There are roughly nine weeks left of “traditional” summer—Memorial Day to Labor Day—and hopefully you’ve been able to buy and enjoy some lovely wines. I’m betting that you’ve quaffed a few Rosés, ideally some of them with some aroma, fruit, and character (and not those watery, pale and insipid ones).
Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll make a pledge to just this once, stay away from the big 4: Chardonnay, the Queen; Pinot Grigio, the rook; Sauvignon Blanc, the knight; and Riesling, the King. There are so many other wonderful whites out there, so please give them a try. Look at them as varietal treats during the Pandemic: if you can’t get out and about, stay in and luxuriate! Here they are, all nine and one bonus, with the name of the wine, the grape (sometimes the same) and their provenance.
Albarino (Albarino, Rias Baixas/Galicia) – Crisp and refreshing
Gavi di Gavi (Cortese/Italy) – From Piedmont, acidic and lean, great with seafood and shellfish.
Gewürztraminer (Gewürztraminer/Alsace, France) – Comes in versions from dry, to off-dry, to sweet; great with Asian and Indian food.
Dry Furmint (Furmint/Hungary) – The sweet version is Tokaji, an expensive dessert wine that comes in several levels of sweetness. The dry version is amazing.
Etna Bianco (Carricante, Catarratto, Grecanico, Inzolia and Minnella/Sicily) –Yes, that Mount Etna –boom–savory, slightly salty, refreshing.
Godello (Godello/Spain) – Often compared to Chardonnay, but rounder, mineral-y, and peachy.
Picpoul De Pinet (Piquepoul blanc/France) – Means “Lip Stinger.” Does the job.
Torrontes (Torrontes/Argentina) – Aromatic but bone dry. Think scallops, raw oysters.
Viognier (USA) (Viognier/Condrieu, France) – My favorite white, rich and apricot-y. Slightly viscous and way aromatic.
White Chateauneuf du Pape (Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc, Clairette Rose, Grenache Gris, Picardan Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc and Piquepoul Gris/France) – Complex, rich, and rare. There is a red version too, which is peppery.