AS diverse as wine is, most bottles can be categorised into nine different styles.
If you already love sparkling wine, give yourself a pat on the back for your exquisite taste. This wine first came about in France and is synonymous with the region of Champagne. Sparkling wines are the most technically challenging and time intensive wines made in the world.
Champagne is often too price restrictive, so instead, keep your eyes peeled for Brut-level sparklers (ie. not sweet) like Cava or Prosecco.
Light-bodied white wine
These light easy-drinking dry white wines are some of the most-sold wines in the world (even if red wines get more attention). Light whites are like the ‘beer of wine’ and, for this reason, they are perfect to drink with most foods. Some of these wines are perfect for savoury lovers (like Sauv. Blanc and Grüner) with green herbal flavours of gooseberry and bell pepper.
Wines that fit into this category include Pinot Gris (aka Pinot Grigio) and Sauvignon Blanc but they also include many lesser known wines like Grüner Veltliner, Albariño and Soave. Look for a wine from a cool climate region (imagine the places with a rainy month of June). Cool climates produce some of the best examples of this light, zesty style.
Full-bodied white wine
Full-bodied white wines are perfect for red wine lovers because of their rich smooth taste with subtle creaminess. What makes them different than light white wines usually involves special winemaking techniques including the use of oak-aging, (just like aged whiskeys, wine becomes smoother with barrel ageing too).
The classic choice for this wine is Chardonnay and particularly Chardonnay from a warmer climate (like California, Spain or Italy). Beside Chardonnay, another great option in this style is Viognier.
Aromatic (sweet) white wine
Aromatic grapes are some of the oldest wine varieties in the world. In fact, Cleopatra is noted for her love of Muscat of Alexandria from Greece – a lovely rich aromatic white wine. These wines have explosive, almost perfumed, aromas that spring out of the glass into your nose. They can be either dry or sweet, but most will taste a touch sweet due to all those perfumed aromas.
There are many great aromatic wines to try, and most are shockingly affordable. A few examples of these include Moscato d’Asti, Gewürztraminer, Torrontés (great if you like a more dry style), and Riesling.
* To be continued in next edition