I don’t know about you all, but I find myself in a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc rut frequently, which is shame with so many other great whites out there. So, here are 5 must-try white varietals to keep you cool this summer! Because these are less known varietals, you can some high quality wines for a great value.
Grüner Veltliner is one of my favorite wines. It is Austria’s most widely planted varietal. The Grüner grape is versatile and can produce a wide array of wines, from light to rich and concentrated. The best dry Grüner Veltliners are bone dry and full bodied, with high acidity and distinctive notes of spice, white pepper, and lime. Grüner is an exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and is great with salads and anything green!
Entre-deux-Mers is a wine sub-region of Bordeaux in southwestern France. Entre-Deux-Mers translates to “between two seas” but it’s a misleading name. This large triangle of land actually lies between the Dordogne and Garonne river tributaries.
Entre-deux-Mers is home to multiple appellations, which produce wines in various styles. Although both red and white wine is produced in Entre-Deux-Mers, only the white carries the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) “Entre-Deux-Mers” name. These are unique, dry white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc.
Langhe is a hilly subregion in the Piemonte region of Italy. A Langhe DOC wine may be rosso, bianco or rosato (red, white or rosé!). It can be a blend or a varietal with the name of the grape variety on the label. It can be still, frizzante (semi-sparkling), novello (an early-release, youthful style for reds) or passito (made from dried grapes).
The one I linked above is obviously a white, but I’ve enjoyed different styles from this region!
Vermentino is a light-bodied, acidic white wine found primarily in three regions of Italy: Liguria, Sardinia and Tuscany, and in each of those territories, the plantings are very close to the sea. Wine from a maritime climate tends to display a minerality or saltiness in the finish – as though you are experiencing the tanginess of the sea when you are enjoying the wine – it’s delicious!
Soave is a dry white Italian wine made from the Garganega grape, coming from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. It’s super-popular across Italy, and an easy-drinking, food-friendly white. Soave wine is known for its melon and orange zest flavors as well as its ability to improve with age. As good as Soave has become in recent years, the region is still very undervalued, so it’s a great buy.
PS – On that note, I’ll be drinking wine instead of preparing the Sunday Seven this week – we’re headed to Willamette Valley for a few days of vineyards! I’ll catch up with you all and share a recap when I’m back!