Three Must-Have White Wines for Summer
Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris: a trio of tasty white wines with medium to high acidity at their core and unlimited food pairing potential. They’re an absolute must to have in your cellar year-round and serve as perfect go-to wines during the warmer summer months.
For an excellent selection of these three white wines, look no further than our own Washington State, where they’re made in a wide range of flavors, styles, and sweetness levels ranging from bone-dry to candy-sweet.
RIESLING: VERSATILE AND AFFORDABLE
Riesling could arguably be called the most versatile wine you’ll find on the marketplace. Why? It’s one of the few wines—red or white—that sells well in a dry, off-dry, sweet, and late harvest (very sweet) style. It also does incredibly well as a sparkling wine—Yakima Valley’s Treveri Cellars Celebration Cuvée (about $20) is a great example—and is a terrific pairing partner for spicy foods.
Milbrandt Vineyards 2018 Sweet Katherine Riesling (about $13)—If you like big, expressive Rieslings, this latest release from the Prosser winery should put a smile on your face. Explosive white peach and apricot flavors are capped by a honey-like finish that’s accentuated with refreshing, laser-sharp acidity.
SAUVIGNON BLANC: UNDERUSED AND UNDERRATED
Sauvignon Blanc’s high acidity is the key to its ability to pair with food, perhaps even more so than Chardonnay. This feature allows the wine to cut through the fat content of foods and contrast well with dishes cooked in butter or cream-based sauces.
Sauvignon Blanc may also be the quintessential wine to pair with seafood. Its minerally characteristics make it a natural choice to serve with any seafood and shellfish with similar qualities.
Three of Cups 2018 Le Voeu Sauvignon Blanc (about $16)—Woodinville winemaker Mike Metheny hits a home run with this stunning and sensuous new release. It features fragrant lemongrass and green herb aromatics, juicy ruby-red grapefruit flavors, and a weighty yet vibrant lemon-drop finish.
PINOT GRIS: THE “NEWER KID ON THE BLOCK”
Twenty years ago, Pinot Gris barely registered as a Washington white wine varietal. Today, it ranks third in production behind Riesling and Chardonnay and continues its rise as an all-purpose crowd-pleaser with an easy-to-drink persona.
Pinot Gris isn’t a high-acid grape by nature, but by growing it in cooler areas or harvesting it early, winemakers can achieve higher acidity levels to give the wine a brighter, crisper quality.
Gravel Bar Winery 2015 Pinot Gris (about $18)—This Columbia Valley winery tends to hold back its white wines before release, and this older vintage Pinot Gris is still drinking beautifully. There’s a faint whiff of petrol on the nose with pear, cantaloupe, and green melon flavors that provide a slightly round quality to balance out the crisp finishing note.
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