Home > Foodie, Seattle, Twitter, Wine > Think Outside the Box: What’s With the Weird White Wine?

Think Outside the Box: What’s With the Weird White Wine?

Want to bring something besides Chardonnay to your next BBQ?

It’s starting to feel like Summer again here in Seattle, so lets talk white Wine! I have been lucky to travel many parts of the world in the name of cheese and wine. During my travels I have discovered all sorts of  white wine varietals and blends that I would deem unique Summer Sippers. Here are a few wines that my Twitter Wine Master Minds and I recommend tracking down for  swig of something a bit outside the box.

Vernaccia (one of my personal favorites). I discovered this little easy drinker while riding my bike through San Gimignano, a little medieval town in Tuscany, Italy. My first taste of it was in the form of gelato flavored Vernaccia, which I admit was not as good as the wine itself. I buy about a case every Summer; most wine shops carry at least one bottle (which usually has dust on it and can be found behind quicker selling wines).

Soave (Highly recommended by myself and @YasharWineMongr). This is a wine that Yashar and I have agreed upon as one of the easiest to drink Winter white wines (next to Champagne). For me, it is a year-round sipper that drinks amazingly well with food. Soave is a dry white wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona.

Vinho Verde (@AtlantaWineGuy): This wine is great for St. Patricks day, and just about any sunny Summer day! It’s a drink now kind of wine that has a green tint to it. Many of my friends think it’s only suitable for white Sangria, but I disagree. I have consumed plenty of $7 bottles of this affordable green wine.

Merwah & Obaideh (@RickBakas and @TexasWineGuy). Man oh man, I had to look this one up. These are Lebonese grape varietals that make up wines such as Chateu Musar’s popular white blend. Obaideh has been rumored to be the ancestor of the Chardonnay grape, and has a Semillon-like appeal.

Catarratto (@DivinaCucina) is a white Italian wine grape planted primarily in Sicily where it is the second most widely planted grape after Sangiovese. Overproduction in recent years has led to this grape being a substantial contributor to the European wine lake problem. Catarratto can make full bodied wines with lemon notes… Learn More

Siegerrebe (@WineBeerWA) is a white wine grape that is grown primarily in Germany with some plantings in England, Washington State, and British Columbia’s North Okanagan… Learn More

And that is just a few! Please add your favorite ‘outside of the box’ white wines in the comment section below… I’m always looking for new treats!

~Some descriptions in this post were sourced from Wikipedia, with links to learn more.

  1. July 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I’m sure William aka @TexasWineGuy would agree the Chateau Musar Blanc is one wine you have to try in your lifetime.

    The older it is, the better. Mid-1970’s vintages are an out of body experience (almost). It evokes an almost emotional response.

    You could sit there and smell the wine for hours and not get bored. The 1972 Ch. Musar Blanc is my all time favorite wine ever.

    • July 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

      Jeesh Rick… just when I thought I had tried it all. From First Growth Bordeaux to very rare ports… you go and add this to my list. The hunt for Chateau Musar Blanc is on!!

  2. July 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    You recommended Sancerre to me a while back and I had some from the Loire Valley. Went really great with lemon shrimp pasta. 🙂

    • July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      Oh I’m a lover of all Sancerre (Sauv blanc) as well as Vouvray (Chenin blanc) with seafood or pasta… or just a friend or two and a few glasses. Miss you Tim, and the Scottsdale wine blogger scene. You took me to some kick ass memorable places- thank you!

  3. July 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    One summer white that we really enjoy is Wollersheim Prairie Fumé. It’s 100% Seyval Blanc, and made in Wisconsin from New York grown fruit. It’s crisp, refreshing, and citrusy. Everything you would want from a summer deck wine.

    This surprising $9 white has also won a boatload of awards over the years, including a Double Gold “Best of Class” white in the San Francisco International Wine Competition (beating out a number of west coast produced wines).

    Off the beaten path and worth a try.


    • July 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      Oh my Steve… awesome! I am a huge supporter of East Coast whites. I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of NY (where the grapes grow), and pour my heart out about them in WA like a Washintonian would in the heart of Napa… ha ha!Do you know if they ship to Seattle? If not, I have family in Madison that could get the juice out to me. THANKS by the way!!

      • July 9, 2010 at 4:40 am

        Unfortunately Barbara, it doesn’t appear Wollersheim ships to Washington at this time. I could be wrong, but I believe that WA (like many other states) requires out-of-state wineries to purchase a permit to ship wine in. So, there’s probably no reason they couldn’t, they’re just not set up to do it yet. Hey, but if you have family in “Mad Town,” tell them they need to get a CARE package out to you pronto. Summer’s going too fast!

  4. July 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Ooops not sure how the rumor started but I keep seeing our main Twitter handle misspelled all over the place. We are @WineBeerWA but Ed’s personal handle is @WineBeerEd and he is an unofficial Siegerrebe ambassador. His favorite is the Bainbridge Island http://wine-beer-washington.com/tasting-notes/bainbridge-island-vineyards-2008-siegerrebe/
    We also suggest Symphony, Madeleine Angevine, Muller Thurgau, Albarino for other Washington whites.

