The pleasures of enjoying white wine
White wine – When I started tasting and drinking wine, I remember not being a fan of white wine. I’m not sure why, but I always tended to gravitate towards drinking red medium to full bodied styles of wine. And Rose, huh, was not even in a corner of the picture.
But after a few years, I started to drink and enjoy white wines. I still was not into sweet white wines , such as some Rieslings or Moscatos, but was developing a palate for higher acidity wines such as Sauvignon Blanc.
Stylistically, white wines offer a far more diverse palate of food-friendly examples for the table, quick improvised occasions and light enjoyable “thirst quenchers” as an aperitif. Your choices may change with the seasons, but the range of whites available will enhance your vinous enjoyment all through the year.
Whites are enjoyed across the world to complement local cuisine such as the rich fish and seafood of the Mediterranean and the exotic range of Asian cuisine such as Thai or Vietnamese.. Some of the lesser-known favourites we see in the Canadian market today are Albariño from Spain, Torrontés from Argentina, Grüner Veltliner from Austria, Verdelho from Portugal and Arneis from Italy among many others.
Still many people are confused about white wine. For the beginner, here are some of the most common kinds of white wine:
Chardonnay – The most famous type of white wine is worthy of the superstardom. This type of wine originated in France from grapes of the same name. Its flavor reminds one of the fruity taste of tropical pineapple, peach, citrus and apple combined with a dose of vanilla, oatmeal, and nuts. Chardonnay looks very elegant in a glass with its deep yellow to light greenish transparence.
Sauvignon Blanc – Another wine that comes from France, specifically around the Loire valley, the Sauvignon Blanc can also be found in New Zealand and Chile. Its flavour brings to freshness of the pastures around its area, reminding one of the aroma of freshly cut grass, giving the wine an herbaceous flavour with hints of fruits. It is best to enjoy this wine immediately as its fresh flavour doesn’t last long.
Chenin Blanc – Another child of the Loire valley, this exceptional wine usually goes under the radar as the underdog of the wine kingdom. However its flavours are wonderful with hints of tangy pineapple and lime combined with the sweetness of honey and liquorice. Depending where it comes from, it can keep up to 10 years.
Gewurztraminer – The place of birth is from Alsace, France. A wine with an outgoing personality with hints of spice and floral taste.
Pinot Gris – A crisp and smoky wine with nuances of apricot that originated from Alsace, North Eastern Italy, and New Zealand.
Riesling – a noble tea-like, honey flavoured wine coming from Alsace in France, or from Germany.
There are so many other kinds of white wines, all evoking elegant and luscious flavours that make them perfect companions for soft cheeses, white sauced pasta, fish and poultry. Of course one can have a glass with any meal or by itself depending on one’s preference.
Douglas Green Chenin Blanc 2015 ( Western Cape, South Africa)
SAQ: 12698872 $9.55
On the nose aromas that bring to mind green apples with yellow peaches and citrus fruits. On the mouth, medium body with zesty tropical fruit flavours. Simple yet quite delicious. Have it with Alfredo Pasta and Grilled Chicken
Jean-Claude Boisset Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 ( Burgundy, France)
SAQ: 11675708 $24.45
An entry level burgundy well made. Subtle touches of oak with classic chardonnay notes of pear, green apples and white flowers. On the mouth, easy going and round with a fresh acidity. Flavours are consistent with the nose bringing to mind gingerbread spice. Drink it know or keep it for a few years on the cellar. The ultimate wine for scallops
Auxey-Duresses Camille Giroud 2014 ( Burgundy, France)
SAQ: 12769280 $47.50
On the nose, nuances that bring to mind river pebbles with smoke, beeswax and luxurious oak. On the mouth, full body. Firm, classy. Powerful with a incredible freshness and acidity. Delicious to drink now but can be kept for 10 years. Enjoy it with roasted pheasant or rabbit
Château Chasse-Spleen Blanc de Chasse-Spleen 2015 ( Bordeaux, France)
SAQ # 11976404 $38.25
Very aromatic. Lovely nose of cloves, flaked coconut with vanilla bean. With time in the glass, lovely nuances of grapefruit peel, wax and orange water. Fresh and bright with a beautiful equilibrium. Nice tingle of mineralogy at the end. Would pair nicely with salmon fillet in a dill sauce.