White Wines for Summer Sipping

White wine is so much more than your mother’s oaky Chardonnay[1]. Not that there’s anything wrong with a nice oaky Chard, but sometimes it pays to try something new. The options are endless; you could literally go the entire summer without drinking an oaky Chard and still have more delicious whites to try. So let’s get this summer party started with some cool, refreshing bottles of wine, none of which I’ve ever had before, and all of which you should taste.

File Jun 01, 8 32 45 PMFirst up is the white Barolo I grabbed on Last Bottle[2]. It was hands down, one of the best white wine I’ve ever had. Seriously. Thick, beautiful mouthfeel, a touch of green grass, a note of honey, a sprinkling of citrus. No minerality to speak of. A big, bold beautiful white. The label is a bit on the confusing side, but after a bit of digging it all became clear. The label touted it as a 2014 Gavi by Marchesi di Barolo. Barolo is, after all, a region and not a grape variety, so this was made from the Cortese grape, a varietal I’ve not had, at least to my knowledge. Marchesi di Barolo is a producer in Piedmont, Italy which began making wines in the early 1800s. Gavi is a DOCG[3] region, DOCG being the highest classification for Italian wines, located in the southern part of Piedmont which is in northwest Italy. The area produces exclusively white wines, including some sparklers, in a growing area of about 3,600 acres. This bottle in varying vintages is available online between $14 and $20, but if you can’t find this particular one[4], then you should definitely seek out another from the region. I plan on getting more myself.

File Jun 01, 8 33 17 PMThe 2012 Jean-Marc Bernhard Pinot Blanc was also delightful. Cool, crisp and refreshing. A lighter mouthfeel than the Barolo, not a huge nose. A touch of peach and some crazy pineapple, but very approachable. Ever so slightly sweet without being a syrupy dessert wine. A perfect pairing with a salty parmesan. Or maybe some pan seared scallops. Mmmmmm. Pinot Blanc is apparently a genetic mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, and occasionally a vine will bear clusters of Pinot Noir with just one bunch of Pinot Blanc. This variety tends to be affordable, and though the origins of this bottle are an extreme mystery to me[5], it retails for about $13. It hails from Alsace, which looks to be a fairy tale hamlet over in France. Having never been there, I can’t say whether it’s really that cute or not, but I’m going to put it on my Wine Bucket List, stat. I also plan to drink more of this delicious Alsace Pinot Blanc.

This is apparently a real live place called Colmar. Photo Credit PlanetWare

File Jun 01, 8 33 37 PMNext up is the 2015 Miriam Alexandra Chenin Blanc[6]. This was my second bottle and I loved it even more the second time around. Crazy peach, lots of minerality with an awesome mouthfeel. A beautiful pale straw color, it went perfect with the meat and cheese nosh we had out for Memorial Day. This wine was made by Alexandra Farber, a wine maker funded by my friends over at Naked Wines. This was in my random sampler box from when I used my free $100 coupon code[7]. I was skeptical at first, but almost every bottle out of the box has been excellent, so I’ve become an Angel. Definitely worth a try if you haven’t already. Chenin Blancs have consistently been good values for me; a great white alternative and they’re relatively easy to find since the grape is grown in many areas of the world. Definitely worth a sip or twelve. I mean two.

File Jun 01, 8 32 59 PMFinally[8], the 2013 Le Petit Sauvignon Blanc by Coquerel Family Wine Estates, another Last Bottle win. While Sauvignon Blanc isn’t exactly rare, I’ve found that most of them are too metallic and tinny for me. When this came around for $10 a bottle I was skeptical, but I figured at that price, it couldn’t hurt. I’m glad I have three more because the beautiful citrus on this really pops. One sip and the result is an InstaSmile[9]. None of the harsh minerality that I’ve come to associate with Sauvignon Blanc, instead it’s a light, fresh, truly enjoyable glass of wine[10]. The Coquerel Family vineyards are located in Northern Napa Valley in the Calistoga AVA. I guess it turns out I love Napa whites as much as I love Napa reds[11].

So go forth, alleged blog readers, and find your new white wine for summer! Start with these or find something new and tell me about it in the comments!

Cheers to warm weather adventures! Until the next glass!

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Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Well, maybe not your mother, but my mother certainly loves it.
[2] I’m literally kicking myself for only grabbing one.
[3] DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
[4] Because you didn’t order when it came up on Last Bottle
[5] I have no idea where it came from. It’s been in my basement for a while, so I decided to drink it.
[6] Sadly it’s out of stock and I’m very sad.
[7] If you haven’t used your free $100 yet, you’re crazy, but I’m here to help you out. You get $100 off an order of at least $165, so you essentially pay $65 for a case of wine. And the wine is good. So far, really good. Click here to get started. You’re welcome.
[8] I mean “finally” in the sense that I’m not going to include any more bottles in this post, not “finally” in the sense that I’m not going to drink other delicious white wines this summer.
[9] A phrase I just coined, although I’m sure it’s been done before. Translates to “instant smile”.

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Spring flowers make me InstaSmile. In case you hadn’t noticed #GardenBlooms

[10] It paired well with my gourmet dinner of hot-sauce laden left-over pasta salad, topped with tortilla chips. Who am I? #adultingishard
[11] How was Napa not on my Wine Bucket List?! It is now.