White Wine and Food: Learning What Goes With What
White Wine and Food
A lot of wine aficionados out there will say that white wine is a beginner’s wine, suitable only for those that can’t handle reds. Don’t be fooled, however. White wine has its place and continues to be popular with newbies and wine veterans alike. Just like with reds, white wine and food is a natural pairing, so let’s have a look at what goes good with the various types!
Chardonnay, a sometimes-sparkling wine, originated in the Burgundy region of France and will often have rich fruit and butter flavors. Chardonnay is a velvety and voluptuous white that pairs wonderfully with fish, oysters, strong cheese, appetizers, pork and chicken.
Sauvignon Blanc, another wine that originated in France, more specifically the Bordeaux region. Sauvignon Blanc will often have a very herbal character with sour green and tropical fruit flavors, and very smoky qualities. Sauvignon Blanc goes great with cheese, appetizers, poultry, seafood, pasta with cream sauce, and salads.
Semillon, a white wine originating from the Bordeaux region, is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon has a very strong fig-like character that often needs to be toned by blending and pairs wonderfully with great with pasta salads and seafood.
Muscat is a white that, despite the great white wine and food pairings we’ve seen, is one of those wines that are best enjoyed on its own. Muscat hails from Italy and Austria and is usually sweet and fruity, with the musky aroma of grapefruit.
Pinot Grigio, a Pinot Gris variety originating from Italy, is a popular, versatile wine that goes with just about anything, hence its popularity. Pinot Grigio is usually very crisp, often backed up by a strong yet pleasant acidic bite.
Riesling, a white that originated in Germany, tends to be quite light, with a wonderful aroma of fresh apples. Riesling is best enjoyed with pork, cheese, appetizers, fish, Asian dishes, chocolate, and chicken.
Gewürztraminer is a wine that you’ll hear little about because of the popularity of the other wines listed above. Gewürztraminer, as you can probably tell by the name, hails from Germany. It is great for sipping and will usually be very fruity, but not quite as refreshing as other whites. Gewürztraminer pairs wonderfully with grilled sausages, mild cheese, appetizers, Asian dishes, and pork.
At the end of the day, don’t be turned off by “red snobs” telling you that white wine is no good or just for beginners. White wine and food is a natural pairing just like red wine and food. White wine provides a natural accompaniment to many dishes that are simply too light to go with reds and many whites can easily be enjoyed by themselves. If you go to a wine tasting, make sure try a few of the white wines the vineyard offers, as well as their reds and roses. It will be worth your while to thoroughly examine everything that all sorts of wine have to offer and, who knows, you may miss out on something truly exquisite otherwise!