The Top 6 White Wines You Aren't Drinking

Posted August 03, 2015

Stacy Brody


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It’s already August, and all summer you’ve been drinking Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

That’s all well and good except there are literally THOUSANDS of different wine grape varieties.

I don’t want to hear about you making your child (or significant other, as the case may be) try kale and kohlrabi if you aren’t “brave” enough to try a new white wine.

I’ll give you till Labor Day.


Imagine sea breezes, clear waters, and fresh seafood. Grown in Provence, the Languedoc-Roussillon, Corsica, and Sardinia, Vermentino transports you to the Mediterranean. Lettie Teague was right when she said this is the “wine of yachts.”

The 2012 Mesa Giunco Vermentino from Sardinia is a phenomenal expression of the variety. Beautiful floral aromas lead to bright citrus on the palate, finishing with refreshing acidity. The flavors are pure and intense. Perfect for porch sipping, grilled fish, and cheese pairing.

Pinot Gris

Though Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris refer to the same grape variety, the styles differ dramatically. Most Italian Pinot Grigios are harvested on the early side, resulting in light-bodied wines. In Alsace, Oregon, and New Zealand, Pinot Gris is harvested later. The result? Riper fruit, which translates to richer flavors.


From the mouth of the Loire River, near France’s Atlantic Coast, this is the pairing for oysters. Muscadet is produced from the grape Melon, grown nowhere outside of the Loire Valley. Reflecting the soils on which the grapes are grown, these wines are mineral-driven - fruit takes a back seat to stone and sea. Muscadet is perfect with seafood. The wine is produced near the sea, after all. But don’t stop there - Muscadet’s characteristic acidity allows it to pair well with a wide variety of foods.


Rescued from near-extinction in the 1970s, this Spanish white makes lively white wines with notes of apple, stone fruit and citrus, all underlined by a mineral backbone. Godello (it’s pronounced go-DAY-oh, but we’ll forgive you if you pronounce it otherwise) is grown mainly in Galicia, in northwest Spain, above Portugal. Phenomenal food wines, they are full-bodied while maintaining lively acidity and bright flavors. Because of the stone fruit and peach aromatics, as well as the great underlying minerality and acidity, they can be reminiscent of White Burgundy, without the oak.


I’ll keep trying till you try at least one Riesling. Like I tell my Anything But Chardonnay drinkers, there are way too many styles for me to let you get away with saying you don’t like the variety. Riesling varies from light and bone dry to a little bit more richly styled with a kiss of sweetness (enough to make you smile) to blow-your-mind delicious dessert wine. There’s a style for everyone.


Marsanne produces rich, full-bodied wines, with the weight of Chardonnay, but an entirely different flavor profile. Hailing from the Rhone region of France, Marsanne has been brought across Atlantic and is now grown in California. Lucky for you (and me, for that matter), David Abreau (Bryant Family, Screaming Eagle, Colgin, Staglin, Harlan, Spottswood and others) manages the vineyard from which Bello Family Winery sources their Marsanne grapes. Even better, Aaron Pott (Quintessa, Newton, Beringer and more) is the winemaker. The Bello Family Marsanne opens with aromas of honeysuckle, on the palate, more honeysuckle, as well as pear and apricot, with ripe pear following through to the finish.

Try something new. Let me know how you like it. The countdown to Labor Day begins now.

Stacy comes to Wine Library from the production side of the industry. After studying agriculture in college, she found herself working at a local winery and, at harvest season, snacking on as many Pinot Noir grapes as she could take before the winemaker noticed. She enjoys reading, hiking, and scoping out what's in season at the local farmers' markets.
Product Label.

Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Selection De...

96 David Schildknecht - Rober...

Item: 54551

500 mL

Retail: $399.98

$131.25 per btl

Product Label.

Mesa Giunco Vermentino

91 Ian Dagata - Vinous Media

Item: 78150

750 mL

Retail: $22.99

$18.99 per btl

Product Label.

Bello Family Marsanne

90 Cellar Tracker

Item: 87446

750 mL

Retail: $40.00

$8.78 per btl