Anyone who enjoys Pinot Grigio will love the fuller, rounded and complex style of this gorgeous Gavi. There’s crisp apple and smooth spiciness. Lovely with creamy pasta, or grilled fish.
White flowers and white peach flavours make a wonderful match with white meats and fish. This is floral and fresh, with a bright persistence that lingers on your palate. A true classic from a family-run producer.
Ten generations of family expertise a packed into this delicious, fruity Sancerre. It has all the tang and vibrancy of Sancerre, with a lime and yellow plum fruit. Goat’s Cheese, fish and even lightly spiced chicken dishes are great matches.
There are lots of Sauvignon Blancs, but few count as classics. This is a go-to wine for Kiwi Sauvignon lovers like us. Gooseberries, lime and tropical fruit, it’s a juicy, fruity wine for drinks with friends and a perfect partner for Pacific Rim spiced dishes.
Along with the partner red, this was a huge surprise when it arrived, fresh from an Island off the coast near Cannes. The monks make the most of a particularly good soil and cool, fresh coastal breezes to keep the freshness in the grapes. They also cleverly lift the peachy aromas of Chardonnay with the zest of Clairette, a local grape more suited to the warm climate.
There’s a reason sommeliers love Chenin from the classic appellations of the Loire. It’s in the tension and fruit purity. There’s a smokiness (notionally from “Les Choisilles” – black flint) too, and it all combines into a fabulous food matching style. It’s a great foil to the sort of complex, poised, thoughful food you find in the finest restaurants.
Here is a massive insider tip. It’s going to be harder to buy Chablis for the next few years as the harvests have been tough. But switch to Colares Malvasia like this gorgeous wine and you’ll have plenty of intense, minerally, slightly iodine tang fun in the same style. Awesome with shellfish, gorgeous with hake.
You know that prickle of refreshing zest you get in a perfectly made gin and tonic. This is wine’s answer. And it’s better. There’s a spectrum of citrus with everything from lime to grapefruit, and then the wine’s characteristic tingly fizz. It’s the perfect sharpner at the start of the evening, or at 11.5%, it’s a great choice for lunch.
Verdejo is like Spain’s classy answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Lots of citrussy fruit with an elegant restraint. It’s a refreshing, early-evening kind of wine, and Rioja producer Marques de Riscal is one of those who’ve captured Verdejo’s aromatic loveliness and made it famous. Have it with lighter salads, fish and chicken.
We are reliably informed, do NOT pour your Txakoli from a height to froth up the light fizz. It’s only for tourists. Pour normally, nicely chilled and enjoy the brightly, zesty citrus aromas and refreshing palate. Itsas (“sea”) and Mendi (“mountains”) tell you all about what this wine goes with (fish) and where it comes from (the hills).
Vibrant, refreshing and bright. This has a core of delectable peach fruit, but it’s the passionfruit zest and the lemon zinger freshness that gives the wine lift and vibrancy. The food-matches for these Rieslings are endless. Vietnamese and Thai dishes are a favourite. Spiced salads too work beautifully. And even barbecue dishes work a treat.
Weissburgunder is German for Pinot Blanc, and it captures the floral, creamy soft style of the grape. Fermented dry, with a keen, mineral freshness, this is a great match for lots of seafood and salad dishes. But it also works with pork, sausages and slightly fatty meats, cutting through the richness beautifully.
Let’s get into German wine terms. The producer here is Heinrich Klohr. He’s growing Riesling, in this case in the heart of the Palatinate, with its long association with Munich to the south. It was harvested from beautifully ripe grapes (Kabinett) and then fermented dry (Trocken). Look for apple, pear and pineapple aromas and a bright, eager character.
I’ve loved this wine for a long time. This lures you into the best German winemaking. It’s ripe and dense and marked by a clear, bright apple character, but fermented dry (rather than the off-dry, lighter style of Kabinett wine in the past). This mixes a musky sweetness with a dry finish; a luscious texture with a food-loving palate. Experiment with pan-Asian flavours and lighter white meats.
Vermentino is a brilliant grape to have in your wine-back-pocket. It’s like a warm-climate Sauvignon with racy, citrus fruit through to more complex, mineral textures and flavours like here. It’s also just more interesting than so much Sauvignon. This is a corker, made by the super-smart Antinori family, with herbal complexity and richness making it ideal for interesting pasta dishes and salads.
Is this the world’s most dangerous wine? A curious blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from Mount Bargylus near the Roman city of Antioch in Syria. For the taste, thing of a broader version of white Bordeaux (oak, citrus, stone fruit) and a minerally, salty tang. For winemaking though, think ISIS artillery shells blowing up vines and firefights 100m away. A remarkable story, and astonishing wine.
You may not see a Zilavka for a year, or several years. But keep it in mind. This refreshing, citrusy, ripe white is the future of wine from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not complex, but we can’t all drink Montrachet every day. But great value, attractively bright, distinctive and characterful. It’s also generally good – we tasted lots and they were all lovely. If you see Zilavka like this appear on shelves, buy it.
This is the sort of wine that makes people realise Canada is playing with the big boys now. Rich, complex, multi-dimensional wine that lingers on the palate. It’s a new world-style Chardonnay with baked pastry and spice over fleshy fruit. But seamless in the glass. Turbot, Halibut or Monkfish are the perfect matches while in time it will become more complex and is clearly meant to become a benchmark for the region’s top wines.
Named after the owls that burrow in Prairie Dog holes, this is the kind of Chardonnay that gets you excited about Canada. And we’re excited. The 2014 was a ripe, nectarine-scented vintage, while others have had more cool-climate restraint. It’s made using all the classic techniques of barrel-fermentation and gentle handling and it shows. Put Canada – East and West Coast – on your drinking “to do list” this year.
Honeysuckle aromas in wine are always a good sign. This has them in spades, along with a spiced melon ripeness that you’ll love. It’s bone dry and utterly fascinating. Rkatsiteli can be dull and flat, but not here where it’s been crafted into a delicious, Friday-night wine par excellence. Georgians eat richly flavoured dishes with lots of cheese and sauces. Do the same and this wine will be your friend.