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Best white wine 2023: The most drinkable white wines to sip and savour

Whether you’re looking for a budget buy or a new world gem, these are the best white wines to enjoy right now

From cool, elegant chablis to the ever-popular, zesty sauvignon blanc, the best white wines are a summer essential. Whether you’ve got picnics, parties or chilled weekends in the garden coming up, choosing the perfect tipple can get things off to a flying start. But which white wine should you choose?

The wine aisle can be a confusing place if you don’t know your viognier from your chardonnay, but we’ve taken the hard work out of finding the perfect bottle by testing our way through a variety of wonderful whites. From everyday drinkers to special occasion bottles, we’ve found a white wine to please every palate.

If you’re a total white wine novice, make sure you read our buying guide below, which has plenty of helpful tips. Otherwise, simply scroll on for our pick of the best white wine available right now.

Best white wine: At a glance

  • Best English white wine: Severn Valley Madeleine Angevine & Huxelrebe | Buy now
  • Best budget white wine: Morrisons Soave DOCG 2020 | Buy now
  • Best unusual white wine: M&S Moschofilero & Roditis | Buy now
  • Best chardonnay (even for chardonnay haters): Hattingley Valley 2020 Still Chardonnay | Buy now

How to choose the best white wine for you

How much should I spend?

As with most tipples, the sky’s the limit. But we’ll stay away from the silly money wines here and focus on approachable, affordable and downright delicious bottles to stock up your wine rack.

Spend what you can afford, and think about when you’re planning to drink the wine: it makes sense to spend more on a celebratory bottle and less on whites that might be diluted with soda or juice.

Generally, spending between £8 and £20 on a bottle on which you’ve done your research will be a good bet if tastings aren’t available. It’s not always that clear cut, though. A few of our top picks fall above and below this price range.

Should I buy vintage or mixed/non-vintage?

A wine’s vintage refers to the year the grapes were harvested, meaning vintage wines are only ever made from grapes harvested in a single year. The wine-making process for vintages is more labour-intensive than non-vintage wines and means they’re typically more expensive.

Vintage wines vary in character from year to year, as the growing conditions (hot, wet, humid) impact the taste. When experts talk about a wine being of a “good vintage”, it means that the climate and soils have been conducive to a good harvest and winemaking.

Wines that don’t state a specific vintage tend to be more uniform in taste, as winemakers are able to play around with the grapes to create the desired effect. This might not be as exciting but it means you can usually rely on a bottle of your favourite non-vintage wine to taste the same every time.

What else should I look out for?

Working out what you like is good fun if you have endless time and money to do so. But if you don’t, there are a few things you should consider before buying.

Summer calls for light whites. If the bottle is clear enough, look for pale, lemony-hued wine which might also have a touch of greenish youth about it. If you can’t see inside the bottle, be sure to check the label, as it will often give you an idea of the wine’s appearance. Dry wines are also ideal for warmer days, as they’re well suited to chilling and offer a refreshing hit of acidity – again, look out for this mentioned on the label. At the opposite end, darker, golden hues indicate a more powerful, aged wine, better suited to a roast dinner than a summer salad.

We’ve opted for plenty of light, fruit-forward and zingy whites on this list, which tend to be people-pleasers. Generally, slightly cooler climates produce these types of wines, so Europe is a good place to start when looking for refreshing whites, though this is not a hard and fast rule. If you want something even closer to home, English white wines are well suited to the summer season, too, with their citrusy, cool profiles.

Finally, think about where you’ll be enjoying your wine. If you’re out and about, boxed or canned wine is an ideal option and should no longer be sniffed at. There are fantastic winemakers packaging their wares in transportable and sustainable ways.

READ NEXT: The best red wines to buy

The best white wines to buy in 2023

1. Morrisons Soave DOCG 2020: Best budget white

Price: £4.35 | Buy now from Morrisons

If you’ve got champagne tastes and lemonade money, this Morrisons Soave DOCG 2020 could be the answer to your prayers when the end of the month rolls around. Despite its bargain-basement price, this signature Italian white scooped the Silver Medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge, beating a bottle six times the price.

