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Does white wine lack the flavour of red or am I just not buying the right wines?

So looking for some advice, I am new on my wine journey and from what I have selected so far I am finding that white wine is lacking the interest of red. It does not have the depth of flavour that red offers.

So the questions is, am I just not buying the right wines and if so what should I try?

Here are a couple of examples of recent favourites although the reds far outshine the whites!

The Society’s Chilean Limarí Chardonnay 2021
The Society’s Sicilian Organic White 2020

The Society’s California Old-Vine Zinfandel 2019
The Society’s Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Château d’Emeringes, Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes 2020 I thought this was fantastic

Thanks in advance!


I think they’re just different drinks. We’re all different too and enjoy different things, so maybe white wine just isn’t what you enjoy…

However, I think it might be worth persevering a bit more - get a sense of what different grapes can offer - the sheer variety is fabulous.

Also, If you do open a bottle of white, don’t drink it too cold (ie straight out of the fridge). You will lose a lot of the complexities that become apparent once the wine warms up a little.


Maybe you are just a red wine person. I’d add that you could try some of the bolder, more in yer face, wines. New world Sauvignon blanc, especially New Zealand, is good for this. Anna’s way is one of my sub £10 favourites.

Alternatively, wines made from local grapes in SW France, e.g gros manseng, are far from bland and uninteresting. Les Vignes Retrouvees is a particular sub £10 favourite.


Have you tried some of the aromatic grape varieties such as viognier, gewurztraminer, Alsace pinot gris, fiano, greco, muscat or torrontes? Furthermore, wines that have had malolactic fermentation such as certain chardonnays; and wines that have been aged like rieslings, chenin blancs and semillon? And also classic NZ style sauvignon blancs? Finally I find certain cuvee’s of multiple grapes interesting, with expressive flavours. I think there is a lot to explore beyond the standard restaurant pinot grigio’s, sauvignon blancs and the likes.


I wouldn’t worry but just enjoy what you like. You may well find that in time your tastes may change from an emphasis on the flavour intensity that red wines exhibit generally towards more subtle/restrained flavours and as a result go more towards the white side. I certainly started as a red wine drinker and slowly moved towards the white side. Equally some do exactly the opposite.


Some excellent advice above.

White wine is done a disservice by the almost uniformly tasteless pinot grigios and characterless sauvignon blancs you get in supermarkets and pubs, but there’s some far more interesting stuff out there for not much extra cost. To the great suggestions above, I’d add southern Rhone or Languedoc whites that use grapes like marsanne, rousanne and viognier. These are rounded, ‘fatty’ wines that lack nothing in intensity. Guigal Cotes du Rhône blanc is a great example which you can often pick up on offer for less than a tenner.


Couldn’t agree more - it’s an excellent Beaujolais, and a very good choice.

Taking BJL as a benchmark, perhaps get a bottle of TWS “The Society’s Greek White 2021” or spend a bit more for “The Society’s Exhibition Santorini Assyrtiko 2020” - I’d say they are on a par with Beaujolais in terms of quality and style.

Looking back, I’d say I was (am) a ‘red wine drinker’ - 5 out of every 6. YET the most memorable wines I have drank over the last 40 years have actually been white !


Thank you all for your contributions and suggestions, I really appreciate the time you have all taken to reply. I will review and add the suggestions to my forthcoming orders!


I agree with others here that some white wines are full of flavour. But all white wines lack the aromas and structural elements that come from the grape skins, which are removed before fermentation. Red wines on the other hand are fermented with the skins. So in that sense at least, yes they do lack flavour.

Some people decide they much prefer reds, some whites, and there is nothing wrong with that. But I think it’s fair to say that most wine lovers recognise that they both have their place, in particular because they tend to work best with different foods.

You might also like to try so-called “orange wines”. They are made from the grapes usually used for white wine - those with green/yellow skins. But they are fermented WITH the skins. The skins impart flavours and tannin that can be more or less strong, as with red wines, but the flavours are different.


My philosophy regarding wine learned over a long time is to drink what you like.

You prefer red as the whites you have tasted so far don’t ring your bell*.

I suggest you continue to buy reds to drink, but joining a tasting group** where you can taste a range of wines without the costs of buying a bottle of white you may not enjoy when you could have had a red one you would enjoy.

If there isn’t an enthusiasts group near you, look to see if local wine merchants do tastings. Is there a Majestic near you? They have open bottles you can taste free of charge. Make a note of whites you do like, and ones you don’t.

*Us too, we drink reds except with fish - and then we like a white that could be red, in other words has a strong taste, such as really zingy NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

**see Clubs (ukwineclub.org.uk)


Don’t forget rosé! You might enjoy some of the darker coloured rosés such as this one - Tavel Cuvée Prima Donna Rosé, Domaine Maby 2021 (thewinesociety.com) or this which will appear just off white, but still with bags of flavour - The Society’s Corsican Rosé 2021 (thewinesociety.com)


The only piece of advice I can offer is this; keep trying.

You’ll be amazed that every so often a wine comes along that smashes your prejudices to smithereens. It happens to us all. Whether it be a region, a style, or producer, there are many diamonds out there in amongst the lumps of coal. There’s definitely a white wine out there that you’ll like. Don’t stop trying until you’ve found it. :smiley:


I think these wines are simply too cheap :smiley:

At this level I wouldn’t be expecting much (if any) excitement myself - I’d expect to be paying at least 12-15 quid post-Brexshit to be getting much interest in general.

But having said that I have found a few reds under that price point with some interest and character, and it does always seem to be harder to find whites with similar interest at that level.

One white I would recommend trying is the Ca’ dei Frati Lugana. Or the TWS Assyrtiko, as mentioned.


This advice is worth repeating. Let’s assume that a reasonable serving temperature for a white is, on average, 12 degrees. The average fridge must be about 4 degrees, whereas the typical house at this time of year is probably heated to about 18 degrees. Therefore to get the best from your wine, it should be served slightly closer to room temperature than to fridge temperatures.

Your fridge/house/optimum wine serving temperature may vary. But the broader point is still largely valid.


I am very much a red wine drinker (and known for it on these pages) however I have recently had some Rhone Marsanne/Rousanne which I have found much more in alignment with my red wine palate. Smooth and with good complexity. They were expensive though so more experimentation required to find a more reasonably priced comparable white wine! I have a few in the rack awaiting their time!


Have you tried Ollieux Romanis white (Corbières Blanc Cuvée Prestige, Château Ollieux-Romanis 2019)? It ticked the boxes you mention for me and it isn’t badly priced

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Not yet but that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m working towards. I have a few other Rousanne and Marsanne wines to try first. Don’t want to get to carried away! There are a few L&R wines that might tick my box. It’s really the Riesling style whites that I don’t get on with so well. I have tried some oaked Chardonnays in the past that I liked as well.

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