I spent the month of December helping a friend in a well-known winery in the city. My role in the store was to talk to the client who was undecided, to interpret his “oenophilic style” and to indicate a wine. This is a very complicated role, after all, I like it very much, and it is not discussed, is it? But I only introduced this episode to say that I was impressed by the fact that in a country as hot as ours, I heard so many times: “red wine, please, I don’t like white wine!”. AS WELL?! Okay, I’m in love with reds, but with this heat, a very cold white falls perfectly, people!
It was in this scenario that my researcher instinct screamed loudly and I began to investigate the reason for this prejudice against the poor of white wines, and I concluded that there are two major “problems” here: the acidity and the mineral taste of white wines. Yes, white wines can even be more acidic and quite mineral, but when well harmonized these characteristics are the key point of appreciation of the bottle. However, acidity and mineral taste are most commonly found in wines made from grapes. sauvignon blanc and chardonnay (which are the most frequent on the shelves too). So I found a solution for you who don’t like these characteristics: aromatic grapes! Delicate, elegant and low acid wines. And because they are white they should be served chilled, between 8 and 12 ° C!
photos by Gdfon
Aromatic white wines can be dry or sweet, with a marked presence of seductive floral aromas, and because they do not age in barrels, such aromas come from the fruit itself. However, they are wines that most often do not harmonize very well with main dishes, being served as an aperitif. The main grapes that make up this group are:
- Gewurztraminer: typical of the Alsace region is pink in color, giving rise to golden or slightly pink wines. They have aromas that resemble lychee, roses, orange peel and cinnamon, and a high alcohol content, but with low acidity. They are considered the most exotic wines in the world.
- Muscat: found, can originate dry, semi-dry and sweet wines. They bring fruits, flowers and spices to your palate. There are several varieties of this grape distributed throughout the world, however, Muscat Blanc is currently considered one of the finest.
- Riesling: characteristic of Germany. Depending on its origin it can produce quite diverse wines, and unlike most aromatics, it produces magnificent aged wines. Delicate palate, with floral, citrus aromas, traces of honey and minerals.
- Viognier: of French origin (northern Rhône), it can be found all over the world. It presents a very seductive aroma when ripe, thus, its best wines are quite alcoholic (due to the high concentration of sugar found in the most ripe fruits), however, the wine should preferably be tasted young. On the nose and palate, they refer to apricot. As it is a grape that is difficult to grow, it is common to be mixed with other grapes, such as Marsanne and Shyraz.
- Torrontés: of probable Spanish origin, found its maximum expression in Argentina. Wines based on this grape, must be taken very young, have an extremely floral aroma, and their acidity is almost nil. It is a wine that is being consumed more and more in Brazil every day.
- Pinot Gris: a variety considered noble, from the Alsace region, is responsible for slightly stronger wines when compared to the other aromatics, but still light, but with a lot of personality.
- Italic Riesling: it is not related to riesling, originates light and very floral wines. It is of Italian origin, but has adapted very well to terroir Serra Gaúcha, being increasingly used in the production of our white wines.
There are other aromatic grapes, which, although still little known, in recent years have been gaining space worldwide, for example the Chenin Blanc, a Malvasia, Furmint (Hungarian Tokay) and Grüner-Veltliner.
Then that’s it! Now you have no more excuses to say that there are only acid white wines, which make it hurt “under the tongue” from the first sip! I hope that this list of aromatic grapes opens up a new horizon for the curious on duty who are after a refreshing and elegant drink to send the heat away! But please, don’t give up on sauvignon blanc and chardonnay… They originate wonderful wines that just need to be understood and harmonized! I will make a selection in a next post wines of these grapes that I have already tasted and in it I will mention some harmonization tips, ok?