There are many different types of white wines available, and for a budding wine connoisseur, it can be overwhelming to choose which is the best white wine. We have created this guide to help you differentiate between the varieties and highlight the different flavor profiles for each wine.
Chardonnay is among the most popular white wines because it is versatile and can be grown all over the globe. A young bottle of chardonnay has been likened to taste like green apples whereas, depending on the winemaker, it can range from a rich buttery flavor or it can take on a vibrant citrusy flavor. Chardonnay can be used to cook with, and is an excellent choice for cream sauces, gravies, and cooking with chicken.
Pinot Grigio is one of the highest rated wines for cooking with food because it does not overwhelm the palate with an alcohol flavor. This particular wine can take on a crisp, fruity flavor that when cooked with seafood, it creates a delicious meal. The acidity of this wine can cut the fatty flavor of some of the richer fishes, but it is easy to over-extract the wine while cooking and it could render your dish too acidic.
Sauvignon Blanc is an earthy white wine that is a bit like a chameleon when it comes to flavor profiles. When this bottle is made in California, it can take on tropical flavor profiles like a chardonnay, but when the wine is created in the Loire valley, it is when the herbaceous aromas are apparent. You can pop open a new bottle of this wine and sauté vegetables in it, or use it to deglaze your pane. It has the perfect balance of acid to please any palate.
Riesling is one of the top 10 white wines because as it ages, it becomes sweeter. This wine pairs excellently with shellfish and it can take on flavors like green apple, citrus, peaches and apricots. The best Rieslings originate from Germany, however wines produced in Washington, New York and Australia are also known for excellent wines outside of Europe.
Chenin blanc, marsanne, muscat, pinot blanc, roussanne, semillion, viognier and gruner veltliner are all other examples of grapes that can be combined with others to create delicious wines. The flavor profiles for these wines range from a crisp citrusy flavor with a hint of mineral tone like the gruner veltliner, to a sweet nutty flavor like the marsanne.
White wines can range in price, and if you are drinking it, you may want to spend the little bit of extra money on a good label. If you plan to cook with the wine, you can get away with a good cheap wine and still have incredible flavor added to your dish.
Your preference in wine is not something you can be told, it is more about trial and error. We hope that with this guide, you have a better understanding of what flavor profiles of popular white wines may appeal to you, whether you are cooking or drinking it.
Things to consider:
- Chardonnay is a versatile white wine that pairs well with chicken and is an excellent choice to make cream sauces with because it offers a nice balance of acidity and sweetness to the dish.
- Pinot Grigio is a mild wine that is light enough to cook with seafood because the alcohol flavor does not overwhelm the palate.
- Sauvignon Blanc is can take on different flavor profiles from an earthy herb flavor if it originates from the Loire valley, to a tropical fruity flavor if it originates from California.
- Riesling is another white wine that pairs nicely with shellfish and if you like a sweet wine, you will want to pick up an older bottle because it continues to sweeten as it ages.
Top rated White Wines in 2020
After going through a series of premium white wines reviews, I finally chose eight of the best. The list bellow compiles feedback from wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts, while the products featured on it are sure to represent the best value for money purchases.
Kimmel 2011 Chardonnay
With this wine, you can expect the aromas of peach, citrus, honeysuckle and lemon. Amongst the awards that it has received, the most notable would probably have to be the gold medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2020.It has a generous, fruity flavor with just the right sweetness.
Ballentine 2010 Chenin Blanc
This product certainly stands out in the premium white wines reviews. This Chenin Blanc has received accolades for being fruity, floral and spicy – a mix which is quite hard to achieve for companies that lack the know-how acquired by Ballentine. Thanks to a silky and full structure it has quickly gained a reputation for being one of the most complex and layered products of this manufacturer.
Derby 2010 Pinot Gris
This is another frequent recommendation in the premium white wines reviews. Many people with discerning preferences have noted that this is indeed a product close to perfection. The thing that stands out the most is the quality and aroma, features that are comparable to wines found at the higher end of the market. This makes this Derby 2010 Pinot Gris excellent value for money.
This will prove to be the perfect choice of drink for special celebrations that deserve nothing but the best champagne. This sparkling wine goes superbly with truffles, making it a very posh selection. If you wish to offer it as a gift you can opt to include a personalized card.
Refugio Ranch 2009 Proprietary
Another product that is deserving of a place on the list of premium white wines in 2020, is the Refugio Ranch 2009 Proprietary White Blend. The spicy aroma of this white wine is the first thing that you will notice and certainly the quality that recommends it. Once sampled, the flavors of white pepper, tangerine, honey and ripe pear will gently caress your senses.
Bell 2010 Proprietary
An honorable mention amongst the premium white wines in 2020 is the Bell 2010 Proprietary White Blend. Those who have tried it describe it as “the perfect wine to complement the freshness of spring”. The taste reminds of lemongrass and grapefruit and is sure to quickly become one of your favorites.
Ballard Lane 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
This has been named “Best in Class” by the San Francisco Chronicle and received gold medals from Orange County Fair and the San Francisco Chronicle. The solid bodied flavors of this wine make it a perfect pairing with various kinds of foods. If you want to give it a more complex flavor, you might try combining this Sauvignon Blanc with a Chenin Blanc.
Ledgewood Creek 2010 Chardonnay
According to the makers of this wine, opulent and satisfying are two of the words that would best describe the aroma and taste of this wine. This Ledgewood Creek 2010 Chardonnay happens to be a combination of three different types of Chardonnays. From the first sip, you will taste its full flavor and sense a palate experience like no other.