Wine 101: Whites

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We’re back with the next installment of Wine 101! Last month we introduced our favorite sparkling wines, and below are five different varieties of white wines all within this same price point of $20 or less.

Drinking a refreshing glass of white wine on a warm summer night sounds like paradise, and this post is here to help you achieve that! Read on…and drink up!


2014 Colle Stefano Verdicchio di Matelica {Verdicchio}, Marche, Italy – $17.99

Whites1aDescription: If you usually go for a Sauvignon Blanc, try this Verdicchio! Filled with aromas of green pear, white peach, white flowers and lemony citrus, this wine is fresh and crisp and the acidity in it pairs fabulously with food. It’s produced in a town called Matelica in the Marche region of Italy {known for more fine, minerally wines} at a family vineyard by Fabio Marchionni. The wine is made with painstaking care – all in stainless steel {no oak flavors} and only recently by machine – formerly, it was all bottled, corked and labeled by hand! – and in small batches {less than four thousand cases annually} to ensure the absolute best flavors.

Pair with: seafood; olives and toasted almonds

Keywords: aromatic white; crisp; dry; tart citrus fruit; fresh cut herbs; salty


2014 La Sibilla Campi Flegrei {Falanghina}, Campania, Italy – $17.99


Description: If you normally drink Pinot Grigio, try a Falanghina. Filled with aromas of fresh lemony citrus, tarragon, golden delicious apples and citrus blossoms, this wine combines a richness of fruit, bright acidity, and fresh, chalky mineral notes to create an easy drinking wine. The region where this wine comes from is known for it’s sandy soil and ungrafted wines – meaning the vines are just one varietal of grape without attaching to another grape {most wines today are grafted} – making for a distinctive flavor. Family-run by Luigio di Meo, the vineyard employs a temperature-controlled, stainless steel vinification and aging process to avoid the flavors being muddied by oak.

Pair with: appetizers; seafood; easy drinking wine

Keywords: crisp; mineral white; orchard fruit; light bodied; chalky


2013 Philippe Tessier Cheverny {Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay-Orbois}, Loire, France – $18.99



Description: This is a great wine if you like wines aged in an oak. Featuring more balance and less butter, this wine has aromas of tangerine, gooseberry, bosc pear and shaved fennel, and comes from young vines {less than 20 years old} in a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chardonnay and 5% de Orbis. Aged in old, neutral barrels, the oak offers a background to the wine to soften the tart fruit flavors without overpowering. Phillipe Tessier farms his wines utilizing organic principles to honor and respect the balance of his vines and local ecosystem. He harvests by hand, uses neutral oak barrels and native yeast, and nominally filters, thus creating wines that reflect the original character of the vine, soil and vintage rather than the hand of the winemaker.

Pair with: charcuterie; goat cheese; shellfish; fish

Keywords: oaked white; riper fruit; creamy texture; balanced not buttery


2013 Birichino {Malvasia Bianca}, Monterey County, California – $16.00


Whites4aDescription: To seek value in a California wine, skip the famous grapes! A tropical bounty of lychee, jasmine, honeysuckle and lime citrus, this wine boats a rich fruit flavor without being sweet. A perfect for a refreshing aperitif or a poolside party. Alex Krause and John Locke have a combined forty-year background in winemaking in California, France, Italy and beyond, and they founded Birichino {which means naughty in Italian} in Santa Cruz in 2008. They source from carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards, prefer minimal interventions and native fermentations, employ stainless steel and neutral barrels, and often avoid filtration. However, their chief focus is on attaining a perfect balance of perfume, poise and puckishness to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize and revive.

Pair with: salad; sliced pear; orange chicken

Keywords: tropical fruit; rich mouthfeel; long finish; softer more voluptuous wine


2014 Robert Weil “Tradition” {Riesling}, Rheingau, Germany – $19.99


Description: If you like sweet wines, try out a Riesling with a balance. This wine features a gorgeous nose featuring white peach, apricot, lime cordial, wet stone and acacia blossoms – and it goes down like water! Silky on the palate with wonderful fruit and piercing acidity that is perfectly balanced by the slightest note of sweetness. Founded in 1875, Weingut Robert Weil is one of the finest producers in the Rheingau region, which is known for growing ripe, full-bodied Rieslings. Wilhelm Weil, the great-grandson of the estate’s founder, carries on the uncompromising, quality-owned vineyard and cellar practices that have been the hallmark of this estate for four generations. The Estate Riesling Tradition is a classic rendition of the traditional off-dry style that made the Rheingau famous.

Pair with: pork; rich fish {ex: salmon, tuna}; spicy food; sweet desserts; vegetarian dishes; easy drinking

Keywords: off dry white; balance of sugar and acidity; floral bouquet




xoxo NPJ

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