Even die-hard red-wine drinkers get antsy for a bit of the white stuff once summer temps hit the soaring mark. Here's the latest in white wine, plus the openers to get you inside.
To help you pop your cork over white wines that'll send you swooning - without putting your credit card over the edge - several wine experts explain how to enjoy the latest trends for less than $20 a bottle.
More and more sommeliers are getting in on the Chenin Blanc action, says Brian Duncan, owner and wine director of Chicago's Bin 36 restaurants, adding that it "adjusts to whatever the dish is." One to try: 2004 Vouvray, Demi-sec, Yves Breussin ($14). It's "loaded with rich pockets full of floral- and honey-scented citrus, apricot, and golden-ripe apples."
Less Wood, More Grape
"Wood is like makeup," says Joshua Wesson, cofounder and executive wine director of NYC-based Best Cellars. "When you apply it too heavily, you notice the makeup and not the person." One of Wesson's favorite whites is the unoaked 2005 Babich Chardonnay ($12) from New Zealand. Another oak-free and on the rise grape is Pinot Gris, says Eddie Newell, main wine buyer for the Wine Club in Santa Ana, California. A food-friendly wine, it "complements instead of overpowering." One to try: 2004 San Simeon Pinot Gris ($12).
A Bit of This, a Bit of That
Blends are getting more popular every day, says Duncan. "They're versatile with food. Whatever the dish's strongest notes are, the grape with the greatest affinity gets pulled up." One to try: 2005 Jezebel Blanc ($18). The "incredibly juicy" wine made Duncan's "head spin off" when he tasted it.