Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Beyond The Standard White Wines

Do you belong to the 95+% wine consumers who only drink Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, maybe Pinot Grigio when it comes to white wine? Well, there is a whole other world of white wine out there, which would make the experience much more interesting. Let me suggest four other varieties and styles to try.

1) Assyrtiko. This Greek variety from the island of Santorini, grown on volcanic soil, is crisp and fresh, with strong minerality. This full flavoured wine often tastes of apple or citrus, and the acidity is good. It is now grown in Australia as well. Drink it instead of Sauvignon Blanc. You find a couple of reviews in my index.

2) Gruner Veltliner. This is an Austrian specialty, and these wines are widely available internationally. The key feature are the spicy flavours in this wine. It is one of the few wines which goes well with Asian, in particular Thai food.

3) Alsace Riesling. These Rieslings are very different from German, Austrian or Australian Rieslings. They are much richer and emphasize the texture of the wine. They can have honeyed flavours, even though the standard wines are dry. There is often spice as well. I like these wines with rich fish dishes.

4) Roussane/Marsanne. This is becoming a favourite of mine. These wines, originally from the Northern Rhone - and highly praised there -, but now planted in many places, are all about texture, not the fruit. The colour is sometimes off-white. Pear, nut and honey flavours characterize this rich wine style. It pairs extremely well with all kinds of food.

If you have not tried wines from these grapes, I suggest you do so, and you will discover much more variety in white wine. And then, I have not even talked about the white varieties of Northern Italy, Northern Spain, Turkey, Georgia and so on.   

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