Three Interesting Curiosities About White Wine

Winter is fast approaching, and many Italian wine lovers have likely switched to nice glasses of red as the temperature drops. After all, red wine is perfect for giving you a warm and fuzzy feeling to combat the cold weather.

However, we also know that many people simply prefer white wine over red. And even though the weather is getting colder, they’d rather enjoy a refreshing white wine than a complex and warm red.

This article is for those people.

Italy’s white wines offer plenty of choices for people who stick with white no matter the weather. And in this article, we’re going to dig a little deeper into white wines to unveil a trio of curiosities you may not know about.

White Wines Made in the Same Style Can Taste Very Different

It’s easy to assume that a white wine grape will exhibit the same general notes and qualities regardless of the producer. That’s not to say that quality isn’t impacted by production methods. Some wines simply taste better than others. But if you’re ordering a Sauvignon Blanc from one company, the odds are pretty high that it will taste very similar to the same type of wine from a different company.


Actually, that isn’t always the case. If we take Sauvignon Blanc as an example, consider New Zealand’s version of the wine. That country’s Sauvignon Blanc tends to have passionfruit and gooseberry notes to go along with the more familiar lime and citrus notes. What’s more, they often have higher acidity than other Sauvignon Blancs, leading to New Zealand’s version of the wine tasting very different from one you might get from an Italian producer.

Staying with New Zealand, there is also a version of Sauvignon Blanc from the country named Te Koko. Instead of using normal fermentation to create this wine, its producers use malolactic fermentation. While we won’t go into what this process entails, its use means that the resulting wine doesn’t have the citric acidity you’d expect from a Sauvignon Blanc. Instead, it has a much lighter acidity than the one you’d find when drinking milk.

These style differences aren’t limited to Sauvignon Blanc. You can pick almost any white wine and there’ll almost always be a producer somewhere who makes it very different from what you’d normally expect from that wine.

And therein lies one of the most fascinating things about white wine. Though many view these types of grapes as fairly simple, especially when compared to their more complex red cousins, there are still many ways to achieve remarkable variety even within the same style of white wine.

White Wine is Truly Ancient

We all know that winemaking has existed for thousands of years. The Ancient Romans and Ancient Greeks revered wine to the point where each had its own god specifically for the drink. Archaeological digs have also found evidence that wine was produced over 6,000 years ago.

However, when most think of truly ancient wines, they tend to assume all of them were red. But it may be that white wine is actually older than red.

The first archaeological evidence of white wine production comes from what we now know as Iran. Archaeologists have discovered remnants of vineyards and paraphernalia from the country, suggesting ancient Iranians were making white wine as long as 7,500 years ago.

Coming a little closer to modern times, records indicate that the great Greek philosopher and medical practitioner Hippocrates used white wine to treat his patients. In fact, he used two, with one being a bitter wine while the other was a vinous wine. You may even remember our mentions of the bitter version of this wine from our article about early aperitifs.

The Romans also produced white wines, including a sweet mulled wine resembling modern-day Madeira.

The point is that white wine is older than you may think. While we often assume that ancient producers focused their efforts on reds, white wine was just as important during ancient times.

White Wines Tend to Have Fewer Calories Than Reds

Anybody trying to lose weight will tell you that every calorie counts. And when it comes to what you drink, it’s easy for calorie consumption to sneak up on you. That’s especially the case when drinking wine, which contains alcohol, sugars, and other ingredients that result in each glass having a few calories.

But you may not know that there’s a difference in the calorific content of white and red wines.

A single six-ounce white wine contains between 107 and 145 calories. The amount varies depending on the wine’s alcohol volume, with high volumes leading to more calories. By contrast, red wines tend to have higher volumes than whites, meaning the average six-ounce glass contains between 135 and 195 calories. The calorie count gets even higher if you’re drinking a red dessert wine containing as many as 275 calories per serving. That’s far above sweet white wines, which don’t tend to exceed 215 calories per six-ounce glass.

So, the message is clear:

If you’re trying to lose a little weight, sticking to white wine may be your best choice!

The Final Word

White wines stand out because they’re more accessible than red wines. As a result, they often have a simpler structure and come with a refreshing acidity that makes them attractive to many drinkers. But don’t allow the drink’s simplicity to fool you. There are many exciting curiosities about white wine that connoisseurs enjoy.

We’ve presented three exciting facts in this article. But there are many more besides these three that you may discover as you immerse yourself deeper into the world of Italian white wines. Of course, xtraWine wishes to join you on your journey of discovery. Our wine collection contains hundreds of examples of white wines from all around the world for you to explore. Take it one glass at a time and we’re sure you’ll keep learning while you enjoy some excellent white wines.


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