Category: Great Bargain White Wines Reviewed

Spring Time is for White (Wine, That Is)

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Lettie Teague did a  great service for people who love to drink Gruner Veltliner in her recent Wall Street Journal article – including the team at Serious Foodie.  It is a great Spring and Summer wine with “bright, lively acidity that pairs well with all kinds of spring food…” with “unusual flavors and aromas, which range from white pepper to citrus and herbs.”  It is also the only wine we know which you can pair with asparagus. While Gruner is one of our favorite white wines for spring food/wine pairing, we wanted to highlight four others that we love to pair with food and share with friends. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Gruner Veltliner” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_left” color=”sandy_brown” style=”dashed”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”thumbnail” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” image=”4875″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] Ms. Teague highlighted 3 wines in her article, all under $25:  Szigeti Gruner Veltliner nonvintage Brut ($20), Loimer Langenlois Gruner Veltliner Kamptal 2014 ($18), and Malat Gruner Veltliner Kremstal 2012 ($23).  The Malat sounds particularly intriguing, “…boldly structured with a powerful acidity…”  However, we love the Hermann Moser Karmeliterber Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($19).  The Wine Advocate (91 points) says “It shows total citrus focus, linearity and precision, fringed by green pear peel […]

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Gavi – a Great Spring & Summer White Wine

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] White wines from Italy are very often over-looked by the wine geeks, mostly because of the mass-produced, insipid versions of Pinot Grigio that appears on most low-end Italian restaurants.  HOWEVER…what we found over the years is that Italy produces wonderful white wines, if you are willing to experiment a bit – with many quality wines under $20 per bottle. We saw a great article by one of favorite wine writers, Lettie Teague, in the 4/11/15 issue of the Wall Street Journal.  Ms. Teague talks about her early love affair with Gavi – a popular wine from the Piedmont region.  In her words, “Gavi offered a more stylish alternative to other Italian whites such as Frascati and Orvieto, was almost as popular as Pinot Grigio (in the ’90’s) and it was just as easy to say (“Gah-vee”). But perhaps more important, it was the favorite wine of my boyfriend back then. (Love stories of wine often begin with love stories of a different kind.)” We have always loved Gavi, since our first trip to Italy in the ’80’s.  Gavi is a DOCG wine made from Cortese, which is found predominately in the province of Alessandria near the Ligurian boarder.  […]

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20 Fabulous White Wines Under $20

We reviewed a number of white wines a while back (see the Summer Collection post), and have recently added a few more to the selections – and taken a few off.   It’s not that the wines have gone down in quality, but that certain wines can be stand-alone drinks in the summer months, while other wines are all-year round, food friendly wines.  Like all of our selections, we have had at least one glass of each wine, and typically we have more than 6 knowledgeable people tasting the wine.  We would like your feedback on any of the choices, and most certainly let us know if you have wines that should get on our list. With the white wine selections, we try to find bottles which should be easy to get at your local store, or on line: ———————————————————— #20:  zero one: 2011 riesling American wine from Columbia Valley, Washington State. Averaging $14. ———————————————————— #19:  joel gott: 2011 unoaked chardonnay American wine from the Monterey region of California.  Averaging for $16. ———————————————————— #18:  Fantinel: 2010 friulano collio vigneti sant’helena Italian wine from the Friuli/Venezia-Giulia region made from the Sauvignonasse grape.  Averaging for $20. ———————————————————— #17:  Spy valley: 2011 sauvignon blanc […]

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The 20 under $20 Summer Collection 2013 – White Wine

The summer months are for grillin’ and chillin’, but it’s also for more casual and lighter dining – salads, tapas, and fish make up a lot of our summertime menus.  Our drinks also tend to be lighter and more casual.  We have plenty of white wines, all under $20, in the chiller. Here’s our go-to list for this summer – we have tasted all of these wines, and most should be easy to get at your local store, or on line: Winery Vintage   Wine Region Street Price  Country   Varietal San Benedatto 2011 Lugana Veneto/Lombardy $15.00 Italy Trebbiano Antonio Sanguineti 2011 Vermentino Tuscany $13.00 Italy Vermentino Taburno 2011 Falanghina Campania $17.00 Italy Falanghina De Falco Vini 2010 Falanghina Beneventano Campania $14.00 Italy Falanghina Dog Point 2011 Sauvignon Blanc  Marlborough $17.00 NZ Sauvignon Blanc Dashwood 2011 Sauvignon Blanc  Marlborough $18.00 NZ Sauvignon Blanc Laurent Kraft 2010 Vouvray  Loire Valley $18.00 France Chenin Blanc Domaine D’Orfeuilles 2010 Vouvray  Loire Valley $19.00 France Chenin Blanc HERMANN MOSER 2010 Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Kremstal Karmeliterberg Wachau $15.00 Austria Grüner Veltliner Pewsey Vale 2011 Reisling Eden Valley $18.00 Australia Reisling Alvarez de Toledo 2011 Bierzo Godello Bierzo $11.00 Spain Godello ROBERTO ANSELMI 2010 Veneto White […]

