Wine education: Selecting the Right White.
The right wine will add magic to your meal. The wrong one will distract from the general food and wine ambiance. In order to give the right environment to a white wine, let's start with an appropriate list of examples.
Dr. Vinny, in a piece for the Wine Spectator, names
- Sauvignon Blanc,
- Pinot Grigio,
- Spanish Albariños and
- Austrian Grüner Veltliner
as four popular, well-known examples of dry white wine. A dry white wine, predictably, has less "sweet" taste than a sweet wine. He cautions us that if we choose to cook with wine to be sure to taste it, because a wine that isn't "fun" to drink won't enhance the food, either.
When working with the dry white wine, remember that the best foods are the subtle flavors of fish, chicken, and the "whiter" taste of veal or pork. The spices should be low-key as well in order to blend with the sensory elusiveness of the dry whites.
Dr. Vinny advises that Sauternes and "late-harvest" Riesling and Chenin Blanc are sweet whites. The sweet whites can accept more challenge than the drys, and are a good choice for stronger flavors. The website Hello Vino lists several good pairings for Sauternes including apple pie, mangoes, and chicken wings.
Grace Parisi on the website Food&Wine puts Riesling on the table, and also in the gravy.
On the site Wine Folly, Madeline Puckette gives a head's-up regarding foods that don't pair easily with wine. Chocolate, Blue Cheese, Asparagus, Sushi, Soy Sauce & Brussel Sprouts have earned this distinction, but remember that many people have no problem with these pairings. Another classic saying is that there is no accounting for taste.
There is a general rule that red wine should be served room temperature, but that white wine should be chilled. Of course, it isn't that easy. The temperature in a refrigerator varies a lot, as do temperatures in rooms. Dr. Vinny says that ideal temperature for a cellar would be around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. White wines should be served at 40 to 50 degrees, and reds between 60 and 65. But he gives a constant disclaimer that you know what you like, and while you are developing your taste, please yourself.
Contact us for more questions regarding reds, whites, and wine in general.
- Adam Linet