White wine can be made from a grape with black, purple, red, pink, green or yellow skins. The juice of the grape is always clear. The amount of contact with the skin of the grape is what determines the color of the wine. A red, purple or black grape can make white wine by quickly removing the skin of the grape peel from the juice. The color of wine, or lack thereof comes from the peel of the grape.
True White Zinfandel made from the Zinfandel grape, a dark red/purple grape. The peel of the grape is left on the juice for a short time – just enough time to add the “blush.”
To be considered a dinner wine, the alcohol level should be about 9% to 17% alcohol, with the median being 11% to 12%.
Fortified wines are wine with “fortification” (higher alcohol) added (usually brandy) to raise the alcohol level. At one time, Mogen David 20/20 was very high alcohol. Today most of the “bum wines” are gone, and alcohol levels have been lowered to 13% to 15% but are not satisfactory food wines.
Some of the grapes below have different names in other countries. They also may take on different personalities as they are grown in different soils and in different climates.
In the classic wine world, the most common white wine grapes are:
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