what is white wine?
When looking for that next bottle of wine, it might be hard to choose. The multitude of white wine varieties can make even a seasoned wine drinker’s head spin. White wine can be made from either red or white grapes. The only difference is that white wines are fermented without the skins. Grapes are harvested, destemmed, and then sent to press to extract the juice. During the press, some fragments of skin might get let behind and this is known to us as sediment. If the wine goes unoaked, the fermented juice is racked and bottled. If a winemaker prefers an oaked style, the fermented wine is aged in barrels where malic acid is converted into lactic acid. Then the wine is racked and bottled. There are seemingly endless options when it comes to choosing a white wine to sip on. The good news is that whatever your preference is, there is bound to be a white wine waiting for you!
what types of white wines are there?
So how do you know which ones to choose? Is there a best wine? They are arguably hundreds of varieties and this is because white wine types are cultivated in every single wine-growing region around the world. Italy, for example, makes more white wine varieties than red. And Italian varieties come in multiple varieties from smooth to bubbly. You will typically hear descriptions like acidity and body when referring to wine but how does that translate in the realm of white wine? Acidity is determined during the ripening process of the grape on the vine. The longer they ripen, the less acidity the grape will have and vice versa. On one side of the spectrum you can experience a full bodied, medium-acidic Chardonnay that expresses oaky and buttery flavors and on the other hand you can experience refreshing high-acidic Pinot Grigio with melon, green apple, and floral aromas. Speaking of Chardonnay, most people think it’s a safe bet when it comes to picking a wine that is light and easy. However Chardonnay can be a lot more aggressive and full-bodied than most people realize. Although it’s thought to be a standard white wine in America, take a look at where your Chardonnay is made because that will help picking the right one for your palette. More on the dry side, slightly tart and with hints of fruit Sauvignon Blanc is definitely more acidic than your normal chardonnay. Sauvignon blanc is an excellent wine without food -- it’s bright and refreshing quality makes a stand alone experience quite enjoyable. Over the past ten years, moscato has gained more popularity. Think of riesling (we’ll get there in a bit) but more versatile and less sweet. It’s fresh, light bodied, and fun! Pinot Grigio is the real fan favorite though. Don’t tell Chardonnay but we think pinot grigio might be the crowd pleaser of the world. Always crisp, usually dry, and super refreshing, pinot grigio happens to be a consistent favorite and a wine you can always count on.
You’ve probably only heard of riesling when it comes to dessert pairings and although this wine does pair nicely with something sweet, it has a lot more to offer. They can vary in sweetness and can often exhibit a minerality or petrol feeling to them. With so many white wine options to choose from, there’s only one way to test what you like and let’s raise a glass to that!
does it have a lot of sugar?
The easy answer is yes but also no. Thanks to the rise of the keto diet, you might be taking a closer look at your nightly glass of wine as the rising discussion of keto wines is more common among nutritionists. You don’t have to completely nix wine from your diet for the sake of trying to be as sugar free as possible. While wine does contain some sugar, different varieties pack different amounts, especially in terms of what sweeteners are present. Wines can range from 0-220 grams per liter sugar depending on the style. For instance, dry tasting wines contain up to 10 grams of sugar per bottle. It’s only when you down several serving sizes that sugar becomes the issue. Though sugar is needed to make it, that sugar doesn’t make up much of the final product. Through fermentation, which occurs when yeast is added to grape juice, that sugar starts to turn into alcohol. Stop the fermentation process early and you’ll get wine with higher amounts of sugar and less alcohol. Ferment for longer, you’ll have a wine with lower sugar and higher alcohol content. It’s up to winemakers to decide how sweet to make wine and so different types of wine generally contain different amounts of sugar levels. Dry wines tend to contain the lowest amount of residual sugar. Pinot Grigio for instance contains between one and 1.5 grams of sugar per 5-ounce pour.
is wine low carb?
Wine is low-carb by nature, thank goodness! Fermented beverages by definition start as high carb but during the fermentation process, the yeast eats the carbohydrates producing alcohol, heat, and CO2. Wines like Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are great low-carb wines, containing less than 5 grams per serving. Other varieties could have as many grams of carbs as a large potato. For anyone on a zero-carb or low-carb diet (especially like those on ketogenic diets who still want to drink alcoholic beverages and are looking for keto-friendly wines). A general rule of thumb is that the sweet wines have higher carbs due to sugar content. If you still want to partake in alcoholic drinks but are watching your carb count, especially for weight loss or even watching your blood sugar, skip dessert wines and even sangria, as you're better off searching for dry, off-dry, and sparkling wine options means low sugar levels. For reds like cabernet sauvignons, Pinot Noir from Oregon and France is typically going to have the least amount of carbs. But if you are being strict on carb intake, it’s best to avoid dry red wines in general as they inherently have more carbohydrates than white wines.