With Labor Day weekend drawing near why not consider sipping something a little different this holiday, breaking away from your typical glass of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay as you lounge by the pool or relax at the last summer barbecue of the season. There are so many interesting, flavorful and refreshing varieties available to us in Dallas beyond our well loved, go to wines. Each of these selections is available at wine stores throughout Dallas, and all are right around $20 and under. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Aveleda Alvarino Vihno Verde – Vihno Verde means “green wine” and not for the color, but because it is meant to be enjoyed very young, often resulting in the young wine having a bit of effervescence included in it. From the Northern part of Portugal from the Alvarihno grape (like Spain’s Albarino) it is layered with dried apple, orange blossom, lemon peel and a touch of brininess from the Maritime influence. Vihno Verde is typically inexpensive, which is a great thing for these approachable wines. ($10 @ Spec’s)ANEW Riesling Columbia Valley – Washington state has become known for their dry and mineral rich Riesling, with the traditional spice and floral notes without the petrol layers some German Riesling can contain. Fresh peach, white flowers and lemon zest. ($12 @ Spec’s)
KAIKEN Torrontes – I love Torrontes as the aromas are very floral indicating it could be a wine with a bit or residual sugar or sweetness, but the bright acidity and great flavor awakens the palate with a pop. KAIKEN brings a elegance and finness into the wine as well, filled with citrus, quince and tropical fruit with a touch of minerality, making it ideal for sipping on the patio. ($20 @ Goody-Goody Stores)
Cheval Quancard White Bordeaux - Unfortunately Semillon is usually thought of as a blending grape or the favorite variety used in many a late harvest/sweet wines. However, it is delicious when produced on its own into a still, dry wine. This one from Cheval Quancard, 100% Semillon, is filled with balanced acidity, lemon, honey and white flower notes with a silky texture. ($15 @ Total Wine)
Monte Velho White – This wine is from the Alentejo region of Portugal in the southeast part of the country, filled with hot days and cool nights creating wines with bright acidity and freshness. A part of the Esporao portfolio, Monte Velho White sources fruit from throughout the region of Alentejo, blending Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum to create a fresh, citrus filled wine with lemon, ripe white peaches and orange blossom. ($12 @ Spec’s)
Sigalas Santorini Assyrtico - Assyrtico is potentially the best known white grape of Greece, and Sigalas is potentially the best known producer as they have made an impressive name for themselves producing quality Assyrtico from the island of Santorini. Steely, mineral rich, slightly briny, fresh and herbaceous with big, bright acidity making this an ideal wine for serving with seafood and shellfish or big Greek salads with olives, capers and salty feta. ($21.99 @ Total Wine)
Aia Vecchia Vermentino Maremma Toscana IGT – Tuscan white known for its herbaceous, floral and citrus filled aormas. Lush, with a medium body this refreshing white is aged four months in stainless steel then another 2 months in bottle, keeping it light, clean, crisp and delightful. ($11 @ Jimmy’s food Store)
Locati Dry Orange Muscat – I was curious about this Washington State wine grown in Columbia Valley that is traditionally made either as a sweet dessert wine, or a still wine with a bit of residual sugar remaining in the wine and low alcohol (many around 5 or 6% alcohol.) Not this one, boasting a surprising 14+% alcohol and a very dry palate following aromas of fresh white flowers and orange blossoms. ($16, available through the winery)