Many people who drink wine will have a preference between red and white. While reds tend to be fuller-bodied and richer, white wines are lighter and can be quite sweet. If you are new to the world of wine, or just white wine, we’ve gathered the three most popular white wines and some tips on how to drink them.
Probably the most popular of the white wine varieties, Chardonnay hails from France, and as such, has a wonderful reputation for being a quality wine. It is usually aged in oak barrels but can lend a rich buttery flavor. The wine is dry and bold in feel and has a fruity undertone, specifically of melon or pineapple.
The wine’s bold flavors make it an excellent pairing for mildly flavored foods. Cream-based sauces, buttery flavors, and mild cheeses go well with Chardonnay. Shellfish, in particular, makes a great pairing due to its mild flavor and rich texture. If you’re looking for an excellent pairing, try sautéed pork with a sage cream sauce.
You should avoid pairing a Chardonnay with foods that feature bold flavors themselves since this will conflict with the robust flavors of the wine. You should take care to particularly avoid spicy foods or those with lots of heavy meats. Lamb and beef should be most avoided since their powerful flavors will compete with the delicate fruitiness of the Chardonnay.
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris
Another French favorite, Pinot Gris (Grigio in Italy) is also a delicious dry wine. While Chardonnay’s undertones are mellow fruity flavors, Pinot Grigio has a more focused and sharp citrus tang. Also noted are aromas of apple, pear, and honey, which round out the zesty citrus.
This white wine pairs especially well with fish and other seafood. It is more delicate than Chardonnay, so it is perfectly acceptable to pair it with foods that have more flavor. A seafood salad or sautéed shrimp dish pair exceptionally well, while grilled salmon offers a complimentary punch of flavor.
Like Chardonnay and other white wines, avoid pairing Pinot Grigio with beef. The rich fat of a Sunday roast will severely overpower the delicate lightness of the wine. You should also avoid heavily spiced foods, as these, too, will spoil the subtle fruit notes.
Sauvignon blanc stands out among white wines as a fuller-flavored and sometimes sweeter option. Though it is generally dry, some varieties have added sugar to increase the sweetness and highlight undertones. These flavors that you’ll notice will be reminiscent of tart green apple, tangy lime, and sweet peach. One way that this wine differs from the other whites is the distinct earthy aroma of grass and sharp bell pepper.
Because this wine has more flavors and aromas, it can stand up better to more fully flavored foods. Pair it with sharp vinaigrette over a salad or with goat cheese. Herby pesto sauces hold up well with this wine, as do more sharp-tasting seafood like oysters.
To avoid a wine pairing disaster, stay away from blue cheese (which is notoriously difficult to pair with any wine) and strong-tasting vegetables like brussels sprouts or broccoli. You may also want to avoid any sweet foods since this will emphasize Pinot Grigio’s natural tartness more than will be comfortable.
Choosing a white wine depends very much on personal taste, but rest assured there is a white wine that you will fall in love with. To try out an amazing wine selection,Strega Waterfront has an exceptional list that pairs well with their extensive menu of seafood pastas.