Remember in the first post of this guide, I told you that there are so many varieties of wines that I didn’t want to overwhelm you with all the terminology and the the number of wines there are? I am going to continue with the pattern of presenting the white wines you have most likely already encountered and then I will provide you with alternatives in a later post. Remember: Chardonnay & Moscato are white grape varieties. If only one variety is mentioned on the label, then the wine is called a varietal and is named after the grape.
The first time I got wine stupid was with Chardonnay. And honestly, I really feel like this is the wine that most of us start out with. The one that makes us feel fancy without really knowing what the fudge we are doing. “Give me the house Chardonnay, Please” does that sound familiar? That is as cringe-worthy as you can get. Chardonnay has 3 styles: Oaked, Unoaked & Sparkling. I am not going to get into them in this particular post. Chardonnay really needs its own post. Chardonnay (the grape) is versatile and has grown with success in various regions with different climatic conditions.
Pair it with: fish and chicken dishes.
Taste: Oaked Chardonnays are rich, full-bodied and have additional flavors of vanilla, butter and even caramel from the oak. A cool climate, buttery Chardonnay will have more citrus flavors versus a warm climate Chardonnay, which will have more tropical fruit flavors. Don’t look for this wine if you are looking for something sweet.
This Italian wine is very easy to drink due to its sweetness & light alcohol percentage. In fact, Moscato is base for one of the best dessert wines out there and can also be drank alone, by your lonesome. Moscato is one of the fastest growing wines on the American Market. Word out in the street is that Moscato’s growth occurred in part due to a lot of Hip-Hop artists endorsing it. Cool Read: THAT BLUE BOTTLE: HOW BLACK AMERICA FELL IN LOVE WITH A KOSHER WINE FROM ITALY.
Pair it with: spicy food, but really it’s best on its own.
Taste: Sweet, fruity, with a musky aroma.
Sauvignon Blanc originates in France. It is the go-to wine if when you want to pair with veggies. It is crispy fresh, and often referred as ‘grassy’ due to its low level of sugars and high levels of acidity. This is the wine that makes you feel you are sticking to your diet! Except it’s all a lie because you are munching on some delicious tortillas and salsa, while waiting for the tacos to come out.
Pair it with: salads, veggies, tacos, seafood, poultry.
Taste: Herbal Characters, grassy, tropical fruits like melons and mango.
This wine was born in the Rhine wine region of Germany. And while a lot of Rieslings are sweet there are dry versions of it as well. Germany & California tend to produce the sweet Riesling. If you are looking for dry think France, Austria, New York, and Washington. Most white wine is intended to be drunk soon after the opening but just like chardonnay, high-end Riesling can age for over a hundred years.
Pair it with: Dry versions go well with fish, chicken and pork dishes. I typically like to try smoky, semi-spicy Japanese food with this one.
Taste: Think fresh apples, crispy, lighter than Chardonnay, fresh.
Have you guys tried any alternatives to these four common whites? Which ones are your favorites?
Want to get notified when this series is updated? Subscribe for dibs on that info, as well as wine posts exclusively for our VIPs.