Enough of my procrastinating bullshit! It's time for the top ten White Wines in the eyes of your favorite drunkard!
So like I mentioned in my last post I've been doing some extensive field research within the past week and I've been trying to find exactly what needs to go into this list. This will be a massive personal challenge for me, simply because I'm not a huge fan of white wines to begin with, but I think you'll see as we go down the list that some you may not even believe exist out there, but take my word on it, they do.
From 100% varietals to insane combinations that were never thought of before, here's my summary of the Top Ten whites you need to down before you die.
10) Ménage à Trois White Blend
I'm just a sucker in general for the Ménage family of wines. Simply because they are a nice widely available and affordable wine company that is actually good to drink. Although most of their wines would not be my first choice, sometimes they do indeed become the final choice I make. The white blend is an interesting blend of Chenin Blanc (also known as the French Vouvray), Moscato, and Chardonnay. Although made from three of the sweeter varietals on the white spectrum, the wine itself is not overbearingly sweet. Instead, the sweetness factor in it is more of a gentle surprise as opposed to an obstacle you need to tackle just to drink. A great wine to pair with any type of seafood really, and with a select few poultry dishes, preferably roasted chicken or such.
9) Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne
Yeah that's right. Although I will tell people that VCP is my favorite Champagne, this usually isn't the case. Although I absolutely the splendid little ecstasy trip that VCP forces you in and out of with each little fizzy golden drop that pours out of it, there is one major thing keeping it from being my favorite Champagne, yet my favorite white wine ever: It costs too damn much. I love you VCP, but my wallet doesn't. An interesting thing to note about VCP is that it is most famous for introducing the modern method of Champagne production known as méthode champenois which is only allowed within the border regions of Champagne.
Occasions to drink: Births, Weddings, and Funerals. Winning the Lottery is also acceptable.
8) Evolution White Blend
It's Evolution, baby! It's very hard for me to drink this without thinking of the fast pace grunge groove of Pearl Jam with the same name. Like the song, Evolution is also a nice little ball of fiery grunge fueled by the rejection of everyone else in the world. In this case, we're talking about the wine snobs of the world. Most cringe at the thought of a white blend, and tenfold with Evolution because of the massive amount of grapes shoved into one bottle. Like a counterpart know as Seven Daughters (available at many chain restaurants), Evolution contains nine white grape varietals including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Semillon, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner. Before you freak out, yes, these grapes all do exist. Most just not popular outside of Europe. Muller-Thurgau, for instance, is a wonderful wine to drink if you ever get the chance, you might just have to go a little out the way to get it.
Pairs well with EVERYTHING.
7) Hob Nob Chardonnay
This to me is a novelty wine even though I am a big fan of Hob Nob wines. Whenever I have a gathering and I need a decent wine for a decent price, I'll usually pick its Rhone Varietal brothers to serve, but the Chard is a little too sweet for my everyday taste. Instead, I like to use the Chardonnay as a crowd pleaser and as a palate shocker. The sweetness that occurs in this wine is really unlike anything else you may encounter in another Chardonnay anywhere. The main flavor notes indicate an odd plethora of flavors including bubblegum, cotton candy, coconut, and marshmallow. Something you really need to experience first hand to see what I'm talking about.
Pairs well with desserts and smoked cheese.
6) Peirano Viognier
Once again I present you with a Lodi-born white that drinks like liquid gold. The vibrant body of it is purely sinful and luxurious at the same time, rippling with a slightly clouded pear-like bronze. What separates Peirano's Viognier from the others is its remarkable ability to hold strong when paired with foods. Usually any white that is light in flavor, tends to be easily masked by powerful foods like a creamy shrimp pasta or a red fish poached in butter. Peirano's light flavor is not as easily hidden by these powerful foods but rather sits comfortably alongside them. Nice little hints of peach and mineral pop out of its sea of complexity making this a wonderful drink for any day, anywhere.
Pairs well with spicy seafood and creamy pastas.
