Wine drinking, ideally, is a never-ending journey in trying new tastes and discovering new flavors.
Most of us are familiar with the white wine lineup of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and Riesling but there are many more whites to explore. Some of the most alluring whites in the world are hidden behind confusing labels. Often these wines are identified by region rather than grape.
A note about this weeks recommendations: The designations of value and splurge are relative to the specific regions and are not necessarily based on price.
ENTRE-DEUX-MERS, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
These aromatic wines are mostly made with sauvignon blanc, semillon and a small addition of ugni blanc and muscadelle. At its best, it tastes zippy and refreshing with layers of distinct aromas of lemon, lime and fresh-cut grass. This region covers a huge area so there is a largerange of prices and quality.
- 2011 Domaine Sainte-Anne Entre-Deux-Mers Blanc, France (about $15 retail)
- 2011 Chateau Bonnet Blanc, France (about $19 retail)
CHABLIS, BURGUNDY, FRANCE
Chablis is made from the very familiar chardonnay grape. Characteristics of chablis can range from steely mineral to fruity apple flavors due to the variations inthe use of oak in maturing the wines.
- 2010 Joseph Drouhin Chablis, France (about $25 retail)
- 2010 Joseph Faiveley Chablis, France (about $38 retail)
ORVIETO, UMBRIA, ITALY
Orvieto is made from the trebbiano grape and usually an array of other Italian whites are added into the blend. In the past, it was known as a sweetish style of wine using noble rotten grapes but the more modern styles are generally dry. It is aromatic with fresh, lemony fruit and the occasional hint of almond.
- 2011 Ruffino Orvieto, Italy (about $10 retail)
- 2011 Villa Antinori Orvieto, Italy (about $14 retail)
POUILLY-FUME, LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
This crisp French white is made from the well-known sauvignon blanc grape. It is bone dry and has much less acidity than its zippy New Zealand rival. Famous for its smoky, gunflint flavor, it is layered with fresh lemon, mineral and floral aromas.
- 2010 Sauvion Pouilly-Fume, France (about $35 retail)
- 2010 Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume, France (about $45 retail)