Here’s TEN really good, value priced whites that are easy to overlook because they are not mainstream. Some refreshers and some sippers.
RENE BARBIER 07 White, Penedes, Spain 332767 $9.60
Hardly any flavour but super-refreshing. A low-alcohol wine for serious gulping in the hot weather, Or anytime you’re thirsty. Good value. Now, this would be a great addition to the Tetra world.
MARQUES de RISCAL 07 Rueda, Spain 36822 $11.45
A very tangy, dry, live wire wine. Similar to Sauv Blanc in it’s extreme, brash nature. But there’s also an earthy quality that makes it food friendly. I like the back street, rustic, quality of this wine. And this is the best vintage yet.
SAUVION ’07 MUSCADET, Loire, France 143016 $11.60
Muscadet is a simple aperitif or oyster wine but in good years such as 07, it has pizzazz and a refreshing spring day quality. This one is a little spritzy and just right for first of the day.
P.S. You young uns out there should know that Muscadet was once the most popular aperitif wine on the planet.
CHATEAU des CHARMES 07 ALIGOTE, Niagara 284950 $13.45
Here’s a previous recommendation that deserves a re-mention because it’s sort of lost in the stores. Aligoté is a French grape noted for producing fairly plain, aperitif wines. The folks at Ch. Des Charmes have gone one better and coaxed savoury flavours from their Aligoté grapes. Still simple, but a well chilled glass or two delivers an uplifting aperitif experience. Shades of something they’d give you at a spa ““ feels good for you.
HILLEBRAND 07 Riesling “˜Artist Series’, Niagara 88377 $9.90
Super dry, zesty and fresh. Excellent edition of the very pure, bracing dry Riesling experience. Niagara at its best. Too bad we cannot have more good locals at this price. Be sure you get the 07 vintage.
JACKSON-TRIGGS N/V Brut Sparkling, Ontario (non-VQA) Winerack stores $11.95
Amazingly good sparkling for the price. Pleasant and refreshing ““ think Pinot Grigio with bubbles, or Italian Prosecco. I could see this working well for both the novice or fussy drinker. Perfect for big events. Produced from mainly imported wine.
EVERYDAY NICE SIPPERS
UMANI RONCHI 07 Verdicchio, Marche, Italy 34009 $10.30
Low-keyed house wine with mineral freshness and delicate fruit flavours. Pleasant and suggestive of social sipping, lunch or just hanging out on the patio. Jazzy new package adds to the fun.
FOLONARI N/V Regata Bianco, Veneto, Italy 78014 $10.95
Every now and again a big producer comes out with a wine that’s worth buying. This Char/Sauv blend scores for freshness, flavour, overall drinkability and price. And it’s screwcapped. Excellent house wine.
P.S. The red Regata is a bit sweet and feels contrived.
LA VIEILLE FERME 07 Cotes du Luberon, France 298505 $11.45
The 07 Vintage is the best ever ““ a lovely mix of freshness, fruit and pleasant personality. Devoid of a single pronounced grape character, it’s a step back to when wine tasted like WINE! Forget Pinot Grigio, forget non-oaked Chard ““ get the Old Farm. This could be the best house white in the world.
YVON MAU 07 Colombard/Chardonnay, VDP Cotes de Gascogne, France 627265 $9.05
Lots of fruit and pep. Colombard imparts a kiss of sweetness. Lighthearted summer patio sipper. A crowd-pleaser.