Monday, August 3, 2020

Pick Six! Some Top Picks To Celebrate National White Wine Day

Italian White WinesQuench your summer thirst with these top white wines that won’t pinch your wallet.

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The North Carolina summer can try the hardiest soul. With daily highs in the mid-90s and heat indexes in the triple digits the heat is sweltering.

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Thankfully relief can be found in icily chilled white wine – and there’s no better time to pop open a bottle than right now. National White Wine Day is August 3.

Here’s a refreshing half-dozen picks to tide you over through the summer heat. Many are grapes you may not have yet tried, but all are below $25 – so these wines are refreshing in more ways than one.

Gradis’ciutta Ribolla Gialla 2018 (SRP $21.99)

Ribolla Gialla is a new grape for us. The grape is an ancient European variety that can be traced back to the 13th century and made a comeback in the 19th century. Notes of nuts and apples with creamy texture. No one in our group had tasted this grape before, but it became a favorite. An Italian patio champion!

Vinho Verde and Pinot Grigio

Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino 2019 (SRP $16.99)

Italy’s Pecorino is known as the “grape of the sheep” for the presence of this grape in sheep grazing territory. This is a dry wine with soft fruit, good acidity and herbal notes. This is perfect with fish, cheeses and pasta. A steal at $17.

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Gradis’ciutta Friulano 2018 (SRP $21.99)

Friulano is the grape in the famed white wines of Italy’s Friuli region. Also known as Sauvignon Vert, this wine has notes of peach and apples and a rounded finish with some savory notes for interest. One sip transports you to the sun-dappled countryside of Italy!

Umani Ronchi Villa Bianchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2018 (SRP $16.99)

Verdicchio means “little green one” and the grapes are straw colored with green tinges. This is an elegant wine with citrus and minerality and a bit more body than you might expect. It gets brief aging in stainless steel to preserve its fresh flavors.

Azevedo Loureiro e Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2019

Vinho Verde, from Portugal, is know for its amazing refreshment as well as its sub-$10 pricing. Azevedo checks all the boxes. With 70% Loureiro and 30% Alvarinho, this is a fresh, easy-drinking bottle we enjoyed with a patio meal. Citrus and tropical fruit highlight this tasty treat. Vinho Verde is a nice alternative to rosé.

Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio 2019 (SRP $12)

This is a light and lilting wine with elegant flavors of orange blossom and pear. Grapes for this Sicilian wine benefit from a Mediterranean climate and clay soil. We loved the flowing lime highlights with clean, fresh flavors. A perfect wine for pizza or fish. This can be an everyday sipper throughout the summer. 

As we close, here are a couple of thoughts about summer white wine. First, you must make sure the wine is properly chilled. You won’t be able to do so if you put the wine the fridge an hour before guests arrive. Put your wine in the fridge the day before. Your red wines, if being served outside, will also benefit from a slight chill.

If you are entertaining guests outside, don’t bring the chilled wine out until you guests have arrived. That summer heat will melt the ice and warm up the wine in no time. If you are serving appetizers, do so a little bit at a time. No one wants to eat shrimp that’s been sitting out in the sun for three hours.

Cheers and keep it cool!

Full disclosure: These wines were received as marketing samples.

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