Thinking outside the Bottle
White-Wine is not Boring!
People have literally written poetry about red wine. But have you ever seen or heard a lyrical moment include a white-wine cultivar? I certainly haven’t and I guess it lies in the fact that many people perceive white-wine to be boring.
To many, white-wine is considered basic, uneventful, the easy choice, unmemorable, simple, and only reserved for summer. Not really appetising adjectives, are they?
Not sure in which crowd you fall but I for one am thrilled by the spectrum of the different white-wine cultivars and the unique, complex aromas that they display. I certainly experience white-wine as stimulating, never monotonous.
Cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, have always reigned supreme when it comes to what we choose to drink, in terms of white-wine. But if you have found yourself stuck, perhaps you need to change your selection and venture into some uncharted territory!
White-wine cultivars have the ability to be the chameleons of the wine world, as they usually, more than reds, take on different characteristics, depending on where and sometimes also, how, they are grown.
A typical example of this, is Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for our Zonnebloem Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from Stellenbosch, where the vines thrive in a warmer climate, resulting in a wine with tropical, ripe flavours and aromas. On the flip side, the cooler climate areas that produce Sauvignon Blanc, are heavier in greener flavours, such as green pepper, asparagus and slight grassiness. Perhaps it gives the opportunity to try a blind tasting of Sauvignon Blancs produced in different regions? You will find that the one is most certainly not better than the other but more an example of how one cultivar can display differently, depending on where the grapes were sourced from.
Chardonnay is also quite the shape shifter, when it comes to taste and aroma. The impact of wood has a substantial effect on the style of the wine and also what you would decide to pair with it. Even lightly oaked Chardonnay, comes out to play more, when paired with foods that are slightly saltier and are more dairy heavy.
Blended wines really excite me and, in my opinion, should definitely be part of your exploration journey. When blending two white varietals, such as our Zonnebloem Blanc de Blanc which comprises of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, the flavour components elevate one another – balance and harmony are extremely important in any wine blend, but especially when blending two very expressive cultivars.
Whichever wine-venture you choose, my favourite way to enjoy a white-wine is simply in the most unexpected moments. When I lived in Burgundy, whilst waiting for our clothes to wash at the local laundromat, I would while away the time with my friends spread out on a patch of lawn with a gorgeous bottle of white-wine. The moment as memorable as the wine, was pure poetry in motion.
Cheers to finding your white-wine poetic moment!