Days of Light & Wines of White
If you're switching to white wine for summer, here are more options to sip.
Summer is finally here! It’s time for bright blue skies, warm weather and soaking in the sunshine. Make the season even better by heading to your fridge and pouring yourself a perfectly chilled glass of white wine.
Venture beyond your usual white wine rotation and try something that expands your palate this year. Most of us have explored the classic wines of summer—chardonnay, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc—so it’s time to switch it up with some lesser-known wines that will pair sensationally with your summer activities and menus.
Here are four new white wines to add to your summer sipping enjoyment.
Verdejo from Spain
For those who love the crisp and refreshing taste of sauvignon blanc, you’ll likely also enjoy a Spanish verdejo. This grape is full of herbaceous, lime and honeydew flavors with a zingy acidity to boot.
Start with the delicious and affordable 2019 Alberto Sanz Verdejo Rueda. At only $9.99, it’s packed with tropical fruit notes and light notes of green apple. Explore further with a sip of the 2019 Cuatro Rayas Organic Verdejo Rueda. Not only does this wine have an energizing zip of crunchy fruit, it’s certified organic and just $13.99.
Drink either of these wines with any light fare such as citrusy chicken, fish, sheep’s milk cheeses (like manchego) or dishes that include tarragon, basil, cayenne or cumin.
Grüner Veltliner from Austria
Are you looking for a wine with irresistible acidity to pair with a poolside day? Head over to the Austrian section of your local wine shop and look for grüner veltliner. You’ll find lots of stone fruit, white pepper and herb essences in a glass of Austria’s most popular white wine.
An excellent entry to this grape is the 2019 Little Cricket Grüner Veltliner. At $11.99, this wine is clean and crisp with lots of green fruits and flinty characteristics in each sip. If you fall in love, be sure to step it up and try the Proidl Rameln Grüner Veltliner from Kremstal. You’ll spend a little more ($25.99) but the quality is all there. You’ll find an exceptionally developed wine that will leave you wishing you bought a second bottle.
Pair these wines with a light meat like chicken or a seafood option like sashimi.
Chenin Blanc from … Many Places
You may have seen chenin blanc on the shelf of your favorite bottle shop because it’s grown all over the world. If you want something with a rich kiss of sweetness that’s balanced by a crisp golden fruit nuance, then try this varietal.
Stay a little Old World and give the 2017 Domaine de la Racauderie Gautier Vouvray Demi-Sec a try. Priced at $19.99, this wine has notes of yellow apple, candied ginger and a savory minerality at the finish. But don’t stop there.
South Africa has been taking the chenin blanc market by storm. The 2019 Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc from the Swartland region is a must-have for any chenin blanc enthusiast at $16.99. These ripe grapes spent some time aging on the lees (lees are the dead yeast cells and other particles remaining in a wine after fermentation) to create a round texture and honey blossom flavor backed by a hint of crisp stone fruit.
Complement these wines with your favorite spicy cuisine.
Vinho Verde from Portugal
The last in this roundup is more of a regional wine blend than a grape varietal. Vinho Verde is a region within Portugal that has made a particular style with select native grapes. What you will always find in a Vinho Verde is a slightly effervescent wine that’s brimming with acidity, lemon and lime zest. This is also a nice low-alcohol option when you’re looking for something light to drink.
The 2019 Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Vinho Verde Branco is a great choice to sip on a hot summer day. This $9.99 bottle of wine is dominated by green apple and white pepper notes. A second option is the Portal da Calçada Vinho Verde Branco Reserva, priced at $12.99, which has a fuller body but still holds its citrus zest and crispiness.
Pair these wines with anything green—cilantro, limes and herbs of all sorts.
All these wines should be served fairly cold—45 to 50 degrees for lighter wines and 50 to 55 degrees for wines with more body. This optimal serving temperature is slightly warmer than most home refrigerators, so for the best results don’t leave your wine to chill overnight. The wine won’t be ruined if you forget to take it out early. The chill might be just what you need to cool off during the dog days.
With three whole months of summer there’s plenty of time to try all these recommendations and more. Be sure to ask your local wine specialist for additional suggestions.
Enjoy this summer with a sip of something special.
Jessica Roberts has worked with Fine Wine & Good Spirits for six years, taking the position of Wine Specialist a year and a half ago. What began as a hobby soon blossomed into a satisfying career. Jessica works at the Premium Collection store in Phoenixville. Stop by for one of her tastings or just to ask a question. Learn more at FWGS.com.
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