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Learn More About Other White Blends
Other White Wine
While there are a slew of other white varietals out there in the world, a few more worth knowing about...
Mostly grown and drunk in the northwest part of Spain,
Rias Baixas (in Galacia),
this grape is loved by almost
all who try it. A great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and every other white grape, Albarino is
aromatically intense, like Sauvignon Blanc, but with a creamy texture on the palate. The flavors and aromas
of an Albarino range from peach to lime to vanilla to honeysuckle. The crisp finish on wines from this grape
makes it perfect for just about any seafood.
Grown mainly in the Rueda
district of Spain, Verdejo is also found in Australia. The grape is herbaceous and
fairly aromatic. It's also grown in Portugal where it's called Verdelho.
Once a too-often planted in Germany,
Muller-Thurgau is known for making wines of so-so character. A crossing
between Riesling and Sylvaner, this grape makes a lot of wine and most of it quaffable at best. Decent wines
of Muller-Thurgau are aromatic with a tinge of sweetness.
The most-planted white grape in the world. Odd, because most have never heard of it, but this white grape
covers the plains in Spain and with its acreage of vine, it wins the contest. Wines of the grape are pleasant
and the grape is often used to make blending wines.
Grown mainly in the region of the same name (within the Loire), Muscadet produces very easy drinking, light-bodied
wine with mineral notes and high acidity – often recommended to pair with oysters.
Learn More About Loire, France
It's unfortunate that this region is so under appreciated and overlooked - the wines from the Loire Valley are outstanding. They are delicious examples of varietal and soil expression and the wide range of wines is so refreshing. Dry, sweet, sparkling, red, white… all represented here in the Loire. The main white grapes are Chenin Blanc, Muscadet and Sauvignon Blanc. For reds, Cabernet Franc takes center stage but the region also has plantings of Pinot Noir and Gamay. The AC of Cremant de Loire is popular – these are the sparkling wines of the Loire, usually made with Chenin Blanc.
As for which grapes you find in which regions… Starting on the Atlantic Coast and moving east - Muscadet hails from the region of the same name, within the larger Nantes district, right on the Atlantic coast. The wines are dry, citrusy and pleasant, but rarely powerful or intensely aromatic. Just inland from Nantes is Anjou-Samur, home to Savennières, an excellent source of dry Chenin Blanc. To the east is Touraine, where you'll find the popular white region of Vouvray - Chenin Blanc shines in Vouvray, which can be dry, off-dry or sweet – the majority of those found in the states are a lovely and food-friendly off-dry. In the same district, Cabernet Franc makes delicious, delicate and elegant reds from Bourguil and Chinon. Finally, in the Upper Loire area, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé turn out Sauvignon Blancs of razor sharp acidity and minerality.