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White wines cover a wide range of different tastes and colors. From clear white colors to golden yellows, dry, sweet or semi-sweet, they are the wines that are defined by their light color, body, and complex taste. White wines are more delicate than red wines and are always served chilled. Dry (not sweet) white wines include Chardonnay, Chablis, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are normally served with fish, poultry, veal, blue cheeses, and cream sauces. Sweeter white wines are often described as "fruity" and include Gewürztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling, and Chenin Blanc. These are good with spicy foods, fruit, and desserts. Bordeaux: the Bordeaux region in France is renowned for its red wine, but it also produces excellent white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes. Burgundy: Burgundy is a region in eastern France that produces excellent red and white wines. Some of the better wine-producing areas in Burgundy are Chablis and Pouilly-Fuissé, both of which produce exquisite white wines from Chardonnay grapes. Pinot Blanc: This is a good, but unexceptional, dry white wine that's good with seafood and poultry. Pinot Grigio: This is a dry white wine that goes especially well with seafood. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name and Pinot Gris is the French name. Riesling: If made in Germany or Alsace, a Riesling is a very good, somewhat sweet white wine. Sauvignon Blanc: This light white wine is often described as having a "grassy" flavor. It's great with seafood, poultry, and other delicately flavored dishes. Chablis: If made in France, this is a very dry, delicately flavored white wine that's made with Chardonnay grapes. It's great with seafood, especially oysters. If made domestically, like a California Chablis, it's a sweet and cheap jug wine. Chardonnay: This elegant white varietal wine is crisp and dry, and great with seafood, poultry, ham, egg dishes, salads, and any dish with a rich cream sauce. California Chardonnays are often excellent. Muscadet: This is a district in Brittany, France, that produces a crisp, light white wine that's especially good with seafood. Always serve it chilled. Don't confuse this with Muscatel or Muscat, which are both dessert wines.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|