Posts Tagged white wine

5 Popular Northwest White Wines

Similar to my post on 5 popular red wines from the Pacific Northwest, I’ll list the 5 most popular white wines from Washington and Oregon based on sales (in number of bottles sold) over the past 6 months at my store, Taste of Wine.

Once again, we’ll start with the 5th most popular and include the same wine description we provide our customers.

#5. Milbrandt Vineyards 2006 Riesling, Wahluke Slope, Washington, $15

The textbook floral aromas of orange blossom, apricot, and white peaches are well supported by the firm acids and hallmark “evergreen minerality.” The palate is lush, but lively; the finish is long and silky. (90 points, Wine Spectator)

#4. J. Scott Cellars 2007 Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $17

The wine displays beautiful pineapple and mineral aromas that persist through the long, full finish. This wine is a perfect accompaniment to seafood, domestic fowl, or light pasta dishes.

#3. Cloudline 2007 Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Oregon, $18

Peach, melon and citrus aromas lead to crisp flavors of lemon and green apples. Lean and slightly grassy with excellent acidity. The epitome of Oregon Pinot Gris!

#2. Pine & Post 2006 Chardonnay, Washington, $8

Inviting pineapple and honeysuckle aromas draw you in. Peach blossoms, apricots and light citrus fill your mouth with a hint of caramel on the finish. Lingering peach and integrated oak flavors leave you wanting another glass.

And #1. Zerba 2007 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Oregon, $19

A light-bodied wine with pleasing aromas of apple, honey, and citrus along with subtle hints of oak and vanilla. It has refreshing flavors of pear, lemon, and apricot that meld beautifully and then stretch into a lingering coating finish. (Special note: this wine will soon be very hard to find. The winery is out of stock and they aren’t growing Chardonnay anymore. Get it while you can!)

Let me know how you like them!

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Best Wine Serving Temperature

Generally, American wine drinkers drink their white wines too cold and their red wines too warm. Compared to their European wine-loving cousins, that is.

Unfortunately, kitchen refrigerator temperatures designed to keep food from spoiling (about 35 degrees F) makes white wine so cold it loses much of its flavor. Normal room temperature (about 70 degrees F) makes red wines seem flat too.

Ideally, most white still (no bubbles) wines should be served at approximately 45-50 degrees F. Some might argue for a few degrees warmer or cooler for specific wines but let’s face it, as soon as you pour it in the glass it’s going to begin warming up. (By the way, always hold the wine glass by the stem so the warmth from your hand doesn’t speed the warming of the wine!)

The ideal red wine serving temperature is about 60 degrees F. That’s about 10 degrees cooler than room temperature. See if a nice cool red wine doesn’t taste brighter and richer in the mouth.

But how can you get the right temperature without buying very expensive wine chillers? Just use your refrigerator! For white wines, take the bottle out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. For red wines, put the bottle in the frige about 20 minutes before serving (or the freezer for about 7-8 minutes). You may have to experiment to find the right amount of time.

For sparkling wines, most should be served quite cold. Refrigerator temperature is close enough. Let the bottle warm up for 10 minutes or so before popping the cork. Lambrusco and some other dark sparkling wines should be served at red wine serving temperature–use the same technique as for red wine. Personally, I like Lambrusco quite cold on a warm day!

At first you may find the taste quite different when your favorite wine is served at these recommended temperatures. Try it for several days to see how it compares.

You can serve your wines at proper temperatures without fancy equipment; just a little planning and some time will help you get maximum enjoyment from your wines.

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