Wine is one of the most celebrated and also often most misunderstood delicacies in the world.  Fortunately, there seems to be great Formation Bar Montréal renewed interest in the knowledge and celebration of wine. With that in mind, here are the four most common white wine grape varietals.

RIESLING

Hailing from Germany’s Rhine and Mosel grapes, riesling actually grows in many districts.  A dry white wine that is lightly sweet, it pairs well with light meats like fish, chicken, and pork.  Depending on the region, of course, the finish can be very different. For example, California rieslings tend to be sweeter with lower acidity.

This wine is lighter on the palate than chardonnay. It generally carries the aroma of fresh apples. However, the grape variety can express itself in a wide variety of ways, depending largely on its district as well as its associated winemaking process.  A riesling should taste “fresh” and the fresher it tastes, actually, the better and better it will likely taste with age.

GEWÜRZTRAMINER

An aromatic grape variety, there is not much to say about this varietal.  Ideal for sipping with the rich-but-light flavors of Asian food as well as pork and grilled sausages, this wine is best known from the Alsace, Germany district as well as the US West Coast.  Fruity and herbal, it has sweet flavors with notes of rose petal, peach, lychee, and allspice and does not appeal as refreshingly as most other white wines tend to do.

CHARDONNAY

Through the 1990s, this was the most popular white grape in the world.  The principle white wine of Burgundy, France (its home) chardonnay is grown successfully in just about every viticultural region of the world, and in the most diverse climates.

A varietal wine, chardonnay is wider in body than most other dry white wines. It still has rich citrus flavors, though, and when aged in new oak barrels can also carry buttery vanilla, toffee, and coconut notes, too.

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Best paired with salads and seafood and poultry dishes, this grape hails from the Bordeaux district of France, where it is commonly blended with semillon.  New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s are also regarded as excellent.
Lighter in flavor than Chardonnay, this grape has more herbal characteristics like bell pepper and even fresh cut grass.  The Sauvignon Blanc palate favors sour green fruits like apple and pear but can also range all the way into tropical hints of melon and mango.