Fill up the glass, and ask questions later — that's our position on white wine, anyway. There are plenty of white wine options to choose from, but most contain some element of citrus, like lemon or lime. Some varieties contain orange and tangerine, as well. Beneath those elements, you'll find apple and pear notes in wines like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay or more exotic fruits in Riesling, Viognier and Gewürztraminer.
What Is Pinot Grigio?
Looking for an Italian classic? Pinot Grigio originated in Northern Italy, where it quickly became the nation's most popular wine and one of the biggest U.S. imports. Winemakers grow these gray-blue grapes in Italy's Veneto, Lombardy, Friuli and Trentino regions, and they produce one of the most refreshing white wines on the market. Pinot Grigio is known for its dry, slightly acidic notes with hints of citrus and honeysuckle.
What Is Sauvignon Blanc?
Once known as Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc comes from France's Loire Valley region. This crisp white has plenty of international appeal, and winemakers from regions as far-flung as New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and California also produce Sauvignon Blanc. This variety is known for having grassy notes, but don't let that turn you off — hints of smokiness and pear or gooseberry make it a top pick.
What Is Chardonnay?
Once a Burgundy staple, Chardonnay now boasts worldwide appeal. Today, many French winemakers still produce Chardonnay, as do winemakers in California, Australia and Italy. Chardonnay is known for having a velvety, full-bodied flavor with citrus notes. Bottles fermented in oak barrels tend to have rich, buttery notes, too.
What Is Viognier?
Like Chardonnay, Viognier is a full-bodied white that comes from Southern France. This white typically has tangerine, peach and honeysuckle notes and might have a vanilla aroma. Viogniers also have a characteristic oily sensation, but you'll have to trust wine aficionados around the world who love the rich, oaky flavor.
What Is Riesling?
Fruity, crisp and acidic: These qualities make for a top-notch bottle of Riesling. This white wine typically has floral aromas and sweet, fruity notes, including apricot, peach and apple. Rieslings produced in Germany and California are usually sweeter, while those made in France or Austria are often drier. While this white goes well with a range of cuisines, Riesling enthusiasts particularly love it with spicy food for that sweet, sweet burn.
What Is Gewürztraminer?
Even if you can't pronounce this Alsatian wine, you'll love sipping it. For centuries, winemakers have produced Gewürztraminer on the border of France, Germany and Switzerland. This white comes from a particularly aromatic grape and boasts low acidity, high alcohol content and a sweet flavor. Gewürztraminer typically features lychee, pineapple and cantaloupe notes.
What Is Moscato?
We think any time is a great time to enjoy a glass of Moscato. This Italian wine has a sweet flavor and a low alcohol content, which makes it remarkably easy to drink. Many wine lovers prefer it as a dessert wine, thanks to its fruity peach and nectarine notes.