It’s still a little too hot to enjoy that full bodied Cabernet or Syrah right now. Though most of
you reside in the continental states, I’m sure it’s still a little warm for you too (especially since
many wineries still have the warning that wine shipments aren’t recommended right now due to
the summer temperature). What’s a Gochiso Gourmet to do? Simple, look for bargain white
wines that refresh and quench at the same time without burning a hole in your wallet.
You could play it safe and look for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Riesling. Or you could be
adventurous and look for those “other white wines” with those strange names. And because of
those strange names, demand for these wines aren’t as great as the Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot
Grigios of the wine world which usually translates to lower prices.
Not to be confused with Verdelho of Portugal, Verdejo is the primary grape of the Rueda region
of Spain. It previously was used to make a semi-oxidized white wine along the lines of a Fino
Sherry. These days, most vintners produce a medium bodied white table wine that has similiar
aromatics of Sauvignon Blanc
Bodegas Naia Verdejo ($14.29)
Grapefruit and gooseberry are the two most pronounced aromatics with the unmistakable
pebble and stone qualities found in many Spanish wines. Think of it as Sauvignon Blanc without
the “pipi du chat”. Because of the pronounced citrus fruit and acid, a chilled bottle is the perfect
sipper for 90 degree weather.
While Oroya is not a grape variety, it is the name of an unusual white Spanish wine made
specifically for sushi by Japan born winemaker Yoko Sato. It consists of 60% Airen , 30%
Macabeo and 10% Muscat with the Airen providing clean fruit flavors to balance shoyu and
wasabi, Macabeo providing a good acid backbone to cleanse the palate between bites and Muscat
giving the wine a touch of sweetness to temper wasabi’s heat.
Pineapple and citrus on the nose with a medium body and good acid and a short clean finish.
Very good with sushi or raw seafood when you can’t find your favorite sake to sip.
Made primarily from the Garganega grape in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, Soave is the
name of the wine and not the grape (Soave can include up to 30% Trebbiano or Chardonnay).
Soave Bolla was one of the first marketed but there are many other labels now available.
Inama Soave Classico ($12.99)
Citrus rind and honeysuckle with loads of stone and pebble. Medium body with a nice balance
of fruit and acid and a medium finish. The perfect food wine for seafood, grilled veggies, chicken
Once again, Orvieto is the name of the wine, not the grape varietal itself. Orvieto is actually a
blend of Grechetto, Procanico (Trebbiano), Cannaiolo and Verdelho and it is named after one
of Umbria’s more picturesque hilltop cities situated between Florence and Rome.
Ruffino Orvieto ($9.95)
Mineral and stone followed by white flowers and citrus on the nose. Medium light body with
undertones of honey and a short finish. Great with light salads and mild cheeses.
This late ripening white grape originated in Spain or Portugal but is now widely planted on the
islands of Corsica and Sardinia. It produces fragrant wines with citrus, pear and mineral notes
with medium body and a nice acid and sugar balance. Also being planted in Lodi and San Luis
Obispo so you may see more domestic Vermentino in the future.
Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino ($16.39)
Lemon, citrus and mineral on the nose with a medium light body, good acid and a medium
finish. The perfect partner with seafood!
Therefore, I encourage you to be adventurous with those summer sippers as those last rays of
summer filter through the atmosphere. Most are great as aperitifs, great with seafood, great with
lighter summer faire and very good for the pocketbook. As the Bizarre Foods host on the Travel
Channel always says, “if it looks good, eat it”. I say “if it sounds strange, drink it”.