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Lugana – A Beautiful Wine from a Beautiful Region

We happened on this wine at our favorite Italian trattoria in Sarasota – Cafe Epicurean – when we asked for a white wine that would work with a large variety of flavors coming to our table.  The waiter brought us Lugana from San Benedetto (2011), and we loved it.  The price was modest for any restaurant ($28), so we set out to find some for our selves.  We found a few bottles at the Total Wine at $15. Lugana is not an area we knew – it sits on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto on the south end of Lake Garda, part of the fertile Po Valley plain which is just a stones throw to Northern Italy’s lake country and the glacial foothills of the Alps.  The major grape of this region is Trebbiano – which is not a very well regarded varietal in Italy.  Trebbiano is mostly used to add to other white grapes such as Garganega.  However, when cultivated properly, and when not over-produced, this grape can easily be used to make some exciting wines. What makes Lugana so special is its food-friendly quality – it worked well with crisp calamari, then somehow matched with a […]

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Garganega – But It's Soave By Any Other Name

Soave is one of those wines that is sometimes ignored by the serious wine drinker, and mostly misunderstood by the casual wine drinker.  Many folks cannot tell the difference between Soave and Pinot Grigio – primarily because the same grape is used in both.  Although I poke fun at Pinot Grigio (like Miles in Sideways saying, “No more f****** merlot”), there are a few noteworthy Pinot Grigio wines that have made it in the house of the SeriousFoodie (the amazing wines from St. Michael-Eppan in Alto Adige and the Attems from the Venezia-Giulia region, which is a 20 under $20 wine).  But the focus here will be on Soave, which is the best expression of garganega in our opinion. Garganega is, unfortunately, over produced in Italy, and most of the over produced product ends up being labeled Pinot Grigio.  But in the Soave region, especially the Classico zone, yields are lower, and the best flavors of the grapes come through – think citrus fruit like lemon or lime, and some nutty flavors like almond or hazelnut.  Garganega is the main grape of Soave (at least 70%), but can also be blended with Trebbiano and Chardonnay. In addition to Soave, Garganega […]

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Falanghina – Hard to Pronounce, Great to Drink

While wondering around one of the local wine stores a number of years ago, we stumbled on a white Italian wine with an unusual name in an unusual bottle from a producer in the Campania region called Taburno.  For a price of $17, it was worth a try.  Since that time, it is one of our favorite Italian white wine, especially for the summer months. The wine has gained in popularity over the last several years, as more and more people experience the unique characteristics of Falanghina, and many of us wine geeks write about it. This grape grows well in the southern Italian regions of Basilicata and Campania.  A great description of the Falanghina grape and its history can be found on Viviwine.com. They note that Falanghina was almost lost forever during a phylloxera plague, but was brought back to life by the Martusciello family in the 70’s. The wines from Basilicata tend to have riper flavors, and are more full-bodied than the Campania versions.  The Campania versions tend to be more acidic, and have a refined structure.  It is typically a medium to full bodied wine, having lots of aroma of honeysuckle, stone fruits, honey, but with some […]

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Roero Arneis

We are always trying wines, white or red, that will match well with lighter meals of salad and fresh fish.  We have several “go-to” wines from Italy, including Arneis, a white Italian grape from Piedmont, Italy. There are a number of growing regions for this special grape, most commonly found in the hills of the Roero, northwest of Alba, where it is part of the white Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines of Roero. We’ve also had wines from Langhe made from Arneis, which are also delightful. Arneis means little rascal in the local Piedmontese dialect, because it is indeed a problem child to cultivate.  It’s not so surprising to find that there are only a few handfuls of dedicated growers and producers of Arneis, but they are generally worthy of finding.  The Arneis wines are crisp and light in color, but with a full body.  The nose is typically floral with hints of mineral and lemon or lime. The taste is pronounced pear and apricot, sometimes with hints of melon, particularly cantaloupe and honeydew. We’ve listed the Arneis wines as great bargain whites, with most coming under $20, but there are a few which range a bit higher.  Here […]

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20 under $20 – Who Doesn't Like a Bargain

Cheap doesn’t always mean bad – but you’ve got to be careful.  We’ve unfortunately been stuck with bad cheap wine, mostly at restaurants (that we no longer frequent).  We’ve had some bad expensive wine (mostly from folks who don’t know how to store wine properly). We’re here to help sort out the good, the bad, and the down-right ugly from the best. This series was spurred on by our two grown kids, who now like to drink good wine from time to time.  They wanted a selection to fit their budget, but still impress their friends and significant others.  The DinnerDoctor and MrSeriousFoodie have come to the rescue with wines from all over the world that are bound to fit your tastes and pocket book. Be warned, though…..Many of the wines we find come are limited production, and might be hard to find.  We’ll have some suggestions, but you might be doing some web browsing to get the best of the best.  It will be worth the effort. Coming in a few weeks will be our lists, which will be updated every quarter, providing simple access to our favorite great bargain wines. Salute!

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