These past couple of days have been lovely in San Francisco. If you’re working from home, we hope you have been able to sneak up to your rooftop once or twice per day. Come five o’clock, it’s reasonable to assume that some of us have reached for a chilled Sauvignon Blanc. (Or paired Sauvignon Blanc with a burrito for a late-night snack as I just did.) There is certainly nothing wrong with this. World-class examples hale from Bordeaux, France, to New Zealand, and from Napa Valley to northeast Italy. Still, there are several other crisp whites that should be on everyone’s radar as great ways to mix it up a bit. These are some of our favorite whites that will appeal to Sauvignon Blanc fans and are not only delicious, but are also interesting to drink.
Albariño is the flagship grape variety of the Rias Baixas, or “low estuaries,” in far northwest Spain. While the country as a whole is much more known for its red wine growing, The region of Galicia hangs its hat on crisp whites. This cool, damp climate produces wines with fruity notes of green apple, Meyer lemon, and pineapple. There is often also a slightly herbal tone and a sensation of sea spray, possibly due to the persistent ocean breeze that flows through vineyards. We are lucky to offer a delicious Albariño from Bold Cellars in Monterey County. It makes sense that the grape would be transplanted to this cool, damp climate where it produces a textbook example, if not just slightly fuller in body compared to its Spanish counterpart. This organically grown wine is available in full bottles that can be shipped nationwide, or as part of our virtual tasting and wine and cheese refreshments that are also available nationwide.
Purchase a bottle here.
Grüner Veltliner is not only the most-grown grape in Austria, but also a darling of the sommelier community. It shares an herbal tone with Sauvignon Blanc, but is much less grassy. This makes it easier to pair with food as it tends not to be so distracting. Although the Germanic name may make it sound sweet, the Austrians take great pride in their completely dry, mineral-driven whites. Look for notes of lemon, green plum, chervil, smoke, and crushed rock. Franz Hirtzberger is one of the best producers in the Wachau, Austria’s premier fine-wine region. The Federspiel distinction refers to a style that is medium in body and showcases great freshness. Salads can be notoriously hard to pair with wine, but this bottling makes it easy.
Get one for yourself here.
Carricante is certainly an esoteric grape, but one that is responsible for the skyrocketing quality of the wines of Mount Etna in the past ten years. While Sicily may seem too warm to grow a crisp, fresh white wine, the extreme altitude ensures the requisite cool temperatures throughout the growing season. Carricante-based wines are lemony and extremely saline, the perfect foil for lightly grilled fish or fresh oysters. Despite recent volcanic activity on the mountain, the producers continue to go about their business, showing great resilience as they craft their world-class wines. This particular example from Tenuta Tascante is one-hundred-percent Carricante that was fermented and aged in stainless steel to lock in that crucial freshness!
See for yourself, by grabbing one here.
These are just a few different ways of moving beyond the customary. The Albarino is offered in our virtual tastings, but we are also pleased to feature it in our NEW Wine and Cheese Refreshment packages. This is the perfect way to make your next working meeting much more like a happy hour. Booking can be done in just a few clicks, and we take care of the rest. Check out some more details here!