Exploding with luscious lemon, cream and nutty almond flavours, this is a beautifully balanced and extremely drinkable white wine. It’s one of the driest wines we tried and offers a soft ending, with a lingering lemon peel finish. The perfect mid-week or party wine that tastes far more expensive than it is.

Key details – ABV: 11%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Morrisons

2. Altano Douro Branco 2020: Best alternative to sauvignon blanc

Price: £11 | Buy now from Tanners Wine

We love a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. So when you’re looking for a wine that’s the same but different, this white blend from Portugal’s famed Douro valley is a refreshing alternative.

This wine has the same limey zing as sauvignon blanc, but offers a tad more minerality and interest than a standard bottle. It’s made from grapes grown at high altitudes, which benefit from hours of sun and a cool mountain breeze, giving it its juicy, bright finish. The grape varieties used include several lesser-known indigenous grapes, as well as aromatic Moscatel for an interesting finish.

An ideal all-occasion table wine, this fun, summery bottle is brimming with exotic fruits. Better still, it’s responsibly and environmentally farmed, too.

Key details – ABV: 12.5%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Not stated

Buy now from Tanners Wine

3. Severn Valley Madeleine Angevine and Huxelrebe: Best English white

Price: £14 | Buy now from Andwell Brewing

We’re pretty familiar with English wines these days, with the industry going from strength to strength on the international wine stage. But the award-winning sparkling wines of the South East do tend to hog the limelight, which is why we were pleased to discover this lovely still white from a lesser-known English wine-producing region, the Severn Valley, in rural South Staffordshire. The estate’s south-facing, sheltered slopes, light sandy soil and cool, wet conditions provide ideal growing conditions for high-quality, high-yield grapes such as the madeleine angevine and huxelrebe used to make this medium-dry white.

Madeleine angevine boasts well-balanced natural acidity and sugars, with delicate florals and lots of green herby flavours. And, once blended with the spicier, greenish tones of the huxelrebe, this wine is a welcome change from the usual citrus-heavy whites. Instead, you’ll get a touch of rhubarb sharpness for that crisp, clean finish.

It’s an interesting white that’s a pleasure to drink alone or with seafood.

Key details – ABV: 11%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Not stated

Buy now from Andwell Brewing

4. Tesco Finest Sancerre: Best classic French white

Price: £14 | Buy now from Tesco

Some wines don’t need any introduction, and a good sancerre is one of them. The sancerre vineyards in the eastern Loire Valley are famous for producing absolutely stellar wine. The soil is rich in flint, chalk, limestone and clay, giving the wines produced there a pronounced and desirable minerality.

Sancerre wines are produced under careful conditions and aged in stainless steel barrels, meaning the wines stay extremely clean and green with boundless citrus and tropical fruit. This Finest Sancerre from Tesco is a great expression of the region. The delicate straw colour, perfect crisp dryness and intense tropical fruits make it a total crowd-pleaser.

Key details – ABV: 13%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Tesco

5. M&S Found Moschofilero & Roditis: Best unusual white

Price: From £8.50 per bottle | Buy now from Marks and Spencer

This year, the M&S wine team went on a mission to bring little-known varietals and wine regions to our attention with its selection of “Found” wines. Every wine we tried from the range has been revelatory, but our favourite is this exciting Greek white from the Peloponnesian peninsula.

Forget about the better known retsina or even assyrtiko, this is the Greek wine we should all be drinking. Made from native moschofilero and roditic grapes, known for their bold aroma and citrus, this blend is superbly salty with sea air, juicy with peach, and has a hint of local honey.

Everyone we’ve shared this wine with has been blown away and promptly bought a case. If you do the same, be sure to pair it with feta salads, tomato-rich seafood and summery lamb dishes for best effect.

