MY OH MY where should we start.. Stepping into the world of grapes, vines and wines can be daunting – Most friends I know start with sweeter white wine varietals because those wines tends to be less dry and easy to drink. As you grow into a wine loving alcohol loving adult, you find yourself exploring other wine varietals to satisfy your curiosity. You’ll start venturing into crisp tasting drier whites – Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc – the latter may be a tad on the dry side but great with sushi.
In our previous wine rant, we explained bodies of red wines – tannins, acidity, notes and how climate plays a part in the ripeness of grapes. We will now rant about white wine and its acidity, tarteness, and how fresh, fruity or even buttery white wines can get!
KNOW YOUR SWEET WHITES
Commonly known sweet wines only make up a handful of the vast varieties out there – Moscato, Riesling Sauternes and for those who heard of it, Gewurztraminer. Gewurztraminer is an extremely underrated varietal seldom heard of in Singapore, its sweetness hovers between Moscato and Riesling though it tends to be higher in alcohol with less acidity. We can’t even begin to describe the intense aromas present in Gewurztraminer (maybe imagine wafts of lychee slapping your face).
Should your preference lean towards even sweeter wines then Riesling is definitely your go to (albeit high acidity), ranging from intense fruity notes such as Pineapples & Apricots to mineral-y notes such as beeswax (and even petrol). On the opposite end of the spectrum would be your Moscato (yes i know, moscato is considered dry?!) It isn’t as sweet as Rieslings but is fresh and low in alcohol – especially good as an aperitif.
All 3 wines are great to drink on its own, but wait till you pair them with spicy food. Pairing Chicken Briyani, paneer butter chicken and naan – we polished off a bottle of Gewurztraminer and Moscato and it was DELISH. The sweetness of the wine balances the spiciness of the dish perfectly, but don’t forget, sweeter wines have to be served at a temperature of at least 8 degrees.
KNOW YOUR DRY (yet Crisp) WHITES
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sancerre, Semilion the list just goes on. Some are your usual selection of house pours but there is so much more to your regular table wine. On a hot summer’s day, Pinot Grigio is our lifesaver – this varietal typically harnesses tropical fruit notes of apple, peach and lemon as well as mineral-y and dry Pinots depending on the ripeness and terrior.
That struggle of choosing a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay, you can’t seem to remember which house pour you usually get and the one you choose ends up being too dry (..ugh). If you fancy a medium dry aftertaste go for the Sauvignon Blanc, ideally served at 9 degrees, usually feels thin on your tongue but refreshing and crisp. Most Sauvignon Blanc have notes of cut grass, citrus fruits but may even contains mineral-y notes of bell peppers and chalk!
Throw a buttery wine in the mix and that’s where things get interesting. Most Chardonnays in the market are unoaked, contains typical white wine notes (maybe with hints of pineapple). OAKED Chardonnay however is so YUMMM. Encompassing oak aging, it has rich hints of coconut and vanilla notes, very well rounded, full bodied and gloriously luscious.
All this wine talk has got me salivating, before I leave for the bar a couple things to think about the next time you’re in the mood for whites. You may consider your activity, mood and even weather, otherwise, whip this guide out and go forth in your pick!