How To Determine The Flavor Profile Of A White Wine

Just like red wine flavor profiles, there are many elements to consider when trying to determine the flavor profile of a white wine. And, also just like red wines, white wine flavor profiles will differ by region and winemaking styles. Just think about Sauvignon Blanc. One from California will taste extremely different than one from New Zealand.

Many of the same factors that come into play for red wine also impact white wine flavor profiles, like fruit, floral notes, body, and herbaceousness. However, there are a few different characteristics you will need to be on the lookout for as well.

Essentially, when tasting a white wine, there are 9 different elements that you can look for to determine its flavor profile:

1. Fruit

According to Wine Folly, many white wines are full of fruity aromas from three different categories of fruit: citrus, stone, and tropical.

These are some of the different fruit aromas you might detect in your white wine:

Citrus Fruit

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange

Stone Fruit

  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Apricot
  • Apple
  • Pear

 Tropical Fruit

  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Passion fruit
  • Guava

Some white wines may have fruit aromas from just one category, and others will have fruit aromas from two or even all three. It really depends on the terroir, which is the combination of the region’s climate, soil, terrain, and winemaking traditions.

For instance, a Chardonnay from a cooler climate, like France, may only have stone fruit notes, like apple and pear. Whereas, a Chardonnay from a warmer climate, like Australia, will typically have both stone fruit and tropical fruit aromas, like peach and pineapple.

2. Floral Notes

White wines also have floral notes on the nose. Some of the different floral aromas you will notice in white wines are rose, lilly, and citrus blossom.

3. Body

Just like for red wine, the body of a white wine is the weight or fullness you feel in your mouth and ranges from light to full. And, while red wines typically tend to be more full bodied than white wines, there are still some whites that can pack a punch, like a California Chardonnay that was aged in oak.

4. Herbaceousness

White wines that have a herbaceous quality to them will have green “herbal aromas, like grass, jalapeño, or bell pepper.” Cooler climate Sauvignon Blancs, like the ones from France’s famous Loire Valley, tend to be more on the herbaceous side.

5. Honey

Many white wines, especially white dessert wines, can be described as “honeyed,” which means they have honey on the nose or palate. A honeyed taste to wine is very common in white wines that are made with grapes affected by botrytis, like a French Sauternes.

6. Creamy

White wines that are fermented or aged in oak tend to have a creamy or silky characteristic to them. Sparkling white wines, like a French Champagne, can also be described as creamy.

 7. Oily

When a white wine has an oily texture, it has a slippery feel on the palate. Both Pinot Gris and Viognier often have an oily texture to them. An oily texture in a white wine is caused by low acidity and high glycerin.

8. Crisp

Crisp is the opposite of oily in terms of a white wine’s texture. A crisp white wine is high in acidity and will typically be more sour and less fruity than oily white wines. Many consider this crisp quality refreshing on the palate.

9. Minerality

Minerality in a white wine means it has a stoniness or mineral character. French Chablis wines are known for their minerality.

The White Wines Of Land O Lakes Winery

We have a wide range of delicious white wines available at our winery:

  • Pinot Grigio (Italy)
  • Chardonnay (Chile)
  • White Trio Blend (New World)
  • Riesling (Germany)

Click here to read their flavor profiles.

Ready to try a handcrafted white wine from Land O Lake Winery? Stop by for a visit or check out our online store.