How to Pick a White Wine on the Aisle

Last time we took a look at the typical wine arrangements in a large retail store, with the high-end wines on the top shelf, the mid-grade wines in the middle shelves and the low-end wine down at foot level.  Now, if you've zeroed in on the middle shelves, that still can leave you with rows of wines that run from the front of the store to the back of the store. "Now what?" you ask yourself.

Well, along those middle shelves you are probably going to find five types of wines; reds, whites, roses, sparkling wines and dessert wines.  Add, you may know that when you're out at a restaurant or visiting a friend, you've had some white wine that you like and you've had some reds that are OK.  But, the white wines and red wine each take up nearly half the aisle. So, let's focus in on picking a bottle of white wine. 

As stated in a previous posting, drink what you like.  Do you like a light, slightly sweet white wine?  Well, you have several choices including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer.  These are usually easy white wines to start with.  Or, if you are looking for something that isn't on the sweet side, the un-oaked Chardonnays may be a great place for you.  The un-oaked Chardonnays (often noted on the label) will be light-bodied and crisp, with emphasis on fruit flavors of apple, pear and citrus. Or, the Chardonnays that are aged in oak (and most are to some extent) have bigger body and flavors that add vanilla, butterscotch, toast and spice to the fruit flavors (and no, they don't add things like vanilla or butterscotch to the wine, but that's a subject for another time).  And, the heavily oaked Chardonnays can become rich, creamy and buttery.

So next time you are standing there bewildered on the wine aisle, look up, look down, and then look across and pick a wine that fits in with where you are in your journey of exploring the grand world of wines.  Cheers!