A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of White Wine


Waves crashing on a secluded beach. A candlelit meal for two. Beads of condensation sliding down the elegant surface of a shimmering glass vessel.

White wine has captivated humans for thousands of years. Its presence on a dinner table can instantly conjure memories of evenings filled with laughter and friends. 

Choosing between the different types of white wine can seem overwhelming for a beginner. This guide will help you navigate these varieties as you begin your tasting journey. Keep reading!

Different Types of White Wine for Every Palate 

One of the first things you will want to master is the how. Here are some white wine tasting tips every beginner should remember:

  • Look: Visually inspect the wine using neutral lighting
  • Smell: Breath deeply through your nose and try to identify the aromas
  • Taste: Assess the taste (sour, bitter, sweet) and flavors derived from breathing with the back of your nose

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines in the world. The reason for this is consistency.

Crisp, and usually dry no matter where it comes from. The fruity tang of this variety is often paired with white fish, oysters, cream sauces, and Spaghetti carbonara.


This variety, which originated in France, is often fruity and velvety. Traditionally aged in oak barrels, American Chardonnay has typically been described as creamy and more buttery. 

Serving this well-known classic at your next dinner party is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Often on the sweeter side, Chardonnay pairs well with semi-soft cheeses, olive oil or garlic butter-based pasta sauces, fish, turkey, or chicken.


A popular dessert wine, Riesling is generally on the sweeter side. Though most would suggest pairing it with a fruity snack, it also goes great with spicy Thai and Indian curries.

Sauvignon Blanc

Slightly tart with a hint of fruit and usually on the dryer side, a Sauvignon Blanc will tend to be more acidic than your classic Chardonnay.

Sauvignon Blanc pairs versatilely with many dishes. Consider pairing your next bottle with a creamy risotto or pesto, cheeses, fresh seafood, poultry, and salads. 


This sweet, fruity dessert wine can often be overlooked by anyone who prefers dryer wines. Not to be discounted though, Moscato grapes have been grown for more than 3,000 years and are some of the oldest genetically unmodified vine types in existence.

Moscato goes great on its own or paired with desserts such as custards and ice creams, dark chocolate, or pound cake.


Wines are produced all over the globe and with that comes experimentation. Many winemakers have resorted to blending different grapes. 

This can often produce a wine that is more complex, interesting and unlike anything anyone has tasted before.

Looking to branch out? In addition to standard varieties, this South African wine maker offers blends with combinations of grapes that you might not otherwise find on your everyday market shelves.

Taste the Grapes

Now that you have a better idea of what different types of white wine can bring to any occasion, be sure to polish those glasses, set the table, and prepare to experience the flavors loved by many.

If you want to round out your knowledge, be sure to check out our other guides. With such a long history, the best time to up your wine game is now!