Just because we’re no longer sipping our white wine by the pool doesn’t mean we have to automatically switch to more warming velvety reds, does it? Follow-up question: Drinking white after Labour day isn’t exactly the same as wearing it, are we right? White wine is in style no matter the season. In fact, we’re down for feeling summery all year long with each clear, refreshing sip. Case in point (and yes, we’ll take a few cases!): the crisp and aromatic tones of New Zealand nice and dry Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa’s fruity Fleur du Cap Chardonnay, peachy Flat Roof Manor Pinot Grigio, and a brand new sweet Two Oceans Moscato. No more scanning the shelves hunting for the perfect white to serve because there are so many great choices. Here are four summertime sips we love drinking all year-round.
4 WHITE WINES YOU CAN DRINK YEAR ROUND
NOBILO REGIONAL COLLECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC In case you didn’t know, wines from the main growing area in New Zealand, the Marlborough region, are characterized by fresh fruit flavours, balanced with herbal notes of grass, green bell peppers and gooseberries. YUM.
What it tastes like: It’s crisp and fruity. Dry, not sweet. Beginning with the aroma pineapple, this wine finishes with a balanced profile of grapefruit, passion fruit and freshly-cut grass, creating a juicy and crisp palate.
When to drink it: Pairing well with white fish, seafood dishes, such as oysters, and veggies of any kind, this wine is ideal for exactly what we want it for: social drinking and dinner parties. It also contains higher levels of acidity that help cut through rich and fatty foods such as lamb or pork, commonly served in the cooler months.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Winery founder Nikola Nobilo was one of the first to plant the grapes in the country in the 1970s.
- In 2014, 72 per cent of wine produced in New Zealand was Sauvignon Blanc, with 86 per cent of it being exported around the world.
FLEUR DU CAP CHARDONNAY One of South Africa’s premier and best known wines, this Chardonnay is one of the flagships of the Distell group, the country’s top producer of fine wines and spirits. It reflects the generosity of nature with the selection of sun ripened grapes to produce abundant flavour.
What it tastes like: It’s on the dry side. After a citrusy bouquet with a touch of tropical fruit and a hint of oak spices, you’ll taste a medium-bodied, highly fruit-driven flavour that balances sweetness and acidity. The wood adds fullness without taking over.
When to drink it: Food pairings include rich fish dishes, especially shellfish, mussels and oysters. Cheeses such as parmigiano-reggiano, gruyere and cheddar, as well as curries with cream sauces and rich chicken dishes are ideal as well.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Fleur du Cap is a collection of premium wines crafted in a style determined by the grapes themselves, allowing the full expression of the vine.
- This wine is made in contemporary style with minimal human interference.
FLAT ROOF MANOR PINOT GRIGIO In case you’re wondering, the Flat Roof Manor screwcap range derives its name from the 18th century townhouse at the winery. The grapes were sourced from three vineyards in the Western Cape, situated some 200 to 260 metres above sea level and facing in a north-westerly direction.
What it tastes like: It’s light and crisp, the perfect blend of sweet and dry. Expect an intense fruity flavour that carries through on the palate with the emphasis on peach, apricot and a hint of litchi.
When to drink it: Drink on its own for a refreshing fruity treat or serve it with your favourite salads and cold meats. The perfect lunchtime sip.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The vines, between 24 and 28 years old, are grafted onto nematode-resistant Richter 99 rootstocks and are grown in soils originating from decomposed granite.
- Sauvignon blanc (10%) and Chenin blanc (2%) were added to broaden the flavour profile of the wine.
TWO OCEANS MOSCATO Two Oceans wines from South Africa just released a brand new varietal—the brilliantly clear 2015 Moscato—that’s available in Ontario year-round. It’s the perfect excuse to sip on the sweetness of summer all year long.
- At the tip of Africa where two oceans collide, grapes soak up the summer heat and then the fresh ocean breeze cools them. This process ripens and sweetens the grapes naturally.
- All Two Oceans wines are made from IPW-accredited vines, farmed according to ecosustainable principles.
HOW BEST TO ENJOY WHITE WINE As the cooler weather hits, remember: you don’t have to bypass the whites. There are so many reasons to enjoy a glass of white, whether you’re entertaining friends, eating dinner with family, clinking with your BFF, or just in the mood for a sip.
- Use it as an aperitif! The fruity aromas are a refreshing way to charge your palate before delving into a heartier glass of red with dinner.
- Drink it at the right temperature. A freezing bottle of white isn’t tempting in zero-degree temperatures, and over-chilling white wine reduces the complex flavours and aroma the bottle offers.
- Wineries are commonly using screw cap closures on bottles to reduce environmental impact, allowing wine drinkers to easily open and enjoy a glass. So don’t automatically bypass those in favour of cork bottles.