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Have you ever heard of salty wine?

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We regularly talk about the fruit notes in wine, but have you ever heard someone describe a white wine as“salty?” As bizarre as it may sound, it’s a regular flavour profile, and a delicious one at that. Whether you’re devouring a platter of oysters or sipping a glass on your patio in the summer, these intriguing whites are sure to give your palate a nervy shock

The wines are not made with salt – no winemaker has salt bags in their cellar – but there are several reasons why these wines obtain that saline note.

Geography is one of the important factors; many of the vineyards are located near large bodies of water and saltwater elements from the ocean, carried over by air currents, are deposited in the soil or even on grape skins

Talking of dirt, soils themselves, such as volcanic or chalky, could contribute to that flavour profile as well. It is commonly acknowledged that the chemical composition of a particular parcel of land affects the wine’s taste. Although unfounded, certain grape varieties may also have organic compounds, much like terroir, that render them “salty.”

To finalize, grapes with a high acid content bestow as well to the salty sensation on the palate. That wrinkling feeling could be interpreted as saline. As a matter of fact, vines with on a beachfront tend to produce higher-acid grapes; climatic influences from the sea keep temperatures cool and stable, so grapes ripen slowly and retain acidity.

Salty may not sound refreshing at first, but that salty crispness can be quite refreshing. It is important to note that a saline wine is a great partner with shellfish and dishes.

The wines below all have different degrees of salinity and are great introduction to the sensation. Some of the world wine appellations that yield the greatest saline wines include Côtes de Gascogne, Loire Valley and Saint-Bris in France. In Spain, there are the Canary Islands and Rias Baixas. Greece has Santorini while Italy is lucky to have the intriguing world of Campania whites.

Pyrène Beau manseng 2017 SAQ# 13188778 $14.80

Fun on the nose with crunchy tropical fruit. Vibrant and energetic with a salty deliciousness and a sensual roundness that finish off in a wavy lingering finale. Amazing wine for under $15.00. Perfect with sushi or salmon tartar.

Amazing wines to try:

Château du Coing de Saint-Fiacre Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sur lie 2016

SAQ# 11154259 $18.00

Aromas of quince, hay and white tea. Crisp and juicy with delicate rock salt flavours. Medium finale. Try it with a plate of cold oysters.

Bailly-Lapierre Saint-Bris 2017 SAQ# 10870211 $19.35

Beautiful nose featuring green bell pepper, lime complemented by dill as well. Mouth Watering with a cleansing finale. A stellar wine to pair with shrimp and goat cheese pasta.

Château de Nages, Michel Chassier Buti Nages Blanc,

Costieres de Nimes 2017 SAQ# 13808682 $15.95

Very floral with fragrant hints of citrus and exotic tropical fruits in a delicious mineral coating. Medium to full body. Crisp and fleshy with a wonderful balance. It has to be the best white under $16 at the SAQ at the moment. Tilapia vegetable stir fry.

Château de Pocé Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2017 SAQ# 10689606 $14.95

Delicate citric fruit undertones with herbal flavours and a touch of flint. On the palate, medium body with a crisp acidity and lingering finale.

Marco Giovanetti – info@mtltimes.ca

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