Bored of the same old familiar white wines? Here are some delicious new ones to try
Bored of sticking to the same tried-and-tested white wines? Our resident wine expert Helena Nicklin (aka Winebird) recommends some alternative whites to try instead.
A change is as good as a holiday, right? When it comes to wine, we tend to always drink the same old thing because we’ve heard of it and because we’re too scared of ordering a wine style we don’t like. Boring!
If you’d like to be more adventurous than grabbing any old Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio then read on. I guarantee you’ll be very pleasantly surprised…
Steely and dry, but not boring
If you like the dry, neutrality of Pinot Grigio but want something a little more interesting, then you need to try Austria’s flagship white grape variety: Grüner Veltliner.
Grü-V (as some lovingly call it) is steely-dry and herbaceous when young, but has lots of subtle flavours going on at the same time. It’s good by itself but remarkably robust with food too. If you keep a good one in your cellar, it will become fuller-bodied after a few years – more like a good white Burgundy.
Here are three very good versions to try:
- Wachau Grüner Veltliner, Austria, 2015. £6.99 from ALDI. For the price, this is excellent: bone dry and mineral with lovely flavour intensity.
- ‘Taste the Difference’ Austrian Gruner Veltliner, 2016. £8 from Sainsbury’s. A touch more flavour here with citrus kick and a lovely spiciness on the finish.
- Weingarten WeissenKirchen Grüner Veltliner, Austria, 2016. £11.99 single bottle / £9.99 mixed six price from Majestic. Super fresh and dry with a creamy almond texture.
Here’s my Vinalogy video for Grüner Veltliner: the spritely old goatherd of wine grapes!
Tropical and refreshing, not gloopy
If you prefer a fuller-bodied, more fruity style of wine but don’t fancy Chardonnay or a pungent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, then try a Fiano or a Greco: two ancient, southern Italian grape varieties that are making headlines.
I always serve Fiano at parties as it’s the best ‘all-rounder’ style of grape I think you can get; fruity enough to please Chardonnay fans, but zippy enough that Pinot Grigio addicts will love it too.
Greco from Tufo (Greco di Tufo) does a similar thing with its fantastic mix of exotic fruit with dry minerality and crisp acidity, thanks in part to volcanic soils around Tufo in Campania. Try these:
- Cantina Gadoro Fiano Beneventano, Campania, 2016. £6.49 from Waitrose. Summery, creamy and elegant with good, tropical fruit.
- Dominic Hentall Fiano, IGT Puglia, Italy, 2016. £8.99 Angel price, £11.99 Normal price from Naked Wines. Beautifully typical, orange and pineapple. Lush and fresh.
- ‘Taste the Difference’ Greco di Tufo, 2016. £9 from Sainsbury’s. Golden, classy and floral with intense fruit and a moreish chalky tang. Fabulous value.
- Tre Fiori Greco di Tufo, Campania, Italy, 2016. £10.99 from Waitrose. Gorgeous golden colour with savoury baked apple fruit, a tangy bite and silky, mineral finish.
I have no Vinalogy video yet for these grapes. Why not taste some Fiano or Greco, then suggest a Vinalogy for me to film?
Winebird is a freelance writer, presenter and author of VINALOGY: wine basics with a twist! You can follow her on Twitter, and find her on YouTube.