White wine â€“ a brief guide by Imperial Wines of London
White wine is a pale, yellow or golden wine, which is produced using either green grapes, or using the juice from red coloured grapes, without allowing the pigment from the skin to be extracted. White wine is produced in a huge variety of vineyards all over Europe, the USA, South America, South Africa and New Zealand. White wines tend to be lighter bodied than their red wine counterparts. Here we take you through three of the most popular white wine varieties. Chardonnay is considered by many to be the queen of all white wines; it is grown primarily in France, but has been known to thrive in other parts of the world too. This is a particularly versatile white grape, which will vary quite significantly, depending on where it is grown and how it is processed. This grape is known to produce some of the worldâ€™s most complex white wines; chardonnay varieties are velvety, golden and full, and typically have notes of vanilla, butter, nuts and fruit. Acidity levels tend to be moderate to high with this type of wine. Although the Chardonnay grape will grow in virtually any region, it thrives in limestone soils and cool temperatures; in these conditions, the grape tends to produce a far more sophisticated bouquet, with plenty of earthiness combined with citrusy freshness. This type of Chardonnay will also mature well, unlike other white wine varieties. Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape which has been grown for thousands of years in the French region of the Loire Valley. It is also now grown in California, where this grape is typically used to produce easy drinking table wines. It is one of the simplest white wine grapes to grow, as it will thrive even in unforgiving soils and climates. The acidity levels found in Chenin Blanc tend to be higher than other white wines, and the taste is typically fruity and light, with hints of cinnamon, quince and apple. It is almost always dry on the palate and is best served with seafood dishes. Sauvignon Blanc, sometimes referred to by its other title, Fume Blanc, is cultivated in the regions of Loire and Bordeaux in France, as well as in South Africa, New Zealand and California. In the Bordeaux region, this white wine grape is often blended with another grape called Semillon white produces a very well rounded dry wine. Pure Sauvignon Blanc has a very distinctive bouquet, with notes of bell pepper, passion fruit, lime and grapefruit. When grown in fertile soils in cooler climates, this wine tends to hold onto a more herby scent, whilst in hot climates, it will often emerge as a fruitier wine.