There are options if you are getting tired of the very popular grape.
When you’re dying for a glass of white, but you want something different than riesling, what do you do? Wine enthusiasts tend to be crazy about this grape, but surly there must be alternatives to these aromatic whites with great acidity. Of course there are!
I have taken a dive into my tasting notes and come up with a bundle of options for when the sun finally sets towards Scandinavia.
Muscadet from the western part of the Loire Valley is a lovely drink to go with oysters and other seafood. Try out this prime candidate:
Grand Fief de la Cormeraie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2014, Loire, France, NOK 134,90. VP 8055001
The nose shows delicate scents of fruit and flowers. Fresh and slightly mature yellow fruit on the palate going towards apples, peach and apricots. With hints of minerality and sea breeze in the finish and a medium length, this is truly value for money.
Alvariñhos from Vinho Verde are known to be crisp, luscious with a light sparkle when consumed young and fresh. You can almost taste the saltiness of the sea breeze that flows through the vineyards of this northernmost wine region in Portugal. Check it out with your summer food:
João Portugal Ramos Alvariñho 2014, Vinho Verde, Portugal, NOK 169,90. VP 2876801
A fresh and tart scent of citrus and white flowers, hints of white stone fruit. Cherry blossoms, litchi and white peach together with a resilient element of fresh green herbs makes this wine a perfect match with langoustines and beurre blanc or gratinated lobster.
Alsace has not only a patchwork of soil types, but also a myriad of grape varieties, most of them white. I find that pinot blanc gets way too little attention for all the joy it can bring to the table, or the terrace for that matter. It’s flowery aromas and fresh palate makes it a great wine both for pure pleasure as well as with food. A summer favorite:
Engel Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2014, Alsace, France, NOK 147,00. VP 1905801
Lovely nose of white flowers and tropical fruit. Peach, litchi and mango are sweet fruits that match the orange blossom and even the red apples on the palate even though the wine is completely dry. Good length and lovely after taste.
Crisp and fresh, greco di tufo has been grown in Italy for more than two millennia, however it is believed to originate from Greece. The wines tend to be fruity with aromas of peach and green herbs. Perfect for the season:
Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2014, Campania, Italy, NOK 159,90. VP 3310901
An aromatic wine with a springy acidity, showing fresh white fruits and green herbs both on the nose as well as the palate. Crisp and dry with some notes of chalky minerality and an excellent accompaniment with seafood, vegetables or pasta.
And while we’re on the subject of Greek grapes, why not go ancient and try assyrtiko from the volcanic island of Santorini. The grape is indigenous to the island and is also being grown in other parts of Greece. For those who fall in love with the grape, it is occasionally also vinified into a sweet wine. This is worth trying:
Assyrtiko by Gaia Wild Ferment 2015, Santorini, Greece, NOK 185,00. VP 9869201
A semi aromatic wine with aromas of fruit and citrus. On the palate it shows fresh acidity and tastes of herbs, grass and lime. A hint of grapefruit with a long finish and good fruit complexity. A perfect aperitif that can be used throughout the meal.