In America, Chardonnay is King, King Kong to be specific; as in too big and clunky for its own good. Often times the beautiful manifestations of the Chardonnay grape are stifled for the sake of oaky flavored syrup that sales better in American sugar addicted markets. So I will not talk about Chardonnay. You’ve seen it before. Let me show you what you have not seen.
Dry Riesling 2011
Some would call Riesling the noble white grape for its diversity and remarkable ability to age. Unfortunately for Riesling, it’s German and American consumers don’t know what the hell Spätlese or Kabinett means, which usually results in a missed opportunity to try this light, palette pleasing varietal. I love pairing chilled Rieslings with spicy Thai cuisine. Pfeffigen has the florality and high acidity that makes Riesling heavenly to smell and even more heavenly to pair with spicy foods that need a hint of delicate sweetness to simmer down their power.
Le Rocher des Violettes
Chenin Blanc is my most beloved white varietal. It can be fresh and fruity, oaky like Chardonnay or even sweet and sometimes sparkling. South Africa makes some stunning Chenin Blancs but my favorites come from the Loire, specifically Vouvray, because of the honeyed expression the varietal tends to take. Chenin Blanc in general reminds me of an elegant version of all of my favorite childhood tart, fruity candies with the alcohol pay off. This baby is ready for drinking now and goes great with veggie dishes and white meats.
Domaine du Tariquet
Classic Ugni Blanc-Colombard
Cotes de Gascogne
I love this little oddball cheapy. It’s a French white made from grapes you’ve likely never heard of: Ugni Blanc and Colombard and honestly, it’s just a delicious, uncomplicated porch pounder. I like to break it out for friends who’d like to try a new varietal but still prefer nice, sweet fruit flavors. It has enough apple fruit on the palette to make it a great summer sipper or aperitif and enough tang and minerality to pair it with shellfish.
Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco
When people think of Rioja, they generally think of the reds and the delicious expression of the Tempranillo grape, the old style and chew of the wine and its outstanding capacity to age. But what of the whites? Well two types can emerge. One made for easy drinking alongside shellfish and starch dishes and one made for double decade long aging. But no matter which one you select, the price for the quality will always leave you in awe. This white is made predominantly of the Viura varietal, the same grape used to make Cava, or the Spanish version of Champagne. Its got grass and tropical fruit all over and around it.
Bodega Luigi Bosca
Finca La Linda
La Linda Torrontes from Argentina is so yummy! It’s not complex, it doesn’t inspire, it just goes down amazingly well. Just think of it as a wonderful ball of peaches and oranges with pretty floral aromas. I’d drink this by itself. No meat, no cheese, no fruit, just a glass and a sundress.