5) Domaine William Fevre Grand Vins de Chablis
Possibly one of the finer wines I had the luxury of actually getting a bottle of. Sometimes there are just those rarities out there that can't be found in just any old mom and pop liquor store, and sometimes those aren't necessarily the best either, but this Chablis is incredible amongst its peers. Chablis, is not just a generic term for white wine in North America; in France, a Chablis must meet certain standards and fall within certain boundaries and contain Chardonnay grapes in order to get the name of Chablis on it (much like the Italian Chianti which is made of Sangiovese grapes). A very elegant wine, it is shy about its underlying flavors at first and only shows the more dominant introduction of pear and dragonfruit, but quickly followed by a deep lychee and starfruit brightness. The oak is just slightly noticeable which is nice considering that it is not overpowering, but just present enough to remind you that this isn't some run of the mill factory produced Chard, but rather a small example of the pinnacle that is French wine making.
Pairs well with roasted chicken with herbs and sushi.
4) Saint Hillaire Blanc de Limoux
Like its cousins over in Champagne, Saint Hillaire is a sparkling dry white wine that is an astoundingly good drink but sadly enough cannot bear the same title. Since Saint Hillaire is not within the borders of Champagne, it cannot bear the title of Champagne according to France's region laws and does not fall under the AOC classification. This is truly a shame, because saint Hillaire is the oldest known producer of sparkling wine and to this day still abides by the méthode traditionnelle used in sparkling wines across the world. A very crisp dry white, it drinks well with low acidity and a palate pleasing cleanliness.
Pairs well party crackers and light canapés.
3) Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc
A Chilean marvel amongst whites, rising to the top of its class in South American wines and in Sauvignon Blancs in general. Although Sauvignon Blanc is heavily debated amongst fanatics, I find that Root: 1 is one that a lot can agree on. It has all the major qualities that people turn to Sauv Blanc look for like its pleasant acidity, moderate bite, floral aromas, and bold dryness. But at the same time, more importantly, it lacks all the negative qualities that a lot of people would normally shy away from like that awful stainless steel taste that comes from lack of oak aging or the deep bitterness that comes from the wine being "cooked" by sunlight. Even though "cooking" can occur to any white, Root: 1 doesn't seem to be so fragile to the Sun. A great Sauvignon Blanc for people who are also wishing to be exposed to the wonderful varietal.
2) La Yunta Torrontes
A wine I was recently introduced to and one that quickly got accepted into my favorites. A white varietal that is rarely seen outside of Argentina, Torrontes drinks much like a sweeter version of Sauvignon Blanc, but with a slightly more vivid body. Some of the first noticeable flavors include green melon and vibrant citrus. It is very lightly oaked but still shows much of a heavily oaked body, much like a blended county Chardonnay from Sonoma. The label gives about as much curiosity to the consumer as the wine itself does. It is adorned by two llamas (or some other kind of animal. I really can't tell...) aloft in the field. A must have wine to people looking for a true underdog in the wine world.
1) Hendry Pinot Gris
I will be straightforward about this one. I don't know much about the vineyard or the winemaker or really anything about this wine except for the fact that I declared and still proclaim to this day that this is the best white I've ever tasted since the first sip. Something about it really took me over me completely and had me enticed into the bottom of the glass, longing to finish it and keep drinking, long before I ever begun to drink it. The fragrance of this wine was much like an elegant perfume worn by an elegant lady on a smooth October night. It really is a romantic wine and pours like a sweet waterfall into your glass and slides very smoothly down your throat. Just as easy on the tongue as it is the nose, many floral and citrus notes are present without brining too much acidity. Very cool notes of green tea and nectarine really bring forth a bright youthfulness to the wine alongside a hint of maturity. A must in any wine cooler anywhere.
Hope you guys enjoyed the list and hope you can enjoy some of these with me. most cost only about $10 or less (except Veueve Cliquot....) but some are just a real hard thing to find.
Also, just something I'd like to add in: I just recently discovered these awesome little wine bags that keep your white wines chilled for nearly two hours. Lately I have been using it to keep my energy drinks ice cold when I go to school or work! but otherwise, they totally rock. They're called BYO bags and they're totally worth it!
I'll see you all next time, and hopefully with the red Top Ten!