09/12/07 – Obscure whites

By Jesse on September 10, 2007


Over the course of this past year, we’ve welcomed a number of unusual and obscure people to wine club.  Lets do a meeting of all kinds of obscure or unusual whites.  We’ve all had our fill of Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc lately, so lets skip those for this week.  Also, we’ll add Pinot Gris and Viognier to that list of no-no’s.  I’m on the fence about Gewurztraminer, because there are a few cheap and uninteresting California versions that we don’t need to bother with; therefore, avoid Gewurz unless it’s European or from a small California producer.

So what can you bring?  Plenty of options…

Albarino — made famous by the Spanish region of Rias Baixas, this crisp and floral white also appears in California (we had one at Longoria on the Santa Barbara trip) and in the Pourtuguese wine Vinho Verde.  This possible ancient clone of Riesling is light and aromatic with a bouquet of peaches and melon.

Pinot Blanc — this grape is popular in Alsace, and appears in Germany (where it is called Weissburgunder).  It’s also grown in California and typically treated like a Chardonnay, fermented in oak.

Chenin Blanc — this is a classic varietal of the Loire region, where it is made into the vibrant and exciting wines from Vouvray.  It’s also grown in California to some degree of success.

Semillon — along with Sauvignon Blanc, this is the major white grape of Bordeaux, and is the base of the sweet Sauternes wines.  It’s also grown successfully in California and in Australia.

Also feel free to bring a Rousanne, a Muscat, a Scheurebe, a Silvaner, a Tokay (Tokaji), or any other obscure white varietal that your local wine vendor has for you.  Check out the wine varietals index for more ideas.

We’ll be meeting at the home of Heather and Sarah-Gabriel in the city of Palms. Dig deep, be bold, seek and ye shall find.  And chill whatever you find, please.  We’ll see you on Wednesday at 9pm.