In a love affair, after an initial period of intense passion, our emotions begin to wane. The relationship evolves to one of friendship and affection that may last for years, if not a lifetime.
The same could be said for the wine lover and their passion for the grape. We’ve wined and dined our particular favourite, be it Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir for many years and now feel firmly ensconced in the ‘friend zone’.
If you’re looking to re-ignite the passion, then here are some fresh whites to watch.
The Rhône Valley in France is the spiritual home of this aromatic fruit. It is the only permitted grape grown in the appellations of Condrieu and Côte Rôtie. An ancient variety, its exact origins are unknown but it is thought that the grape was brought to France from the Dalmatian region of Croatia by the Romans many centuries ago.
It is also grown successfully in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa.
Yalumba Winery, one of Australia’s most ardent Viognier champions, sums up this unique and seductive grape’s many qualities:
“Viognier is a wine like no other. It offers a wonderful sensory experience full of vast nuances of flavour. Viognier is seductive, luscious and unctuous. A veritable flavour bomb of exotic musk, rose petal, apricot, white peach, ginger, citrus blossoms and a rich and unctuous, silky texture.”
The Viognier’s complexity makes it the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods, such as Thai cuisine.
From the distinguished wine region of Piedmont in northern Italy comes the dry, honeyed and fruit-forward white wine of Gavi.
So named for the town at the centre of the growing region, Gavi is the most revered white wine of the Piedmont, despite being considered a Ligurian-style wine for its fruitiness and lightness. It is probably the most internationally-renowned Italian white and remains one of the top-ranked whites of Italy.
Grown for centuries and made exclusively from the Cortese grape – it is sometimes referred to as Cortese di Gavi.
Lovers of Gavi describe its bone-dry character and crisp flinty acidity. It gives a floral bouquet with aromas of lemons, green apples, white flowers and honeydew and the scent of almond on the finish.
Gavi is considered to be an excellent partner to seafood.
A true Spanish native, the cool climate Verdejo grape is indigenous to the Rueda region in which it is grown. It is believed that the ancient grape was originally brought to Spain by the Moors, over a thousand years ago.
Verdejo thrives in the high altitude of Rueda, which gives the wine a distinctively sharp acidity lending itself to a perfect partnership with tapas. The wine also expresses notes of lemon and citrus and a pleasant minerality.
It shares some of the characteristics of Pinot Gris, and like Pinot, it is best enjoyed young, to maximise the lively freshness of the wine at its peak.
This is the perfect Summer time wine, so why don’t you give it a try instead of your usual Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc?
We will continue our wine speed-dating session next time and explore some Reds truly worth raving about!