Beyond Sauvignon Blanc: Other White Wines to Savor
Put down that glass of Sauvignon Blanc! If that's your go-to white of the summer, you may feel like you're all set and don't need to discover anything else. But everyone drinks Sauv Blanc — to the point where it may even be a little boring. There's a wide world of whites out there that can be just as enjoyable and refreshing — in totally different ways! Give them a shot and you may find yourself loving something new this season.
Here's a little primer on your other summertime options.
Not all Chardonnays are your grandmother's Chardonnay — aged in oak, with a rich and buttery profile. Of course, you can still find those types of Chardonnays, but unoaked variations, which are all the rage nowadays, are more lean and zesty, with flavors of lemon and apple. Sounds refreshing and perfect for the summer? It totally is.
Wine to try: The Stag North Coast Chardonnay
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris
These two wines are actually made from the same grape; one is the Italian version, the other is French. The French method of making this wine is more involved, and the resulting wine more aromatic. But they're both similar to Sauvignon Blanc in that they're crisp and fresh — an excellent choice for the warmer months. Pinot Grigio/Gris can be more neutral on the nose than Sauv Blanc, making it easier to pair with food.
Wine to try: Neptune's Trident Terre Siciliane IGT Pinot Grigio
If French grapes are your thing, pour yourself a glass of Bordeaux Blanc, or white Bordeaux. This designation simply indicates that two or more of the grapes in the blend are of Bordeaux origin, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, or Muscadelle. (So you may be drinking Sauv Blanc after all!) Most Bordeaux Blanc wines are light, citrusy, and quite delicious.
Wine to try: L'Esprit de L'Escalier Bordeaux Blanc
Chenin Blanc is the hipster version of Sauvignon Blanc. Largely produced in South Africa, it's more off the radar than Sauv Blanc is, even though they have similar qualities — dry, crisp, easy to sip — making it more coveted by those in the know. But hipster approval aside, Chenin can be very tasty and at times even quite complex.
Wine to try: Die Argitek Western Cape Chenin Blanc
If you love Sauvignon Blanc but wish it could be less sweet, Muscadet is the grape for you. Lean and highly acidic, Muscadet is (unlike Sauv Blanc) bone dry and sort of green in flavor — none of that peach blossom stuff. Instead, savor in the bracing lime and salt qualities of this distinctive white wine.
Wine to try: Les Roches Gaudinières Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie