The Noble Grapes are the prolific grapes of the wine world. They’re grown around the world while maintaining their core characteristics — or essence.
You can start exploring these wines by tasting the Noble Grapes side-by-side to reveal the type of wine you enjoy the most. In this self-guided tasting you’ll find:
- Wine recommendations for Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
- Tasting notes that describe the typical tasting profile for these wines.
- Easy rating system to rate each wine.
Conducting The Tasting
There are several ways you can conduct the tasting.
- Hold the white wine tasting separately from the red wine tasting.
- Or conduct both the white and red noble grape tastings at the same time. Opening all bottles, taste the white first, then the red.
- Invite friends and have each of them bring one of the wine recommendations.
- Have everyone rate the wine for themselves, taking notes to identify which type of wine they like the best and why.
White Wine Recommendations
The brands recommended have wide distribution. This should make it easier for you to find these wines and get right to the fun tasting part. I’ve also included filtered links to Wine.com so that you can easily see more brands for each type of wine.
Affiliate links are included for your convenience. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small amount. Your cost is the same with or without the link. Enjoy!
Riesling: This grape originates in Germany and the wine varies from sweet to dry (not sweet). The wine label doesn’t always clearly indicate if the wine will be sweet or dry. However, there are tricks to figuring this out. Find 3 tricks in the post: Learn about Riesling.
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate
Riesling Kabinett (Dry to Off-Dry)
More dry Riesling options on Wine.com.
Sauvignon Blanc: This grape originates in France and is characteristically light and acidic which works well with seafood and is easy drinking by itself.
Marlborough, New Zealand
More Sauvignon Blanc options on Wine.com.
Chardonnay: Originates in France and is produced in 3 styles: Oaked, Unoaked and Sparkling/Champagne. Oaked means that it matures for a time in oak barrels which gives it a toast, vanilla, and buttery flavor. Unoaked means it matures in steel tanks which will give it a brighter, lighter taste.
Kendall Jackson Avant
J. Lohr Riverstone
Arroyo Seco Monterey, California
More oaked Chardonnay options on Wine.com.
White Wine Tasting Notes
Compare the color of the wine by tilting your glass slightly with a white napkin or paper behind it. See how clear or opaque the wine is along with the type and depth of color. This helps tell you the style of the wine. If a white wine is aged in steel tanks, it will be a lighter clear color compared to one aged in oak barrels which will have more of a golden straw coloring.
- Riesling: pale straw
- Sauvignon Blanc: pale straw with hints of green
- Chardonnay (Unoaked): pale straw coloring
- Chardonnay (Oaked): golden straw coloring
Smell the wine in your glass. Swirl the wine and smell again. An aromatic grape will have aromas that rise from your glass easily compared to a non-aromatic grape where you’ll have to really stick your nose in the glass to catch the aromas.
- Riesling: an aromatic grape with floral and citrus notes
- Sauvignon Blanc: an aromatic grape with tropical fruit, citrus, and herbs
- Chardonnay: not an aromatic grape. It contains apple and citrus aromas. (Oaked) The oaked selection will have a light vanilla and toast aroma that comes from partial aging in oak barrels.
Swirl the wine in your mouth to capture all of the flavors. You will notice certain notes initially while other notes will come through as you continue to taste the wine.
- Riesling: flavor of apple, pear, peach with high acidity. Contains minerality (flinty) with a light, crisp taste. Light body.
- Sauvignon Blanc: tropical fruit with high acidity. Light to medium body.
- Chardonnay: flavor of apples and citrus. Medium to full body. (Oaked) The oaked selection will have flavors of vanilla, toast, and butter.
Easy Rating System
After you taste each wine, give it a rating using this easy rating system. Add notes to help remember what you liked or didn’t like about the wine.
3pts Good, but not great
1pt Not for me
Learn more about White Noble Grapes:
Explore these wines further by learning about their origins and top regions. Conduct a varietal specific tasting to experience how a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is different than one from California.