It's easy to get stuck in a varietal rut and keep buying wines that are "tried and true" like the wine world's favorite white "sweetheart" - Chardonnay. However, with all of the interesting international white wines on the shelves, now is the perfect time to break out of a white wine box and shake things up. Try something new in the world of white wine and chances are good you won't be disappointed! To get you started, we've gathered a compelling entourage of perhaps lesser known, but not less inviting, white wines from around the globe.
This is a medium-bodied white wine from the Languedoc region of southern France. It delivers a delicate, floral bouquet with fresh acidity and the clean fruit flavors of lemon, pear, apple and a good bit of minerality on the palate. If you are new to this wine, the grape is “Picpoul,” and it is grown close to the Mediterranean coast. It is perfect for pairing up with freshly shucked oysters and other seafood favorites.
This stunning Riesling is from Germany's Nahe region. The nose highlights lemon lime aroma with a subtle, almost spicy edge. The palate profile yields a rich textured, well-balanced medley of citrus and tropical fruit harnessed with a clean, crisp acidity.
This Moscato d'Asti made from the Muscat grape is a sweet, semi-sparkling wine - a "frizzante." It is a light-bodied Italian white wine with a significantly lower alcohol level – typically around 8%. The Moscato d’Asti hails from Italy’s northwest Piedmont region and offers rich peach flavors drizzled with honey. It serves as a delicious aperitif and is virtually made for cheesecake.
The Montes Sauvignon Blanc brings a balance of ripe tropical fruits and citrus flavors on the nose with a quick scent of fresh hay. You'll notice lime, grapefruit, peach and pineapple on the palate with subtle herb features thrown in the mix and a vibrant burst of mouth-watering acidity. Montes has produced a fantastic value-priced wine that will catch your attention and have you scouting for more. Give it a go with grilled chicken and veggies, turkey-based dishes or just grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and pop the cork when you get home.
The 2007 Tiefenbrunner Castel Turmhof Gewurztraminer brings loads of honeyed pear and warm spice, this is a fuller-bodied aromatic white wine with a lush, persistent finish. Consider pairing with fresh seafood or smoked meats and cheese options.
The Grooner Grüner Veltliner brings Granny Smith apple, grapefruit, and bursts of minerality to the tasting experience. Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature white wine grape – a pleasing, food-friendly wine that is known for its crisp acidity and ability to embrace “hard to handle” foods like asparagus and Asian fare.
Expect incredible floral aroma in the form of Jasmine from this very vocal white wine find. The palate profile reveals loads of orange, peach all wrapped up in well-balanced acidity. This is Argentina’s signature white wine grape varietal and it is a prime example of what tantalizing taste adventures occur off of the well-worn Chardonnay path.
Rising from Spain’s northwest region, Rías Baixas, the Albariño grape makes its mark as an aperitif, or for pairing with fresh seafood, prosciutto, Asian chicken salad or gorgonzola and blue cheese. This particular Albariño presents grapefruit, lime and a lovely floral undertone on the nose. The palate offers loads of lemon and fantastic acidity, making for a wine with both zest and a cool, crisp finish.
A juicy blend of citrus and tropical fruit and tantalizing acidity on the palate, this Oregon wine is well on its way to snagging a significant following on both restaurant wine lists and in home cellars. Give it a try with fresh seafood or lighter pasta dishers.
This highly aromatic wine, brings lovely florality, stone fruit and lots of spice to both the nose and palate. The well-balanced acidity adds kick and zest to this sassy white wine find. Yalumba has had a good run with the Viognier grape in recent vintages and the '08 is sure to shine. For $11 a pop, this is a low risk way to experience a good value Viognier.
New Zealand is home to many notorious Sauvignon Blanc wines, and the Kim Crawford is no exception. Expect a melding of pineapple and peach with herb-based undertones on the palate, an earthy wine with plenty of flare. Kicks in a good bit of acidity and a pleasing finish, this is a fantastic wine for a creamy Italian pasta dish with oysters, mussels and shrimp.
If you are not familiar with the French Sancerrre, then this is a wine well worth checking into. It is a medium-bodied wine made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and is an engaging rendition of the grape in striking Old World style. Perhaps more subtle than its New World cousins, this wine brings plenty of citrus and grassiness on the nose. It's peaches and honeydew melon on the palate, all wrapped up in bright acidity and well grounded with minerality. This wine would be delicious with fresh fish, shellfish or poultry options.