The joys of a good white wine
The overwhelming majority of white wine comes from a fairly small number
of grape varieties. These are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon,
Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. Of these, the
first four make up 70% of all the wine produced around the world.
White wine is believed to have health benefits such as boosting levels of
protective antioxidants in the blood. In a 2002 study presented to the American
Thoracic Society it was shown that there was a correlation between drinking
white wine and better lung function.
Other good news includes the latest messages that certain antioxidant and
anticancer compounds (resveratrols) can be increased by freezing. Therefore
we can hope that the delicious german ice wines which are currently only available
in limited quantities will be made more available. The grapes of an icewine
are only harvested after the first frost, leading to a wonderful rich sweet
flavour unmatched in any other white wine I know. If this also turns out to
be healthier, then this is an unexpected double whammy.
Canadian icewine is also becoming increasingly available so hopefully you
will be able to experience this for yourself soon.
Once you have tried a few different bottles of white wine you will start
to realise that although most of the wine available is from a limited number
of varieties, there are in fact many thousands of grape varieties around the
world, mostly only available in the region where they are grown. For example
there are vinyards on Korcula on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia
that serve wines from an ancient grape variety called GRK; a wine grown and
sold nowhere else on the planet.