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The Different Types of
White Wine in Alsace


In Alsace they grow around nine approved types of white grapes...

And eleven types of white wine if you count the Crémant d'Alsace or Alsatian sparkling wine.

But those are the "approved" white wines in Alsace...

They also grow a few other grapes in Alsace that are not "approved" by the governing body for wine in France (INAO)...

But only in small amounts.

So let's start with the most popular and well known types of white wine in Alsace...



Riesling

Alsace is known for its ability to produce great Riesling wine...

I find it very hard to describe Riesling because it varies so much from one vineyard to the next, but Alsace is famous for its dry Riesling, so you're less likely to find the sweeter version in Alsace...

Although I have tasted a few very good but sweet Rieslings here...

Riesling is used to make a number of the more famous Alsatian specialties...like Choucroute...

And Coq au Riesling

And Tourte au Riesling...

Usually it pairs well with a large variety of foods like both cold and warm fish dishes, chicken and other white meats or foods cooked in cream sauces...

But since Riesling has such a range of possible flavors, check with your waiter or wine server to help you choose which Riesling to pick...



Gewurztraminer

This is one of the types of white wine Alsace is famous for...

Gewurztraminer wine in Alsace is very bold and aromatic... I consider Gewurztraminer to be a wine that you either love or hate...

There's no room for indifference here!

And Alsace makes excellent Gewurztraminer...

If you prefer drier wines, Gewurztraminer may be a little too sweet for you, but then again the boldness of the flavors may win you over...

And as you would expect, you can drink Gewurztraminer with difficult to pair bold and spicy foods from Asia or India.

In fact, before you make up your mind about Gewurztraminer, drink it with something bold and flavorful...

Personally I prefer to drink Gewurztraminer with bold and somewhat spicy food...it just tastes better with food to me...



Pinot Gris

I like to call this type of white wine "Gewurztraminer's little brother"...

Mainly because Pinot Gris is a bold and aromatic wine, but not as overpowering as Gewurztraminer can be.

And it's more flexible...

While you can't take the "Gewurz" out of Gewurztraminer, Alsatian Pinot Gris can vary from sweet, bold and aromatic to simply aromatic...

And you can pair it with the bold, spicy Asian food and Indian curries or...

Chicken, pork, and other white meats...



Muscat

Muscat is my personal favorite for a hot summer day...

Very fresh and light...

If you're in the mood for something bold, stay away from Muscat, but on the other hand...it's a very agreeable, friendly wine that most everyone would enjoy.

Muscat tends to be on the dry side in Alsace.

And because it tends to be so light, it's one of the types of white wine in Alsace that pairs well with many, many different types of food...



Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is one of the most agreeable types of white wine in Alsace...

If you're not sure what types of white wine to use or you will be serving a large variety of different foods, Pinot Blanc from Alsace is a good choice...

Or even better...try a Crémant d'Alsace...

Otherwise known as Alsatian sparkling wine. The main ingredients of Crémant d'Alsace are usually Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois.



And some of the lesser known white wines in Alsace....



Crémant d'Alsace

Crémant d'Alsace is sparkling wine made in Alsace...

Technically it isn't one of the types of white wine in Alsace because it has its own status "Crémant d'Alsace AOC"...

Every winery has its own special recipe or blend, but Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois are the main ingredients in most sparkling Alsatian wines.

You'll also find Riesling and Pinot Gris mixed in occasionally...

And, for Crémant d'Alsace Rosé, Pinot Noir grapes are the main ingredient...

They use the same method to put the sparkle in the wine in Alsace as they do in the Champagne region.

Personally, I love the stuff!

And it is much less expensive than Champagne...


Sylvaner

Sylvaner has a long history in Alsace...

It's one of the types of white wine in Alsace that is considered to be part of Alsace's cultural heritage and history...

It's actually related to the "Traminer" family, so it's a wine with boldness and flavor...

Personally, if you're looking for something fresh and somewhat bold on a hot summer day, you couldn't go wrong with a Sylvaner.

In fact, I love it with deli meats, fresh vegetables, or a nice summer salad.


Auxerrois

Auxerrois is synonymous with Pinot Blanc...

In fact, you'll often find Auxerrois labelled as Pinot Blanc...

And if you love Crémant d'Alsace, you'll more than likely love Auxerrois, because it along with Pinot Blanc are the main ingredients of Alsatian sparkling wine.

Not many wine producers use the name Auxerrois on their labels, but it's a great way to start up a conversation in the tasting room...

And learn more about wine in Alsace...



Edelzwicker

Edelzwicker is a wine blend...

Every winery has its own recipe of course so it could be made using any of the grapes grown in Alsace.

It tends to be a nice, light and dry wine...

And a wine that has been produced in Alsace for a very long time and is a part of the cultural heritage and history of Alsace.



Klevener de Heiligenstein

Klevener de Heiligenstein as you might expect...

Is only produced in the area around the village of Heiligenstein and only on about 10,000 meters or yards of land...

So it's a wine you won't be able to find everywhere...

Compared with most Alsatian wines, it's on the sweeter side and has a bold flavor...

If you love Gewurztraminer, then you've got to try Klevener de Heiligenstein!



Chasselas

Chasselas is a grape variety with a long history in Alsace...

Over 300 years to be exact...

Like Edelzwicker and Klevener de Heiligenstein, it's a part of Alsace's cultural heritage and history. It's a wine that's been made and drunk in Alsace for hundreds of years.

And it's a nice fresh and very dry white wine that goes great with seafood, fresh vegetables and salads.

It's probably the only way you can literally "drink in" the history of Alsace ;)



Do you have a wine recommendation...

Have you found an incredible Alsace wine that you want to tell us all about?

Or maybe you've had an interesting experience on the Wine Road in Alsace tasting wine...


More Information
about Wine in Alsace


The French Wine Region of Alsace

The Different Types of Wine in Alsace and Terroir

A Short History of French Wine and the French Wine Laws

How to Taste Wine in Alsace

Alsace Winery Reviews and Recommendations


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