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.