Writer / Kurt Wieneke
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Warmer weather is here, so it’s time to have a glass (or two) of white wine out on the deck. Wine always seems more enjoyable to me when I drink it outdoors. I don’t know why, but let’s chalk it up to that’s where it comes from. Winemaking is just a way of getting the grapes from the vine into the glass.
Here are some white wines to seek out this summer:
The main thing to remember is to find one from Germany where this grape shines best. Look for the three (increasing) levels of sweetness levels listed on the label – kabinett, spatlese and auslese. If none of these are listed, it’s probably a Qualitatswein (or QbA) in the fine print, which is the entry level and also a good starting point. A couple to look for would be the Leitz Dragonstone or the ‘Dr. L’ (Loosen Bros.).
This Spanish white wine (and grape) is a delight even to the most jaded of connossieurs. If you like Chardonnay, you will also like Albarino because it has a similar textural profile (I call it ‘fatness’). Pour a glass of chilled Albarino at your next outing, and you’ll be traveling to Spain without the airfare.
You have a lot of regions to choose from when shopping for Sauvignon Blanc – California, New Zealand and (wait for it…) yes, even Bordeaux.
As far as California, I really like Geyser Peak’s version – very fruity with good balancing acidity. My sister-in-law likes the New Zealand versions because they have a more concentrated and in-your-face style. But why not go traditional? A classic White Bordeaux is real deal Sauvignon Blanc.
Translated as “gray pinot,” this refers to the hint of gray color in this grape’s skin. There are three regions where this wine is most popular. Pinot Grigio is the Italian version. Pinot Gris from the Alsace region of France is the textbook version. But hold the presses – the ones from Oregon are a true revelation with a fruit-forward style that will have you smacking your lips. Try the King Estate or the ‘A to Z’ Winery for starters.
Where can I find these wines, you might ask? Well, you can probably find a decent Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc in your local supermarket. Outside of that, the best place to find these types of wines is your local wine merchant or a larger liquor store chain.
When you do find one, hit the deck and enjoy the sunset!