Interesting White Wine for the Summer

We are enduring a hotter than “normal” summer, so we came up with some great chillable ideas to keep you cool and refreshed! Our Italian white section here at Ed’s offers up more than just your average Pinot Grigio. And our French section offers more than just Sauvignon Blanc. Let’s explore some regions and varietals that will be sure to please on a hot, humid day.

Vermentino (ver men teen oh) is a light, dry, crisp white that grows well all over Italy and Sardinia. Most closely compared to American Sauvignon Blanc, it can be complex with a variety of flavors and aromas, but has signature bitterness, like the pith of a grapefruit, on the finish. Rocca di Montemassi “Calasole” has a version of Vermentino that has a bright floral nose, and is made in a richer style. Calasole means sundown or sunset, and it is also the name of a mild breeze that sweeps through the hillsides of Maremma, where this winery is located, in late afternoons. Maremma is a small region in Tuscany located in a coastal area of western central Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea . Flavors of green apple, citrus, and stone minerals with notes of melon and a floral nose. I give it three bones!!

If Sauvignon Blanc is not your first choice, another interesting white to try from Southern France is Picpoul (peek pool) or Piquepoul. It is also grown in Catalonia, Spain. The HB Bouteille Picpoul de Pinet is a favorite of ours for summer sipping. The wine is clear, with just a slight effervescence. This wine from the Languedoc features flavors of lemon and green apple. Picpoul is also one of the varietals permitted in the production of Chateuneuf du Pape, in the Rhone. It is sometimes referred to as Folle Blanche and Gros Plant and is used in the production of Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. You should give it a try, I give it two bones!!

Patrizi Gavi del Commune di Gavi is an affordable Cortese grape varietal made by negotiants who have long term contracts with growers from the heart of the commune. A gentle spice and green apple on the nose, the palate is crisp and savory with hints of lime marmalade, mineral and a subtle nuttiness. The Cortese grape is mainly grown in southeastern regions of Piedmont. It is the primary grape in the Cortese di Gavi DOC with a history dating back to the mid 1600’s. I give it two bones!

Vinho Verde (vee no vare day) literally means “green wine”. The popular Portuguese wine has a rich history, although it became a designated region in 1908, it is not a grape varietal but an area or region with many small growers. The wine has a slight “fiz”, and finishes dry, with notes of apple and spice. We carry the Aveleda Vinho Verde; I give it three bones!!

Stop in and take a gander along the side aisles where you’ll find some interesting and flavorful summer whites to try. Stay cool with our unique collection of fun summer whites. Don’t forget to bring me a cookie!


 By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown