What White Wine is Best For Cooking?

what white wine is best for cooking

Wine is an excellent ingredient to add to a variety of dishes. Whether you’re making a risotto, soup, or chicken Marsala, a small splash of wine can help balance the flavor and moisture.

Unlike red wines, whites have low alcohol content and are very versatile in cooking. They can easily replace water and stock as the base of a dish, but they also work well when added to glazes and sauces.

Pinot Grigio

If you’re looking for a dry white wine that will go well with your meal, then Pinot Grigio is an excellent choice. This Italian white wine is a great match for seafood dishes, chicken or pasta.

The grape is a popular varietal in northeastern Italy, where the mountains help protect it from harsh winter winds. The region produces a large volume of this wine, which is exported around the world.

This versatile variety is also grown in France, Oregon and New Zealand. The wines from these regions often share some of the same flavor profiles as the Italian Pinot Grigio, and can be enjoyed in many different ways.

While some Pinot Grigios are sweet, the majority are dry. This is due to their high acidity, which means they don’t typically taste as sweet as other wines in the same category.

It is important to keep in mind that the type of wine you choose for your dish can have a significant impact on its flavor. For example, a Sauvignon Blanc from Italy will likely be much more complex than a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

In addition, the temperature of the wine can have a major effect on its taste as well. You’ll want to make sure that your wine is served at the right temperature, so that it will complement the flavors of your food without overpowering them.

If you’re a Pinot Grigio drinker, you should know that this wine is best served cool or at room temperature. It is also ideal for serving with light foods, such as a light dinner or a meal that you would eat outside on a summer night.

A good Pinot Grigio will pair perfectly with seafood, especially grilled fish. The freshness of the wine and its citrus-based volatile compounds will complement these foods.

You may also want to try this wine with a Mediterranean or Asian dish, such as sushi. A lot of Asian dishes are made with ingredients like ginger or soy sauce, which can work well with this wine.

Another way to enjoy this wine is by drinking it on its own. It’s a delicious way to get a feel for the flavor of this wine without spending a lot of money. If you’re a beginner to the world of white wines, this is an excellent way to start.


Riesling is one of the most versatile grapes around, making it an excellent choice for cooking. This aromatic white wine has crisp flavors of apples, apricots, and peaches as well as high levels of acidity. It can be produced in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet.

German and Alsatian (France) styles are considered to be the classic expressions of this grape. Australia and the United States produce many fine examples as well, particularly in Washington State and the Finger Lakes regions of New York.

The best Riesling for cooking is typically a medium-bodied, dry wine with low to moderate alcohol by volume. It is usually less expensive than other wines and has a good balance of acidity and sweetness, which can cut through rich dishes while still enhancing the flavor of the dish.

Because Riesling is so light in alcohol by volume, it pairs well with spicy dishes, such as Indian curries, Chinese duck, and hot Thai rice. It’s also a great choice with most meat, seafood, chicken, and pork dishes.

It’s also a delicious accompaniment to roasted vegetables and other dishes that have natural sweetness. Try it with roasted carrots, red onion, coconut, squash, eggplant, and tempeh.

A sweet or off-dry Riesling goes well with a wide range of cheeses. It especially complements pungent washed-rind cheeses, such as Munster, Morbier, Raclette, and Taleggio.

You can also pair a Riesling with fruit desserts, such as pies, custards, compotes, caramels, and candied fruits. The ripeness of the fruit in these recipes can help to highlight the delicate, fresh flavors in your Riesling.

Another popular pairing is with Foie Gras, which can balance out the sweet, creamy flavours in the wine. Salty cheeses can also be paired with Riesling.

When it comes to serving, chilled temperatures help to accentuate the bracing acidity and mellow sweetness in this wine. Generally, cooler temperatures are preferred for dry wines and warmer for off-dry or sweet wines.

If you’re looking for a sweeter style of Riesling, look for a late-harvest bottling, such as Auslese or Eiswein. This type of Riesling is often described as having a petrol note on release, which is similar to the smell of kerosene and lubricant.


One of the most widely produced wines in the world, Chardonnay is a dry white wine that has a range of flavors and characteristics depending on the region it’s grown in. It’s typically light to medium-bodied with moderate tannins and acidity, and it can have fruity aromas of pineapple, papaya, mango, and more.

The grapes that make up Chardonnay are highly expressive of the terroir of the growing region. This means that the flavor of the Chardonnay grapes can vary significantly depending on their soil and climate, as well as the winemaking techniques used by the winery.

It also depends on when the grapes are harvested, which affects their acidity and sugar levels. The grapes that are harvested earlier tend to be more tart, while those that are harvested later are usually sweeter.

A good unoaked Chardonnay is an excellent choice for any recipe that calls for chicken, fish, or white meats. It will provide the right amount of acidity and buttery flavor to complement these foods without overpowering their natural flavor.

Oaked Chardonnay is another option for any dish that calls for a wine with a creamier texture and more flavor. It’s a good match for any dish that requires a white wine sauce such as tomato or mushroom sauce, but it also works well with more full-bodied dishes like salmon or crab cakes.

In addition to pairing with a variety of cuisines, Chardonnay can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing drink. Some of the best Chardonnays are made from grapes that were harvested early in the season, which makes them more citrusy and refreshing.

When served cold, a chilled Chardonnay pairs with a wide variety of food and dessert options. It will especially pair with grilled or smoked seafood, such as a crab roll or sole with butter.

It will also complement lighter fare, such as a salad or grilled veggies. It will even work with some cheeses, such as Brie and Mozzarella.

While some people may not think of white wine as an essential ingredient in any meal, it’s important to remember that it can be a fantastic substitute for red wines when cooking. White wines have fewer tannins, making them ideal for breaking down fat and proteins while bringing out the flavors of your dish. They can also be used to enhance the taste of certain spices and herbs, such as thyme.


Assyrtiko, the Greek white grape variety that helped bring Greek wine to the world’s attention, is a great partner for any cuisine. It is particularly well-suited to seafood dishes because of its high acidity, salty flavours, and mineral notes.

The grape is indigenous to the island of Santorini in Greece, but is also grown on mainland Greece and in some parts of Australia. It is known for its citrus-like flavours and high acidity, as well as its ability to retain its acidity in hot climates.

In Santorini, Assyrtiko is the most important white grape, accounting for more than 65-70% of production on the island. The ashy, volcanic soil and the foggy night mists from the island’s caldera provide an incredibly hospitable environment for grapes that produce some of the best high-acid white wines in the world.

Many producers on the island use unoaked Assyrtiko to express Santorini’s unique character, but oak ageing is also popular and enables Assyrtiko to evolve with more structure and depth. The result is a taut, backward version of Assyrtiko that can pair beautifully with dishes such as grilled seafood or spicy curries.

Some of the best Assyrtiko wines can be found outside the island of Santorini, though. For example, Evia has a number of excellent wines made from the grape, including this stunning Assyrtiko Sur Lies from Vrinioti.

The Assyrtiko in this cuvee is from a vineyard on Pyrgos, which agriculturalist and oenologist Yiannis Paraskevopoulos believes to be more aromatic than the other vineyards on the estate. The wine is aged in barrel for six months, giving it a richer, more savory flavor profile than the traditional steel-fermented Assyrtiko.

It’s an interesting, yet not a typical wine that most people have heard of, but it’s definitely worth trying out. This Assyrtiko is a great partner for fish, such as sea bream or prawns, thanks to its high acidity and tingling, mineral notes.

Assyrtiko is also a versatile grape that can be blended with other varieties to soften its firm character. The most common blends include a small percentage of Athiri and Aidani, which add more floral and fruit notes to the final wine.