9 White(ish) Wines Under $20
I have them listed in a suggested tasting order. The general rules I followed were:
- White Before Red: Not really applicable at a white wine-only tasting, but it is a well-known rule.
- Dry Before Sweet: You'll notice my once sweet wine is near the bottom the list.
- Light Body Before Heavy Body: For example, I've listed a dry Riesling before the Chardonnay I picked out.
- Sparkling First.
- Young Before Old: I didn't pay too much attention to this rule as all of these wines are in the 2011-2013 range.
Similar to the Vinho Verde, this Cava is a great alternative to Champagne. Serve well-chilled as an aperitif, or with sweet and fruit desserts.
This effervescent white wine from Portugal is one of my favorite new discoveries. Though not quite as bubbly as Champagne, the hint of sparkliness gives this wine a "special occasion" type feel without the hefty price. This medium dry wine from the Vinho Verde region of Northern Portugal makes a festive aperitif, or can be paired with fish dishes and salads.
Floral, with scents of lime and apple, this is a very dry Riesling (unlike it's German cousins) which is why I like it so much. Too sweet white wines give me a major headache. This bottle is light enough to pair well with seafood, but also bold enough to hold up to the pork dishes so often found in the Alsace region of France.
This Alsatian-style Pinot Gris from Oregon (one of my favorite places in the states to buy wine from), is full of pear, banana, and spice notes. It's crisp, light-bodied quality makes it a great summer wine.
This Trader Joe's brand wine was very popular at my wine tasting. This particular Sauvignon Blanc has strong aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and apple.
Sancerre is by far my favorite white wine and, ironically, the most expensive wine on the list. Refreshingly zesty, with notes of minerals and citrus, enjoy this wine with soft cheese...or whenever you want.
This is the only sweet wine I added to the list, and I will admit that I was a bit skeptical. However, it ended up being delicious! The honeyed apricot and peach flavors are great for taming spicy food or sipping after dinner. Take a sniff and you'll pick up aromas of rose petals and honeysuckle!
Hailing from the Maconnais region of Burgundy, France, this Chardonnay is kept far away from the oak barrels that Californian chards are so often found in. Bright and crisp with notes of apples, this would be a perfect aperitif or paired with shellfish, crab cakes, or goat cheese.
I know, I know. This isn't technically a "white wine", but I couldn't resist throwing a Rose into the mix. Usually I stick with Provencal rosés, but I decided to branch out to a Spanish rosé to bring a new variety to the table. This wine is fruity and acidic with intense strawberry notes. It would be a great balance to any type of spicy food, especially paella or seafood.