There are red wine people and there are white wine people, and then there are people who understand how wonderful the whole world of wine can be. There are also seasonal wine people. These are folks who only drink white wine in the summer, and red wine, the rest of the year. My hope that all of these people can be convinced to come together and realize that there’s a wine of every color, or at least of three colors, that nearly everyone will love, and further, you can drink white, and pink wine for that matter, any time of the year.
To that end, here is a list of white wines that might go beyond what you typically think of when it comes to, well, white wine.
Yes, a white Pinot Noir, you read that correctly. An interesting note that many, even fairly experienced wine drinkers might not realize is that all wine grape juice is white. What makes a red wine, a red wine is the skins. And so, for example the most common way of making rosé is to take a typically red wine, and limit its contact with the grape skins. So, extrapolating that further, you could eliminate the color all together by not allowing any skin contact. In the case of this Pinot Noir from Oregon, is to allow for only limited skin contact, and the brightness of the wine is further highlighted by doing all of the fermentation in stainless steel. This wine is aromatically floral, and very similar to a rosé with aromas of cut strawberry and citrus. Flavors are fruit forward with an emphasis on stone fruit, nectarine and apricot skins. There is a bright minerality and zippy acidity to the finish.
2013 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Bianco, Umbria, Italy $20
An outstanding white wine from Umbria that blends Trebbiano and Grechetto as well as some Chardonnay. Umbria is a lesser known region just south of Tuscany. The wines made there are often seen as rustic and genuine, and that’s true, however Umbria can also produce some wonderfully refined wines. This white blend is highly refined and fleshy while also being bright, mineral driven and crisp. Aromas of apple blossom, peach skin and wet stone, open to layered flavors of fleshy peach, honey and minerality.
2013 Les Dauphins, Cotes du Rhone, Reserve Blanc, France $12
This blend from Les Dauphins is instead Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Clairette and Viognier. And while it’s the red wines from the region that are often the star, these white blends offer great acidity and balance, as well as fresh fruit and minerality. This blend highlights the fruit and fleshy character of Grenache Blanc with grapefruit and lime aromas, and hints of stone. The palate is ample stone and citrus fruits that offer brightness to the wine’s flavor profile that is further accented by it’s minerality and zippy acidity.
2013 Vin Del Massis Blanco, Catalonia, Spain $17
There are white wines that make you stand up and take notice and the Massis certainly does that. This unusual blend of Garnacha Blanco and Cava grape Xarello is one that offers loads of depth and complexity. The winemaking used extended grape skin contact, to offer a body to the wine, as well as a depth to the aromas. The use of French oak barrels only further drove the point that this is a serious white wine, at any price point, but especially at this bargain rate. Aromas of honey, flower pollen and chamomile along with cut pear. The flavors are wildly complex and interwoven, poached pear, honeycomb, along with granny smith apple and hazelnut. This is a white wine for red wine drinkers and might be a gateway wine for your dubious “red only” friends. Outstanding.