Ahhhh Summer Time… nothing like sitting out on the back deck sipping a cool drink on a warm day, right? And apparently, a lot of you agree! So much so that at the store, the staff and vendors refer to this as “White Wine Season.” (Keep in mind this is in addition to (my fav) Rosé season discussed in previous post!!) Next time you walk into my store, take a look at the type of wine we stack on displays and you’ll see what I’m talking about. From zippy, refreshing grapefruit and citrus filled New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs to their delicious California counter parts enticing you with their melon and stone fruit notes, you’ll find oodles to choose from. So, what else is out there? Craving a little change? Hold on folks, I have some ideas…
Hello, Bordeaux Blanc. Sounds fancy, but is it? There’s something about old world wines that make people hesitant – and that’s why we’re talking about it! Bordeaux Blanc is a blend of two or more grape varietals from the region of Bordeaux, France. Bam, that’s it! Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillion and sometimes Muscadelle are used to create this gorgeous wine. Generally, there are two styles; your common reasonably priced ones are light and fruity, enticing you with notes of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry and lime along with passionfruit, honey and sometimes a grassy or herbal note. If you happen to stumble upon a Bordeaux Blanc from Pessac-Leognan, they tend to be a little fuller and richer in flavor. These Sémillion based wines are the “Grand Cru” of this bunch, sharing notes of baked apples, pears, orange zest, lemon butter, creme brulée and even chamomile. They’re amazing and will definitely be at a higher price point. All of these wines shine with dishes that have basil, lime, avocado or garlic.
Hello, Grüner Veltliner. My favorite wine blogger, Madeline Puckette, calls this the exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. Grüner Veltliner is a dry white wine that grows primarily in Austria, but can also be found in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The wine is super zippy with fresh bursts of lime, lemon and grapefruit, but you will also find a unique herbaceous note. Grassy notes and sometimes a bit of pepper can be tasted. Even the wine itself can appear a bit green, but don’t worry, that’s normal! Now, what do you pair with this one? You really can’t go wrong with a seafood dish, but also keep this one in mind for any challenging veggie dishes (artichokes, asparagus).
For those of you who like to stop and smell the flowers, try a Viognier (Vee-own-yay). Also, if your nose is tired and you’re tired of people effusively gushing about aromatic wine notes, this is your girl. The peach and honeysuckle aromas are hard to miss, and graciously followed by light flavors of tangerine or mango. If it’s barrel aged and fuller bodied, you’ll even get a hint of vanilla. Originally bottled only in France, Viognier now has so many fans you can find it produced all over the world. Where would you find this wine in the store? Check out the Australia (dryer, crisper style) and California (fruitier style) sections. What would you pair with this? Think spicy. Dishes with heat will be perfectly balanced by the touch of fruit.
There you have it. Grab a few of these secret gems and “wow” the crowds at your next cookout. Cheers to your new wine-spiration!