Which White Wine’s Have Apple Taste & Flavor Notes?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Although wine is made from grapes, this doesn’t necessarily mean that wine tastes like grapes. Many wines are known for having specific fruity, grassy, herbal, and even earthy notes. 

One of the most popular fruits in the flavor profile of white wines is apples. It’s a very specific flavor that you can immediately notice if you have some experience in tasting wines. So exactly which white wines have these apple notes? Read on and discover the answer!


What Types of White Wine Varieties Have Apple Notes?

Hints of apple can be found in most white wines, but they are most concentrated in Chardonnay wines. 

These whites have all sorts of apples in their flavor profile, including red, green, yellow, ripe, tart, and more. Chardonnay is the only white wine that contains all the apple sorts in its aromas and flavors. 

Another white wine variety with lots of apple notes is Riesling. The types of apple flavors you find in this wine can vary according to where the Riesling grapes were grown and cultivated. 

For example, with wine made in a vineyard from a cooler climate like German Mosel Riesling, you can taste the green apple. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Alsace Riesling from France, that’s made in warmer climates and tends to contain hints of ripe yellow apples. 

Other white wine types like Pinot Grigio, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Blanc have notes of green apples, while Chenin Blanc usually has hints of yellow and red apples. 

A wine glass with white wine in it - Which White Wine's Have Apple Taste & Flavor Notes?

What Type of Apple Notes Can You Find In White Wine?

Apples come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their flavors in wine. The type of apple notes you find in wine depends on a whole number of things, including the climate, soil quality, grape variety as well as individual decisions the winemaker will make. 

You can often find green apple notes in white wines from cooler regions like Germany and Austria, such as Chablis Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, and more. 

Ripe yellow apple notes can be found in white wines from cooler climates like France and Hungary. Red apple flavors can also be noticed in some whites; however, the apple flavor is the rarest. 


What Causes the White Wine to Have Apple Notes?

Since wine doesn’t contain apples, the flavors must come from somewhere else. The chemical that gives your favorite wine hints of green apple is malic acid. This acid also contributes to other green fruits like pear and gooseberry flavors. 

Although it will add to the flavor profile of a wine, sometimes too much malic acid can make it displeasing.  

A process called malolactic fermentation, which is done by bacteria, can break down the malic acid into lactic acid. Lactic acid is also found in dairies like yogurt and milk, so this acid will enhance the more creamy flavors in white wines like Chardonnay.


Are Apple Notes Found in Dessert Wines only?

Since apple notes mostly depend on a chemical called malic acid, there is no reason why they would only be found in dessert wines. Hints of this delicious fruit can be found in a whole range of white wines, including one of the most well-known, Chardonnay. 

So, if you are a fan of this fruit and are looking for it in wine, you don’t have to look for dessert wines. Dessert wines can sometimes be too sweet for one’s liking, so the individual flavor notes may be harder to find and appreciate. 


What White Wine Varietal is Most Likely to Have Apple Notes?

The white wine that most commonly has that juicy apple flavor is Chardonnay, especially those cultivated in the United States. 

American winemakers love those apple notes so much that they have started making wine exclusively from apples. In fact, if you love trying new wines and are a fan of cider, you should grab yourself a bottle of “apfelwein” to taste. 

Other whites like Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Blanc are also among those that are most likely to have some notes of apple when you take a sip. 

Final Thoughts on White Wine with Apple Notes

Distinguishing different flavors from a sip of wine can be difficult but not impossible. 

So, if you are a wine novice newly getting into the world of wine, try some of the above-mentioned white wines and see if you can find the apple notes. And if you still can’t find them, then at least you have enjoyed a delicious glass of white wine!