Which white wines are considered buttery?

White wines

White wine varieties and more: the basics of white wines

Lighter than red wine and full of different aromas, white wine is less collectable than the great red wines. The often acidic white wine differs from red wine in the lack of tannins, the bitter part of the grape skin that gives red wine its color and characteristic taste. Generally speaking, white wine is addressed in terms of its richness. Also, white wine does not age well, with a few notable exceptions. While the grapes that make red wine are purple and / or black, white wine is made from either light yellow-green grapes like Chardonnay or light red grapes like Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. Although champagne is considered the best luxury wine, almost all of the world's most expensive wines are reds.

The difference between the acidity

To keep the acidity and the light fruit aromas crisp and refreshing, white wine should be chilled before drinking. White wines can be stored at 55–60 degrees, while sweet white wines should be stored at 50–53 degrees. This is cooler than the storage temperatures for red wines. White wines are best served in a thinner glass than red wines. Although white wine is generally much lighter than red wine, some wines are full bodied. Many French wines, such as aged white Burgundy and certain Chardonnays from California and Oregon, are known to be full-bodied. White wine has an acidity level that can be low, high, or anywhere in between. Riesling has the highest acidity of all white grapes, while Pinot Gris wines can often have quite a low acidity. Wines with too high an acidity are bitter and inaccessible, while wines with a low acidity can be bland and uninteresting. In general, growers try to compromise with acidity.

White wine varieties and taste profiles

The flavors of white wine are incredibly diverse and span many different regions and tastes. The flavors of fruits like banana, apple, pear, peach, and citrus can appear in Chardonnays, while the more calibrated products are said to be buttery. Another taste that comes with white wines is mineral: flint, gunpowder, steel and slate, and occasionally lime, can flavor white wines. Such earthy flavors can give a unique and memorable character. Made from the same Chardonnay as the white Chablis but in a different style, Burgundy is legendary for its mineral flavors. German and Austrian Rieslings are similarly tasty and strict. The third common set of flavors is floral. Instead of fruits or minerals, flowery wines smell more like flowers. The floral aromas most commonly found in the Alsatian Gewürztraminer are less common. The king of the flowery grapes is the Viognier; the white wines made from this grape are in great demand because of their flowery taste. The Viognier can be blended with red wine to convey its intoxicating aroma. The versatility of white wine is part of its charm.

International varieties


When most people think of white wine, most people think of: the Chardonnay. Chardonnays are a model variety that tops the list of white wine types. This green-colored grape, native to the legendary Burgundy regions of France, grows everywhere today, but also thrives in colder climates such as the Pacific Northwest, New Zealand and South Africa. Some of today's most popular Chardonnays are grown in Napa and Sonoma Valley and are readily available to avid and inexperienced white wine drinkers alike. The Chardonnay vineyards rely on a lot of fermentation processes to transform the natural acidity into softer, silky notes. The best known is the malolactic method, which is responsible for the strikingly light and creamy aftertaste of the Chardonnay. Many have even compared the taste of this type of white wine to butter or toffee. You can expect green apple, lemon, pineapple and celery pops in your Chardonnay, rounded off by the candied coconut or caramel flavor. Chardonnays can fall on the sweeter or drier side depending on the variety, with their unique finish helping to keep them from becoming too flat or dessert-like. If you are interested in a fruity, lighter Chardonnay, opt for a bottle that says "unoiled" or "no oak". Likewise, these smooth, buttery surfaces will be more prominent in the Chardonnays from the Old World, which were traditionally matured in oak. A glass of Chardonnay goes perfectly with:

  • Meat / poultry: veal, chicken, pork
  • Seafood: halibut, shrimp, crab, lobster
  • Fruits and vegetables: potatoes, apples, pumpkin, mango
  • Herbs and spices: tarragon, sesame, basil
  • Sauces: cream sauces, pesto
  • Desserts: banana bread, custard


