IN SEARCH OF HOLIDAY WHITES
I’ve found that the best tactic with Holiday whites is to offer something nice, but not too familiar. Such as a different edition of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, and of course, you’ll want to include a novelty.
. . . upscale Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is the natural choice to please-all in the season ahead. But you don’t want to look unimaginative, or cheap. Enter the big G. This wine has style and grace, while still offering fantastic drinkability. The packaging is modeled on perfume bottles, and the wine hails from Argentine. What’s not to like! A lovely party drink, aperitif, or partner for seafood appetizers.
For a few dollars more, there’s Anselmi’s super Soave. Shades of a Pinot Grigio, fresh out of charm school. Lots of poise and elegance, mild herbaceous flavours ““ so simple and yet so wonderful. Impressive without frills. Smart-looking bottle too.
GRAFFINGA 12 Pinot Grigio Reserve, Argentina 164756 $12.95
ANSELMI 12 “˜San Vincenzo’, Veneto, Italy 948158 Vintages Essential $16.75
~ . . . Chardonnay without the make-up
Lots of folks have been turned off by the excesses in Chardonnay. Too rich, too spicy/sweet ““ too much make-up. Wines with natural fruitiness and freshness are back in demand ““ hence the popularity of Pinot Grigio, but you can find similar characteristics in non-oaked Chardonnay. Often along with a creamy texture and a classy feeling. My two picks have an air of specialness seldom found in wines of their price. Expect delicious pure flavours ““ lemony freshness, and just enough richness to tease and delight. And have you uttering the yummy word. Lovely house wines ““ with food, with friends, or sipping by yourself.
Laurent Miquel and Moulin de Gassac are big sellers in Ireland and I was first introduced to them by a wine merchant in my native Tipperary. They have become house whites on our Irish trips.
LAURENT MIQUEL 11 Chardonnay (un-Oaked), VDP d’Oc, France 157909 $12.00
MOULIN DE GASSAC 11 Chardonnay (un-Oaked), VDP d’Herault, France 330936 $13.35
~ . . . and a novelty
And now for something different. But not scary. Dry Muscat is not on most peoples wine radar, because there’s not much of it to be had. But slightly sweet editions of Muscat are currently enjoying a wave of popularity, so maybe they will spark an interest in the dry version.
Dry Muscat could be likened to Gewurztraminer’s reserved cousin. Beautiful exotic flavours tempered with a refreshing Riesling edge and dryness. It’s one of my favourite novel whites to partner with savoury tarts, or white meats. Or just to sip. Have with the big meal, or next day with the sandwiches.
JEAN GEILER 11 Muscat Reserve, Alsace, France 320440 $14.00