Wines by Grape Type...
Albariño - This wine is produced mostly in Spain and Portugal (note that it's referred to as Alvarinho in Portugal). It is considered a light-bodied, high acidity, white wine with flavors of lemon, melon, peach, grapefruit and nectarine.
Aligoté - Wines produced from Aligoté are generally dry in style, with floral and herbal notes, and high levels of acidity. It is often used in blends (especially in Burgundy) where it adds acidity and aroma to richer, less-structured wines.
Chardonnay - Chardonnay can take on one of two characters, based on the vessel used during fermentation. Wines fermented in stainless steel tanks tend to be very crisp and fruity, with flavors of apple, quince, lemon and pineapple. When aged in oak these wines can become big, full-bodied wines with flavors of butter, vanilla, butterscotch and toast. In Burgundy France, this wine is simply referred to as a white Burgundy.
Chenin Blanc - More than half of the Chenin Blanc grapes of the world are grown in South Africa where it is used in the production of brandy, but France, the U.S. and Argentina are also major growers and producers of Chenin Blanc. This high-acidity wine tends to be light-bodied with zesty flavors of lime, nectarine and pear, with hints of honey.
Clairette - This grape is typically used in blending for its fresh flavors of apple and citrus along with its aromatic qualities. In France, this grape is used to produce both still wines and sparkling wines and perhaps most notably in the red and white blends of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Gewürztraminer - This highly aromatic wine is often thought of as being sweet. But, most Gewürztraminer are not high in residual sugar. It's just the huge aromatic character and big fruit flavors of tangerine, pink grapefruit, lychee that cause you believe it's sweet. Typically, this wine is low in acidity, leading sometimes to an oily texture. And don't let the name fool you, a large percentage of Gewürztraminers are made in France with a smaller portion coming from Germany.
Grenache Blanc - This white wine, produced from the light-skinned Grenache grape (a cousin of the red Grenache grape), is sometimes produced as a varietal wine, although its use in blends is more common. With fruit flavor of green-apple and stone-fruit aromas, this wine like Chardonnay, can take on widely different characteristics if aged in stainless steel tanks (bright, crisp fruit flavors) versus Oak barrels (rich flavors including baked apple). Two-thirds of the world's Grenache Blanc is grown in France with most of the remaining grapes coming from Spain. This grape is often blended with other white varieties including Roussanne, Vermentino, Viognier, and Clairette. The most popular blending grape is Roussanne, where producers in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region of France produce this white blend.
Marsanne - This wine on its own can have earthy minerality accompanying flavors of honeysuckle and melon. But more often, this grape is used in blends with with Roussanne which provides more aromatic notes. Together, this blend is produced throughout France as well as being used in sparkling wines.
Muscadelle - This grape variety is most commonly used in white Bordeaux blends. It is most commonly found as a sweet wine, and its floral characteristics have led it to be named after the Muscat grape, although it is unrelated. While Muscadelle usually makes up a small amount of the white Bordeaux Blend, it offers some added aromatic character.
Muscat - Known as Moscato in Italy and Moscatel in Spain and Portugal, this wine (not surprisingly) has a distinctive aroma of grape. This low acidity grape is used in the production of dry, medium, sweet, and sparkling wines as well as dessert wines.
Pinot Blanc - This medium to full-bodied wine has high acidity and like Chardonnay, can take on different flavor based on fermentation vessels (stainless steel vs oak). This wine can have flavors of apple and almond. Pinot Blanc's natural high acidity also makes it a common choice in the production of sparkling wine.
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio - This wine is known as Pinot Gris throughout most of the world where it can be fruity and dry and as Pinot Grigio in Italy where it tends to have more citrus flavors and salinity.
Prosecco - The green-skinned Glera grape has been grown for hundreds of years in the Veneto and Friuli regions of Italy, mostly to produce sparkling Prosecco wines. In 2009, it was decided that the name Prosecco should be reserved exclusively for wines produced in Italy's official Prosecco appellation, and should not be used for the grape variety. With this ruling, it is now illegal for wine producers anywhere outside northeastern Italy to label their wines as "Prosecco." Prosecco tends to be fruiter than Champagne and usually sweeter. Prosecco has been described as having flavors of melon, peer, apple, honey suckle and cream.
Riesling - This light-bodied wine has big fruit flavors of lime, apple, orange and nectarine while having high acidity. Germany is responsible for producing nearly half the Riesling in the world. This wine can be produce from sweet to dry with the sweet version being a great pairing with hot & spicy foods.
Roussanne - Roussanne is traditionally blended with Marsanne and a key ingredient in the white wine blends of the northern Rhone region of France, in French sparkling wines, and used in small quantities in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, where it is one of 13 grape varieties permitted for use in both red and white wines.
Sauvignon Blanc - Grown throughout the world, with nearly a quarter of all Sauvignon Blanc coming from France, this light-bodied wine has big fruit flavors of grapefruit, lime, green melon and white peach, while having high acidity. Traditionally, this wine is aged in stainless steel to bring out its crisp, bright fruit flavors, but it can be aged in oak to produce a softer and creamier wine (known as Fumé Blanc from Robert Mondavi).
Sémillon - Nearly half of the world production of Sémillon comes from France with Australia making up another quarter of the world's production. This wine typically takes on flavors of lime and saline but can also have richer flavors of lemon curd, papaya and apple, depending on where it is produced.
Torrontes - An aromatic wine almost exclusively grown and produced in Argentina. This medium-bodied wine has big fruit flavors of lemon, grapefruit, peach, pear and melon.
Trebbiano - Grown mostly in Italy, this grape is used to produce wine, brandy (also see Ugni Blanc) and vinegar. This grape is rarely made into a varietal wine, but does get used in blends.
Ugni Blanc - The most widely planted white grape of France. In St. Émilion France, Ugni Blanc is important in brandy production, being the most common grape variety used in the production of Cognac.
Verdejo - This grape produces a crisp aromatic white wines from central Spain. It is produced both varietally and for blending with either Viura or Sauvignon Blanc. Full-bodied Verdejo wines are described as herbaceous, with nutty characteristics and balanced acidity.
Verdicchio - This wine, mostly from Italy, is crisp and clean with high acidity and flavors of lemon and grapefruit. Verdicchio is also used as the base for sparkling wines such as Soaves.
Viognier - Grown widely in France and Australia with growing U.S. popularity, this medium-bodied wine has big fruit flavors of peach, pineapple, mango, tangerine and apricot.
Wines by Region...
Chablis - A region within Burgundy, France, this wine is made only from the Chardonnay grape, with little to no oak aging that that allow the fruit to shine through with flavors of apple and pear.
Beaujolais - Less than 2% of Beaujolais wines are white, being produced with Chardonnay. These wines may also include Aligote until 2024.
Burgundy - A white Burgundy is made from the Chardonnay grape.
Vinho Verde - Located in northwest Portugal, this region is dominated by Alvarinho (known as Albariño in Spain).
White Wine Blends...