White please – but which one?

Pouring white wine

Written by Paula Goddard

Paula started her home-made beer and country wine journey in the 1990s when she won the Tunbridge Wells Wine Circle Brookside Novices’ Cup, Ladies Trophy, E&R Jubilee Bowl and Wells Trophy. Which matched her move from the research team at a food packaging manufacturer and deciding to be more involved with the food inside the packaging while beginning teaching food and drink courses at adult education colleges. Tea tasting expanded into popular wine courses that were regularly over-subscribed. She now runs online wine courses with Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, and tasting events through her own wine website You’ll find her on social media dispensing tips, views and wine reviews as @wineuncorkeduk

19 April 2022

White please – but which one?

So you know you like white wine but how do you choose the white wine kit that will give the flavours you’ll enjoy. The answer lies in that breakfast favourite – buttered toast topped with marmalade.

Butter or marmalade?

Are you a lashings of butter and a smear of marmalade person or would just eating marmalade for breakfast suffice?

How you proportion your toast toppings can give an insight into your taste preferences and how you like your wine.

Oak for breakfast

If you prefer butter then choose white wine kits labelled Chardonnay.

Commercially-made white wines made with the Chardonnay grape variety often taste slightly buttery. This flavour comes not from the grapes but from leaving the wine in an oak barrel to absorb some of its flavour. But oak barrels are expensive so more commonly these days bits of oak barrels, or oak chips, are left soaking in the wine instead.

White wine kits copy this idea by including an extra sachet containing oak chips (sometimes labelled the Flavour Pack or F-Pack). These are added after the wine kit has finished its first fermentation and add a buttery-oaky flavour to the white wine.

But what if you prefer the fruity flavours of the marmalade?

Orange or Lime marmalade?

A taste preference for the fruit jam topping means you’ll prefer white wine kits with specific fruit flavours – whether that’s oranges and peaches with a tropical fruit richness or lemons, limes and apples with sharper more refreshing flavours.

Seville-orange marmalade connoisseurs can find similar sweet-sour flavours in wines kits that make white wines similar to those found in Germany. So Piesporter white wine kits (Cantina calls theirs the Pieselberg kit), or white wine kits containing juice from Riesling or Gewürztraminer grape varieties. And if your taste preference is for zingy lime marmalade then go for Sauvignon Blanc white wine kits instead.

But breakfast lovers who equally enjoy the toast and the topping should head for Pinot Grigio white wine kits – their pear and almond flavours are a joy for quaffing and are pleasing to all palates.

Which white wine kit is best for you?

Okay so let’s get to specifics.

WinExpert Classic 30 bottle California Chardonnay (£52.95) Oaky buttery flavours along with pineapple and mango.

Solomon Grundy 30 bottle Gold Piesporter (£24.99) This 7-day wine kit results in a delicate orange and pear tasting wine with floral aromas.

On The House (OTH) 30 bottle Riesling (£44.99, offer price £42) A slightly sweet white wine with no oak flavouring.

WinExpert Classic 30 bottle California Gewürztraminer (£52.95) Peach and tropical fruit flavours but no oak.

Beaverdale 30 bottle Sauvignon Blanc (£45) This will make white wine that tastes sharp with a cut grass edge.

Cellar 7 30 bottle Pinot Grigio (£35) This wine kit makes an easy to like refreshing Italian style white wine.

WinExpert Classic 30 Bottle California White Zinfandel (£52.95) Although this is labelled as a white, the kit actually makes a delicate-coloured rosé. Great for toast toppers who prefer strawberry jam.

Magnum Medium Dry White (£18) This budget wine kit comes in a can and contains 1.7kg of Trebbiano grape juice concentrate. Its middling flavour makes this a great starting point for experimentation – try infusing with fresh fruits during fermentation to add extra flavour dimensions.

So what about the tea?

Of course you’ll be having a pot of tea with those rounds of toast and jars of marmalade and this can help us understand our liking for red wine flavours. Check out the blog post Red please – but which one? for tips on choosing red wine kits.

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