fruit aromas and flavors. They are at their best from 1-4 years from vintage.

Muscadet is a wine made near the city of Nantes on the Northwest coast of France made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. The cool maritime climate yields a light, dry white wine that is a perfect match with the local seafood – particularly shellfish such as raw oysters.

Reisling Dry
Dry Rieslings are white wines made from grapes of the same name with good fruit intensity. Dry indicates a lack of sweetness. They can have aromas and flavors of limes, lemons, oranges, apricots and peaches and often show the minerality of the soils on which they grow. They are best enjoyed from 1-5 years from vintage.

Reisling Off-Dry
Less dry or sweeter Rieslings are made from grapes of the same name that yield medium to full bodied white wines with great intensity of flavor and high acid often with slatey minerality. They can show tangerine, apricot, lychee, peach and tropical fruits. The best are from cool climates and can be drunk young or with up to 10+ years or more of age.

Sancerre is a village in central France with chalky soils that makes very dry high acid white wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape with distinct mineral flavors and citrus fruit. There are best drunk between 2-5 years from vintage.

Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a grape that yields higher acid, dry white wines that can have the fruit of lemon, grapefruit and melon along with a distinct herbaceaus character. It is best enjoyed 1-3 years after vintage.

Light body wine, very aromatic notes of white flower, honeysuckle, jasmine, peach and per. Can have medium + acid and minerality depending on region. Notes of stone, fruit, peach and pear. They re best enjoyed young 2-3 years of age from vintage.

White Burgundy
White Burgundy is made from Chardonnay grapes in a cool to moderate climate in France that yields medium to full bodied dry white wines that can have incredible complexity and are often matched with rich seafood dishes. They have medium to intense flavors of hazelnuts, caramel, apples, pears, peach and citrus. They are best drunk from 4-8+ years after vintage.