White wine, as opposed to its name, is actually not white in color but rather it has a spectrum of color that ranges from light to even yellow. This is because of the different grape blends that are used in making the wine.
White wines come from the grape juice and the skin of the grapes which can be green, gold or yellow. There are hundreds of varieties of wine white grapes and they are mostly sweet, simple, and light.
Most famous among the varieties of white wine is “The Big Eight.” These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris (also called/known as Pinot Grigio), Semillon, Viognier, and the Chennai Blanc.
They are best served chilled, slightly cooler temperatures than red wine. Sweet white wine is best paired with food whose flavor is light in order to produce a proper perfect balance.
The Best Time To Drink Sweet White Wine
Most often, a lot of people prefer to drink white wines during lunch and sometimes even consuming it as an appetizer. Alcohol levels of most white wines range from 8% to 14%. It is the acidity level in the wines that makes them a perfect pair of various food and gives the consumer a refreshing taste after drinking.
Great Food Choices To Pair With Popular Sweet White Wine
There is an old saying that says “white wine with white meat.” It is a general guideline for wine drinkers passed down from previous generations.
While this is a good tradition to follow, there is plenty of other food that you can wonderfully pair with white wine for an enjoyable experience. However, still as a general rule of thumb, it is highly advisable that the lighter the wine, the lighter the food.
- Chardonnay, versatile and practically known all over the world, is ideally paired with roast chicken or turkey. It has buttery aromas due to its malolactic fermentation. Upon smelling it, you can catch a hint of newly picked green apples and other citrus flavors. Aside from the meat, it can also be paired with smoked salmon or trout.
- The Sauvignon Blanc is a wine from France and smells of fresh-cut grass with a hint of acid that might remind you of a refreshing glass of lemonade. This is best paired with goat’s cheese, creamy blue cheese, and caramelized peaches or plums.
- Riesling can be sweet or dry. Dry Riesling is popular in Austria while sweet Riesling is famous in some parts of the U.S. and Germany. They go well with Thai green curry and chicken korma. If you tend to dwell on the sweet side, try it with apple crumble or vanilla ice cream.
- Gewurztraminer is a famous dry white wine and perfectly paired with spiced foods and those bursting with Asian flavors. Besides being famous for its dry texture, it also comes in a sweet style best paired with fruit tarts. The grapes used for this type of wine grow in Oregon and northern Italy where there are cooler climates.
- Pinot Gris or also known as Pinot Grigio can be enjoyed well even without food. It is pear-flavored with hints of fruity sweetness. You can pair it with anything that you plan on having for dinner tonight.
- The sweet wine version of Semillon is very compatible with traditional puddings and tarts. It is a wine low in acid that tastes like figs and melons with developed leafy flavors as they age.
- Many people drink Viognier as an aperitif. If you plan to pair it with food during meals, then consider having it with fish, mango, and chili. The Viognier is best co-fermented with Syrah, a red grape found south of France. It has a bit of spicy flavor that requires aging for you to enjoy it properly.
- A common white grape found in the Loire Valley of France is the Chenin Blanc. In South Africa, it is known as Steen. This type of white wine has a floral aroma to it and also has pear-like flavors and a certain hint of acidity. A sweet Chenin Blanc can be paired with a lemon dessert or pudding.
There are various ways to enjoy sweet white wine. You might have your own personal perfect mix not mentioned here that we would love to hear about. We hope that this list gave you inspiration as to what you will pair your sweet white wine next time.
Remember to use the time drinking wine to enjoy your food and the company you are in (if you are with friends), as these are precious moments you cannot afford to miss out on.