Why Not White?

I was recently reminded of an attitude about white wine that I have encountered before.  I was talking to a friend about The Wine Populist and was asked if I liked white wine.  That same night I went out to dinner and a waiter who knows my interest in wine automatically put red wine glasses on the table.

Well in answer to the question, I definitely like white wine.  Meursault, a white Burgundy is one of my all-time favorite wines.  I don’t understand why many people don’t think that white wine is “real wine.”  The most common complaints are that it is too light, too acidic, or that it lacks tannin or body.  While white wine does not have tannin, none of the others points are true per se.  There are whites that are light (which is OK by me).  By no means are they all light.  Some California Chardonnays are over 14% alcohol.  Add to that, malolactic fermentation and aging in barriques; they are anything but light.  Maybe that is an extreme example but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of others.

There is one complaint about white wine I do share; there are too many oxidized white wines out there.  Oxidized white wines have a disagreeable flavor that has been likened to paint thinner.  Whites are more prone to oxidation then reds or roses but many, if not all, of the bad glasses are preventable.  Improper storage is usually the culprit.  If you store a white wine upright at room temperatures it is going to oxidize.  If you run a restaurant or bar and leave a bottle open for more than a few hours, it is going to oxidize.

So what do you do? Don’t buy white wine at a place that doesn’t store their wine properly.  If you get an oxidized glass at a bar or restaurant; send it back.  Don’t just think; “I don’t like white wine.”

Even understanding the oxidation problem, what is bothering me most about the anti-white wine attitude is that it comes from the idea there is a conceptual “perfect wine” against which all wines should be measured.  Usually it is that a wine should be high in alcohol with lots of tannin and fruit.  Absurd!  There are thousands of styles of wine.  If wine says it is in a particular style, it should be that style.  But a world with only one style of wine would be pretty boring.  I guess I should let them search for the perfect wine.  I will be enjoying the wine I am drinking, and frequently it will be white.

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5 Responses to Why Not White?

  1. momochii says:

    Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

    • admin says:

      Hi Momochii and thanks for your interest. There are a few things you can do. First the site is searchable with a search window in the upper right. Just type in a term and it will find all the postings talking about the term.

      The site is designed with three categories, Wine Basics, Reflections in a Glass (my thoughts), and a section for guests. When I started the blog I was not sure how to make the categories work. Some of the early postings were uncategorized and are listed under that in the “Categories” bar on the right. I am thinking about adding a category of “Tech Notes” to help people with questions like yours. Please let me know what you think.

      Another way for you to keep posts of interest would be to subscribe to the RSS Feed. The RSS Feed sends you an e-mail whenever there is a new post. the e-mail has a short excerpt from the post and a link to it. You could save the e-mails on posts you like making them easy to find. To subscribe to the RSS Feed go to the RSS Feed buttons at the bottom right column of the page. There is one for posts and one for comments. Click on the RSS Feed of your choice. You should be given your choice of e-mail methods to get the feed with the default being Microsoft Outlook. Choose your method and just click “OK” until done.

      Once again thanks for the interest and please keep the comments and questions coming.

  2. found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  3. Pingback: Wine Basics – Short –Term Storage | The Wine Populist

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