Like most wine lovers, I gravitate toward white and rosé wines in summer. But for most wine drinkers, the white wine pendulum tends to swing between Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. It doesn’t have to be that way!
So I’m writing about four types of white wine that go well with the season that aren’t all PG and Chardonnay. (And yes, I do include a Chardonnay in my list. But this unfiltered wine is quite unlike what most of us who imbibe come to expect from the grape.)
Try some not-so-typical white wines
According to a 2018 research paper by Dr. Liz Thatch, the only two types of white wine to make the list of the most popular wine styles in America were Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. However, there are more than twenty popular white wine grapes in the world and that doesn’t even include blends. Then there are the lesser-known grapes like Godello.
Of course, what you’re most likely to find at your local wine retailer is a good selection of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio plus a handful of fun things. So I’m not going to use this month’s column to try to educate you on types of white wine you’re going to have to work to hunt down. Because summer is supposed to be about fun and ease.
Instead, I’m sharing four whites I’ve found at my local retailer and I think you’ll enjoy. They don’t include anything to challenge your mind or palate. They’re just a nice break from your typical Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines.
My white wine recommendations for summer
2018 Amalaya Torrontés-Riesling Salta
The first wine on my list of types of white wine for summer is an incredible bargain at around $11. This unusual blend of Riesling with the Argentine grape Torrontés is pleasingly tropical. It’s got pretty guava and melon notes and hard-hitting lemon-lime acidity.
2018 Foundry Pinot Blanc
This lovely white from Pinot Blanc grapes grown in California’s Mendocino County is a nod to Alsace. It’s a gentle summer wine with floral and stone fruit aromas and juicy peach flavors. I love the weight of this wine and the minerality it shows on the finish.
2019 Theorum Vineyards Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc
Yes, it’s true that if you aren’t drinking Chard or PG, you’re probably drinking Sauvignon Blanc. But not a Sauvignon Blanc like this one. This wine is unlike any American white I’ve tried. It offers an almost spicy quality that’s exciting, invigorating and great with food. It also offers a surprisingly silky mouth feel that gives it an added layer of sensuality.
2016 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay
I promised there would be Chardonnay but you’ll note that there’s something different about this wine. First if all, it’s unfiltered. Secondly, the current release is 2016, which means it’s undergone more aging than you’re probably used to in a Chardonnay.
It’s pricier than the other types of white wine on today’s list, but for its complexity and sophistication, this wine is a bargain at $55. It’s got apple, peach, vanilla and roasted nut notes along with an indulgent, oily mouth feel and lingering finish.
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