In honor of Mother’s Day, we set out on an ambitious quest to find some good white wines — “Mom approved” white wines, if you will. Ambitious you say? What’s so ambitious about finding a lick-lipping, decently-priced white wine? Aren’t you just going down to BevMo where they have an aisle or two of white wines? Well, it’s ambitious for us because we’re not really white wine drinkers. (And that’s pretty darn important to know as an upfront for this tasting.) I’d go with a nice Pinot Noir any day, and Chris is a sucker for deep, heavy reds. But there are definitely occasions that call for crisp whites — Memorial Day BBQ anyone? — and so we wanted to expand our repertoire.
Here’s a quick refresher on what was on deck for the May tasting. As you can tell, we didn’t really stick with any specific region or varietal; just picked up wines that piqued our interest. Purists may hate this approach. I call it realism. Hey, at least we didn’t pick them based on label alone, right? (Side note: I’m totally going to do that in the near future.)
Up first is the La Tunella Pinot Grigio. Chris smelled a lot of traditional fruity notes that you might find in whites: “Oak, vanilla, apple.” He thought there was a nice acidic touch to it with a quick fruit finish and a longer alcohol finish to it. I found it to be a little sharp up front but with a smooth finish. Overall, it was pretty tasty but not a clear winner — especially because it kicked off the tasting order.
Retail: $12.99; Linda: $17; Chris: $12 = So Close!
Next up we turn to the 2009 Clarksburg Dry Chenin Blanc by Dry Creek Vineyard. Chris was not a big fan of this one. Somewhere in there he tasted a little peach/apple and some pasta water. (Hmm, what did I cook that night? Maybe I spilled?) I had the opposite reaction: First it was love, then hate, then love. While the nose was interesting, I loved the dry fruit taste and initially pegged the price/value quite high. Ate a piece of cheese, went back for more and hated it. Ate a strawberry and still hated it. Tried it again the next day and loved it! Is it me or the wine?
Retail: $10.99; Linda: $20; Chris: $8 = Maybe for a Girls’ Weekend
Third in the line-up was the Heliptrope 2009 Pinot Gris. Chris got a little funk out of this one with a soapy, peachy, apple taste. I also picked up on an oaky smell and thought it had kind of a diluted taste to it. Despite all that, I still found some merit with the stone fruit references.
Retail: $9.99; Linda: $15; Chris: $8 = So Close Again!
Last we tried the Trimbach Riesling. Adding a Riesling to the mix was a last minute call on our part. We’re barely white wine drinkers, so for us to try out a naturally sweet varietal probably isn’t a fair competition. Not surprisingly, it was a bad day for the most expensive wine in the tasting. Chris found it very tart and “different.” I thought it also had a sour/sweet taste and knew I couldn’t drink it alone but had no idea what I could pair it with. What food stands up well to Sour Path Kids?
Retail: $18.99; Linda: $10; Chris $7 = Strike Out
Turns out that Chris really wasn’t a fan of any of the whites we picked out. Maybe that’s just a varietal thing. If it was a girl’s only tasting, there would have been three winners. But, as is usually the case with money, I could always stand to be reigned in a bit.
P.S. Who can count how many baseball references fell into this post? I think we’ve been watching too many Giants games.