Most of you are aware, my favorite drink is red wine. I do, however, have to knock things down and around a bit, and once in a while, white wine appeals. Usually in the middle of June when sitting on the porch listening to bad puns on the radio by my favorite DJ’s. Or when I’m trying out new wine with D. D is my wine buddy; he likes white, I like red. But I’m trying to expand my drinking; NOT like it sounds! I mean branching out and trying and reviewing new wine and spirits. I have a few new posts coming up very soon. My favorite time of year to drink is coming up- the months of harvests, outdoor campfires, falling leaves, falling pants, and the howling winds of winter soon upon us. A lot more drinking occurs during football weather- being a Chicago Bears fan with a tofu cutlet for QB, well, it’s unavoidable. Drinking will take place the more aggravated I get. Anyhow, a few weeks back I did a post about my ten favorite cabernets. Today I’m bringing you to the top 10 white wines that I enjoy. I can’t do top 10 pinot grigios or cabernet blancs, because I’m not that into various whites enough to compile such a list. So here goes my list of top 10 white wines!
1. CHATEAU STE MICHELLE Gewurztraminer: D is responsible for this one. I had never had it and I’m not sure how I discovered this. I think we were at Houlihan’s, one of my favorite places ever, and I was in the mood to try white wine. Love at first taste! And it’s a sweeter wine, which I am not normally a fan of, but this one- wow! Holy crap. Delicious. This one is a 12.0% alcohol content, with some a LOT of lush fruit taste and a good smattering of clove on the finish. Nice hint of nectarine and a crisp finish. Usually retails for around $12. Well worth it. And yes, I was once known for demolishing entire bottles of these back in the day. There was a memorable Super Bowl party at my sister’s old place, in which I allegedly disappeared with a whole bottle, my crappy cell phone, and when I woke up hours later with a pounding headache, I had called everyone in my cell phone and had a conversation with them. None of which I remember. What I did remember- this wine is STILL my favorite white. Go try it out.
2. RELAX RIESLING-Erin was responsible for this one. When my sister had her old condo, we would go over there and watch it for her when she was out of town. This was at least 10 years ago, so it’s been a long, long while. Erin loves Riesling, and although we had gone the rails with a few different ones over the years, this one was absolutely my favorite one. That bottle is fabulous. And it’s a very reasonably priced wine as well, and easy to find. It is refreshing and crisp, with a lot of apple and pear, and slight citrus notes, but finishing with a slight dryness. It is high on the flavor. This one usually retails for $10, with an alcohol content of 9.5%, so it’s not messing your shit up. We used to drink this a lot with seafood and salad, and it never disappointed.
3. ECCO DOMANI PINOT GRIGIO– This one I discovered on my own one Sunday while still living in Willow Springs. I had gone to the new 7-11 because their wine offerings were better than Kay’s Food and Liquors at the other end of town. This one was on sale, and it was Football Sunday, and I needed some white wine for once. I liked the label, so I got it, and oh boy, what a great little discovery this was. 12.5% alcohol, so it will give you a little loop de’loop, with apple and pineapple predominantly featured, and a crisp, light flavor throughout and a long finish to this one, it normally retails for $7.00 and up. Simply irresistible.
4. BAREFOOT SWEET WHITE WINE SPRITZER– This one was a recent discovery- as recently as three weeks ago. I had no taste for my usual, so I was off to Target and found this on a “Clearance” shelf (likely because it’s largely marketed a summer item, and fall is upon us). I figured, I loved their refresh pink and red blends, this one wouldn’t disappoint. And it didn’t. I feared it would be too sweet, but it was actually perfect. I got this for $5.00 and it usually doesn’t retail for more than that, so file this under “Cheap and Good”. This one is a mixup of Moscato and Pinot Grigio, with long notes on the peach and tangerine with a kick of sweetness on the end of the glass. It is incredibly light and at the end, a bit sweet. I had it with grilled chicken pasta salad and it was perfect! I would recommend this one for those hot summer nights.
5. SUTTER HOME SAUVIGNON BLANC-This one is a little bit more on the dry side and less on the sweet side. Or normally how I’d like my wine (and my men!). This one retails for around $5.99 and has notes of honeydew, grapefruit, passionfruit, and a little kick of spice at the tail end of the glass. Really, a very tasty little wine. Pair it with various cheeses (like I did) and or grilled chicken or a fruit salad, and you have a winner.
6. PACIFIC RIM DRY RIESLING-This one was a recent discovery from D. He picked it up at Trader Joe’s. The first taste I had was when he brought it over to the house- I think I was drinking the Incognito still, and he was drinking this. I had a little bit and was charmed. Then he poured me a glass or two when I was hanging out by him and we were watching Doctor Who. That time, mixed with my favorite of all centuries, orange juice, instant nirvana! It’s a Trader Joe’s exclusive, and retails for $9.99. It has a 12.5% alcohol content, so you’ll get a little buzz. I tasted peach, pineapple, and citrus. It was dry and tasty, and light. Not very crisp, but definitely a winner.
7.WINE SISTERHOOD DRAMA QUEEN PINOT GRIGIO– This one goes back awhile. For my original thoughts on this one, here’s the original post:
8. SANTA MARGHERITA PINOT GRIGIO-I drank a lot of Santa Margherita back in the days of Houlihan’s. It was tremendously good wine, no matter which one you picked. I was on my pinot grigio kick when I discovered this. I was having some seafood dish peppered with capers, and this was the accompanying wine. This actually may have been on that infamous BAM field trip to Indianapolis with Thompson & Fontenot, where they told us to get whatever we wanted to eat and drink. I do remember really loving the wine, not so much the hangover once I mixed it with vodka and whatever me and Jeff and Joe M. were drinking (we were all green the next morning).
It retails on the higher side of $20.00, and has an alcohol content of 12.5%. It has notes of quince throughout, and multiple citrus fruits. It’s incredibly light and crisp. Has a long lasting finish that doesn’t quit. Definitely worth the higher price for the long-lasting quality.
9. WOLLERSHEIM DRY RIESLING– D used to go to this winery in Wisconsin and brought some of this back. Then Lillian, my friend and former coworker, and her husband got in the act and got hooked on this. This is a great, great semi-local winery that you should check into. They ship, if you’re not near the state of Wisconsin. This was the best of the ones that I did try from there. It boasts serious green apple flavor, along with licorice and basil. It is a semi-dry wine that lingers on your palette long after you’re done. I would recommend pairing this one with pasta of any kind. I do recall having many a pizza at Lucca’s and then heading home and capping it off with a glass of this. It’s definitely something you should check out.
10. SUTTER HOME PINOT GRIGIO-This one is what I like to call “Old Reliable”. It’s a wine I can find at almost every neighborhood store, and it’s ridiculously affordable (normally retailing for around $5 a bottle). It’s also the only white that my neighborhood bar carries, so it’s good to have that available there, instead of the gacky chardonnay that makes me sick (literally). This wine has notes of peach, melon, citrus, and some notes of lime. It’s a nice little bouquet of fruits and just crisp enough to qualify as “airy”. My friend Marc and I went to the neighborhood bar years ago and he wanted a “light white wine”. He heard “Sutter Home” and scoffed, but I told him to try it before he judged it. And guess what? He ended up enjoying it more than he thought he would. Don’t judge a pinot noir by its price and rep, this one is a great buy and a great try.
That’s all for now, folks. Not sure what the next Top 10 list will be. ALWAYS up for suggestions and feedback. Thanks, as always, and hope you enjoyed the post.