Key details – ABV: 12; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Not stated

Buy now from Marks and Spencer

6. Hattingley Valley 2020 Still Chardonnay: Best chardonnay (even for chardonnay haters)

Price: £20 | Buy now from Hattingley Valley

Cast aside any bad memories you might have of drinking heavily oaked chardonnay and gaze upon this elegant, English version with fresh eyes. It’s a 2020 vintage produced by family-owned Hampshire vineyard Hattingley Valley, and is made from 100% chardonnay grapes. Expect lots of bright, youthful orchard fruit flavours and a light yellow colour, which can often be lost in poorer expressions of the grape.

This wine is still a defiant chardonnay, with that signature rounded, creamy mouthfeel and honeyed edge, but the UK’s cooler climate ensures the grapes don’t over-ripen, so they keep their precious citrus notes. It’s fresh, long and sophisticated – the perfect addition to any summer seafood dish.

Key details – ABV: 12.6%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Hattingley Valley

7. Viognier IGP du Gard Chartreux: Best boxed white wine

Price: £60 (5 litres) | Buy now from More Wine

Glass is usually good for recyclability, but its weight in transport means it has a pretty awful carbon footprint. Enter the bag in box wine. With more and more serious winemakers wising up to its benefits, boxed wine is no longer the reserve of low-quality plonk. Indeed, some of the best wine producers in the world are now making wines straight-to-box for eco, freshness and convenience reasons.

More Wine specialises in supplying quality wines from independent producers in eco-friendly packaging, and this 100% French Viognier 5-litre box is the best we’ve tried. Voted the best box wine at the Concours International, it tastes like a French meadow in midsummer. It’s a dry, extremely refined wine, gold in colour, with deep honey and white floral aromas. If you’re looking for a sophisticated box for your next gathering, this one’s a real beauty and you won’t regret the initial outlay to enjoy it.

Key details – ABV: 12.5%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Not stated

Buy now from More Wine

8. Brixton Wine Club White Wine Selection: Best canned white wine

Price: From £16 (3 cans) | Buy now from Brixton Wine Club

Brixton Wine Club specialises in canned wines and evolved from a wine tasting group run out of a London flat. The vibe is down-to-earth, approachable and free from intimidating wine jargon. You can choose to sign up for a regular subscription, or just buy a one-off box.

We highly recommend its current selection of white wines in a can, which include a heady, honeysuckle Viognier, a limey German Riesling and a South African Chenin Blanc with lovely, lemon meringue aromas.

If you’re new to white wine, this is a great way to get to know what you like on a low-cost basis with helpful, unpreachy tasting notes. And if you already love these wines, simply rejoice in the fact you can crack open a high-quality, premium and portable wine without committing to the whole bottle.

Key details – ABV: Mixed; Bottle size: 187ml-250ml; Vegan: No

Buy now from Brixton Wine Club

9. Morrisons The Best Alsace Gewurztraminer: Best medium-sweet white

Price: £9 | Buy now from Morrisons

For most occasions, crisp, dry whites are the name of the game, but sometimes we need to mix it up. This award-winning Morrisons Gewurztraminer from the Alsace is a medium-sweet wine just exploding with fruity florals. Think rose and jasmine, sticky mango and tart lychee, making it an ideal wine pairing for famously hard-to-match dishes. Chinese food, Thai dishes, creamy curries and hot, spicy foods will sing with a glass of this complex, smooth and spicy Gewurztraminer and at £9 it’s incredible value for money.

Pale green-yellow hued and a punchy 14%, the IWSC voted it as a gold medal winner due to the perfect expression of the grape, where the cool-ish French climate has resulted in plenty of restrained fruits and bags of the characteristic ginger-spiced florals. It’s an intriguing wine to sip and savour alongside a mini spring roll canape.

Key details – ABV: 14%; Bottle size: 75cl; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Morrisons

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