Another popular type of white wine known around the world: Rieslings offer a variety of flavor profiles to suit everyone. That's because this white wine variety comes in many forms, from the late-harvest sweet Moselle valley varieties to their drier, crunchier French and Washington State Riesling counterparts. Riesling grapes are very fragrant and can be kept on the vine for a sour ripeness or for a longer-lasting finish. Either way, Rieslings retain a sharp, high acid content and a fresh taste, regardless of whether they are sweet or dry. Rieslings are usually thinner and do not have a high alcohol content. They get along best without a lot of fermentation or oak wood influence during the maturation process, which makes them a slightly different type of white wine as they can be harvested, bottled and then brought to maturity without much fuss. This type of white wine carries notes of honey, lime, apricot, green apple and earthy minerals. The older the bottle, the drier and deeper the aromas, as Riesling grapes ripen quickly on the vine and cannot fully develop the naturally complex aromas. Serve the Riesling chilled, between 45 and 50 ° F. The liveliness and lightness of Riesling go well with the following snacks and meals:

  • Cheese / Must: Havarti, Gouda, candied walnuts or pecans
    • Meat / poultry: smoked sausage, duck, foie gras
    • Seafood: sea bass, trout
    • Fruits and vegetables: apricots, chili peppers, pears
    • Herbs and spices: rosemary, ginger, Thai or Indian spices
    • Sauces: BBQ, hot, chutney
    • Desserts: apple pie, caramel sauce

Sauvignon Blanc

People have strong opinions when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc. The reason for this? The word "blanc" is translated from French as "white", but it is one of the greenest tasting white wines there is. It's also one of the most heavily planted white wines in the world, resulting in a variety of the proverbial earthy smells. With one of the highest acidity levels and the strongest fruity notes, you can taste everything from grapefruit to fresh cut grass, elderflower, marjoram, green pepper and tomatoes in a single sip. However, this sip ends dry. Sauvignon Blancs from the New World tend to be slightly more fruity than those grown in France. This white grape has done particularly well on the cooler slopes of New Zealand's vineyards, where Sauvignon blanc makes up 58 percent of the country's wine-growing area. The younger the blanc, the heavier the green notes - regardless of the vineyard's country of origin. If you let this variety ripen, you get more pronounced and heavier waves like nectarine and peach that round off the spicy notes. Sauvignon Blanc - Allowing this variety to mature gives more pronounced notes such as nectarine and peach that round off the spicy notes. The best Sauvignon Blancs harmonize both - herbaceous with fruity, silky with sour and intense with a quick finish. They remain one of the most popular types of white wines on the market today. Think about whether you want to combine your next bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with one of these foods:

  • Cheese / nuts: goat cheese, brie, walnuts
  • Meat / poultry: lamb, sausage, filet mignon, chicken
  • Seafood: ahi tuna, salmon
  • Fruits and vegetables: mushrooms, dried fruits, figs, strawberries
  • Herbs and spices: truffle, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove
  • Sauces: mushroom sauces, light-medium red sauces
  • Desserts: creme brulee, white chocolate


For those drawn to the naturally lush, light, floral, and acidic traits so tied to white wines, Viognier is heaven in a glass. On the nose you encounter perfumed, floral aromas that are springy and airy. These notes are reinforced by the full-bodied, fruity taste of the Viognier, which goes into the palate until the next sip and stays there. In many ways, Viogniers are the older, perhaps "nicer" twin sister of Chardonnay. Both have their origins in ancient vineyards that were planted by the Romans in parts of their Eastern and Western European empires. But the lush, low-yielding grapes of the Viogniers were considered the rarer and more valuable plant. This attitude has been maintained to this day, as Viogniers only own around 30,000 hectares of vineyards worldwide. Viognier - This type of white wine is smooth and fruity, has less weight on the tongue than other white wines, but is full of juicy flavors of violets, pears, mangoes, honeysuckle and tangerines. Nowadays you don't have to belong to the social nobility to find and enjoy good bottles of Viognier.This type of white wine is soft and fruity, has less weight on the tongue than other white wines, but it has juicy flavors of violets, pears, mangoes, honeysuckle and tangerines. At your next meal, highlight this underrated type of white wine:

  • Cheese / Nuts: Hot Cheddar, Roquefort / Blue Cheese; Hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Meat / poultry: roasted game, peppers, spicy sausage, braised pork shoulder
  • Seafood: ahi tuna, salmon
  • Fruits and vegetables: currants, stewed tomatoes, beets
  • Herbs and spices: oregano, sage
  • Sauces: BBQ, heavy red sauces
  • Desserts: Black Forest cake, rhubarb cake, coffee-based desserts
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