White wine: What you need to know

Sponsored by Capital Vine
Posted at 3:38 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 06:02:29-04

Light, crisp and great for a warm summer night; white wine is the perfect companion.

Made from the fermenting of juice from the grapes, white wine is a bit different than its counterpart, red wine. The difference in the two is not only color and taste, but how they are fermented.

Matt Chrisinske, Assistant General Manager at Capital Vine, explained that to make white wine, the skin and pulp is filtered out.

“If you keep it (the skin of the grape) on, you get red wine,” Chrisinske said. “(The pulp) also adds the drier kind of feel found in reds.”

With white wine being on the lighter side, it goes wonderful with lighter foods like fish, white pasta and  poultry. One way Chrisinske put it is, “Light food, light wine.”

But just because the main protein for a dish is light, doesn’t mean a white wine is the perfect pair. The sides and sauces have to be taken into consideration, as well.

“If you are having duck with a heavy cherry sauce, or pork with an apple butter marmalade, those will be more for red wines,” Chrisinske said. “But, if there is going to be a lighter sauce, maybe grilled duck with summer vegetables with a light garlic cream sauce, then a chardonnay would be good.

“It’s not a serious deal. It’s about enhancing the meal.”

Now, there are different kinds of white wines. Chrisinkske said that the most popular white wine in the world is chardonnay, which is “the king of white wines in California.” Then there is the Pinot Grigio, which is a semi-sweet type of white wine. There is also the Riesling white wine, which is made in cooler climates, like Traverse City. Then there is the Sauvignon Blanc which is grown in the warmer climates. 

“Champagne is also a white wine, it is just carbonated,” Chrisinske said. “To be called Champagne, it has to come from that region in France. Everything else is supposed to be called sparkling.”

While wine can get quite on the expensive side, like Louis Jagot, Kim Crawford and Stags Leap, there are also some good deals on white wines. 

Chrisinske said that some good wines for their value include anything from Robert Modavi, out of California and Adel Shim from Oregon. For people looking for a good valued sweeter wine, Michigan has some good ones.

The Chateau Grand Traverse and Bell Largo, are reasonably priced bottles of white wines, Chrisinske said. 

“The biggest thing with Michigan wines, is you have to like that taste,” Chrisinske said. “They have a sweet overall profile, and it doesn’t give that dry mineral taste you get out of French wines.”

One good thing with white wines and summer, is that they are supposed to be chilled and kept at around 45 degrees. 

“It’s perfect for summer,” Chrisinske said. “It’s refreshing, doesn’t fill you up and it is crisp, clean and cool.”

Capital Vine is located at 2320 Showtime Dr., Lansing.

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