Light and Refreshing Whites and Rosés
The results are in and you’re clearly into Bright and Refreshing Whites and Rosés. White wines are your go to and the more crisp and refreshing the better. You gravitate towards wines that are full of citrus and herbal notes much more than wines that have a rounder, richer style.
We’re gonna take a wild guess here and say you mainly grab a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc when you’re at your local wine shop. We love Sauvignon Blanc. The name comes from the French word Sauvage, which means wild. And wild sums up the flavors of this wine pretty well. It is essentially the exact opposite of Chardonnay, it is tart and bright and herbal with a big streak of acidity. There are no tame flavors here, straw, hay, grass, meadow, smoke, green tea green herbs, and gunflint. Perhaps one of the best descriptors of Sauvignon Blanc is cat pee. Something which doesn’t sound appealing but that wild, tangy smell is actually considered a good quality unless it is extreme.
If you like Sauvignon Blanc try…
We’re not here to steer you away from Sauvignon Blanc if you’re convinced that its your one true wine love. But there are a lot of other grapes out there, that’s one of the most exciting parts about wine. So we’re not saying you should break up from Sauv Blanc, but we do think you should try some other varieties we think you’ll love just as much!
Albariño is a white wine that is known and loved for its racy acidity, bright citrus flavors, dry finish, and subtle salinity.The history of Albariño’s origin is a little murky. There are some theories that speculate that Albariño is originally Germanic in origin. Even rumors that it is somehow related to Riesling, though there isn’t too much proof to back that theory up. And while we may never know exactly where it came from, most wine lovers will agree that Albariño’s true home is in Spain.
Albariño has a range of flavors depending on where it’s grown. In cooler climates, Albariño tends to have more acidity and prominent citrus flavors. While in warmer climates, the wine develops riper fruit flavors and has slightly less acidity. But, in general, Albariño is a crisp, dry white wine with flavors of lemon, lime, pear, kiwi, honeysuckle, and nectarine. Additionally, you can find notes of beeswax, wet stone, and herbs. Often, Albariño is aged in stainless steel instead of oak and is best when it’s young and vibrant.
Gruner Veltliner is hands down one of our favorite wines here at Crush It. So much so we actually made one ourselves! So let’s talk about Gruner Veltliner.
Gruner Veltliner is an Austrian varietal that produces wines of elegance and balance. These wines can range in style from lean and crisp to full and rich and some of the best examples are combinations of both. It has only recently gained popularity in the new world but it has long dominated the Austrian wine industry. Gruner Veltliner represents one-third of all the grapes grown in the country. And of the roughly 50,000 acres of Grüner planted worldwide, over 75% of those are in Austria.
Light and crisp examples of Gruner are bone-dry yet still round and full with a bright streak of acidity. Sweeter versions are kept in balance by that tart acidity with flavors of baking spices and full of ripe stone fruit. Either way, there are common flavors throughout all the styles like lemon, grapefruit, stone fruits, cucumber, herbs, and white flower. But the most distinctive flavor of Gruner Veltliner is a rush of spice and white pepper on the finish.
Ok so you’ve probably heard of Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, but what about Pinot Blanc? You see, Pinot Noir is very prone to mutation, that's how we get all the different Pinot Noir clones and that’s where mutations like Pinot Gris/ Grigio and Pinot Blanc come from. So while there are definitely some interesting and delicious examples of Pinot Gris out there, there are also a lot of bland boring bottles of it too. So today we wanted to talk to you about Pinot Blanc.
Pinot Blanc is actually grown pretty widely and has been used to make still, sparkling and sweet wines. But it is most notedly grown in Alsace in France and Alto Adige in Italy. The flavor profile for Pinot Blanc typically includes notes like almond, peaches, apples and sometimes a touch of smokiness. As a still wine it is pretty much always refreshing and dry. The acidity levels on Pinot Blanc tend to be a little lower than wines like Sauvignon Blanc, but they’re still light and bright.
If you’ve never heard of Colombard don’t worry, we actually used Colombard as one of the examples in our recent Uncommon Varieties class.
Pronounced Kall-lum-bar. Colombard is a white grape from Southwestern France. It has been called the world's greatest blending grape and in fact it is mostly used in blends. Colombard is a cross between Chenin Blanc and Gouais Blanc and really any article you read about this grape describes it as a quote “fairly neutral table wine” so you’re maybe thinking, great, why would we ever want to know anything about it if it is a bland, boring wine. Well, if you have been following us and taking our classes for a bit you’ll know that the quality and complexity of wines often depend on where they are grown and how they are made. And the intentions behind all of that.
When grown well Colombard wines are often described as a light bodied but crisp and refreshing white with flavors of green apple, sweet melon, peached and occasionally some bitter almonds on the finish. I would absolutely not describe these wines as boring but they definitely are easy drinking and because it is still such an anonymous grape you can often get these higher quality wines at very low prices.
Provence Style Rosé
So we’re willing to bet that if you like crisp and refreshing white wines that you will also like crisp and refreshing rosés. So since rosé isn’t a variety of wine, but a style of wines there can be a big variation in flavor profile for rosés depending on how it’s made and what grapes it is made from. So if you’re looking for a light, dry rosé then look no further than rosés from Provence or rosés made in that style.
Provence is essentially the birthplace of rosé. It’s located in Southern France and 90% of their vines are devoted to the production of rosé. Provence rosés are dry and mineral driven wines. Their light, often served at lunch time and with relatively low alcohol. They have flavors that range from strawberry and rose petal to honeydew melon and fresh herbs.
And you don’t just have to focus on rosés from Provence to find this style of wine. Lot’s of new world examples mimic this classic style of rosé. While there isn’t really a hard and fast rule that you can follow if you look for rosés with lower alcohol content and wines made from grapes like Grenache and Pinot Noir. You can also look for wines that are made using either the direct to press or maceration method. While again there is no rule, these definitely tend to be lighter than their Saignee counterparts. You can check out our rosé blog post to learn more about what these terms mean. And while this may require a little more research on your part or chatting with the wine shop employees, if it will help find your new favorite wine then we think it’s worth it. And really, that's what our company was created for.
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