    • July 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Hey Bean sweetie… I need to come clean here and say that I have yet to find a single varietal Siegerrebe, Madeline Angevine, or Muller Thurgau that I found note worthy. Either I am a snobby product of years spent in Germany, where those grapes are known to be ‘filler’ blenders, or you need to introduce me to some of WA’s best girl! Lets plan a tweetup!

  5. July 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Colombelle! A Ugni Blanc/Colombard blend from Gascogny. So refreshing; a real summer chugger.

    • July 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      Wow- years in the wine industry still has me googling almost every word you said. SUPER thank you Jameson, shall we drink this vino together some time?

  6. July 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Muscadet! On a hot day that’s all I want to drink. Unless someone’s pouring a Sancerre or Viura (also known as Macabeo and Alcanon). Then I have a choice to make and a difficult one at that.

    • July 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      Oh Beau… you had me at Loire Muscadet. Oysters anyone? No seriously… that is such a lame and easily cliche pairing. Are there any other great one’s you can think of?

  7. Joe
    July 7, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    how’s about some Seyval Blanc? A French-American hybrid that grows on the east coast…even in Georgia.

    Of course, there’s always armywormwine.com

  8. July 7, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I’m a huge fan of armywormwine. It’s dry lifeless and devoid of any flavor at all. 🙂

    SWG – Thanks for this…for me an Aligote is going wild for white wine…my shopping list has increased!


  9. July 8, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Torrontes is a white grape variety from Argentina, which produce wines similar in some ways to viognier, perhaps a little less full bodied, with peach and floral characteristics. Perfect summer drinking and generally the wines of Argentina are great value (at least here in Ireland) so it won’t break the bank.
    Kind Regards,
    Daragh Cassells

  10. BJ
    July 8, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I am loving inexpensive Picpoul from the Languedoc

  11. July 8, 2010 at 8:01 am

    You left out Madeline Angelvine. I found it years ago at San Juan Vineyards. Had it yesterday at Whidbey Island Winery. It grows very well in the Puget Sound AVA. Crisp with great minerality.

  12. July 8, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I will agree with many of the other comments regarding Sancerre. One of my favorites for the summer. I am trying to learn more about Greek wines. Have a readily available favorite: Boutari Moschofilero 2008. However, I recently enjoyed Gaia Estate, Koutsi-Korinthos Thalassitis Santorini 2009 and in search of more.

  13. July 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Where to start? There are so many grapes and such little time…

    Some people may laugh at me, but there are some really good Muller-Thurgau wines out there. Muller-Thurgau is the most widely planted grape in Germany. But when it’s not overcropped it can make excellent riesling-like wines… Can be made in an off dry or dry style.

    Another under looked grape that I love is Chenin Blanc. There are some really excellent ones dry styled Chenin blancs grown in WA state…

  14. Richard
    July 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Mount Baker Vineyards is another source for a variety of Washington-grown, Germanic whites and Daragh beat me to the punchline regarding Torrontes from Argentina…

    I’d add my “go to” white for deck parties: a Chardonnay/Viognier blend from Chile by Panilonco. Soft on melon & citrus with a preponderance of honeysuckle, at a price that lends itself to copious, non-conpicuous consumption. 😉

  15. Richard
    July 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Oops!….missed the “s” in non-conspicuous and forgot one more suggestion: A nice Vouvray; dripping in ripe melon flavors.

  16. July 9, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I’m loving a Malvasia from Clesi wines this summer. This wine is super aromatic, think tropical mixed with hay and candy, the first sip will throw you off as this wine is pretty dry with medium to high acid. The fruit is grown in southern Monterey county. Great wine!!

  17. July 9, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Enjoying Falanghina from Italy this summer!

  18. July 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Just tried a fantastic Soave Classico from Roncolato called ‘Il Nocolaio’. It occupies that elusive middle ground between crisp, light and refreshing wines and those mouth filling complex whoppers.Fabulous summer drinking…although not one to be tackled before 11am!
    Am also loving Gruner-Veltliner from Austria at the moment, lovely green apple flavours and distinctive white pepper notes on the nose. On a different note, does anybody know who exports any WA wines to Ireland? Tasted some really amazing ones at WSET Diploma lecture on North America (brought along by the lecturer directly)but don’t see them for sale anywhere. Thanks, Daragh

    • Richard
      July 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Daragh, My notes are a bit dated, but I know Woodward Canyon and Dunham Cellars are being sold @ a London retailer, Philgas & Swiggot (I know, but London’s closer than N. America, no?) Two suggestions: Look up Westbury Communications and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Westbury’s been working with both the the Washington & Oregon Wine Commissions regarding export to U.K. and Cha. Ste. Michelle is the “grandaddy” of Washington wines and I know they have an international sales office. Columbia Valley is a macro appellation consisting of sub-AVAs some of which include Horse Heaven Hills, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain; as well as a few others. Another winery here that may have an international sales office is Columbia Winery. Both are located in Woodinville, Washington (right accross the street from each other and next to the Redhook Brewery. Hope that’s helpful. All the best.

      • July 10, 2010 at 2:53 am

        That’s really helpful information.Thanks a lot Richard.

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