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All You Need to Know to Navigate a White Wine List

27 Mar , 2015  

Spring is just around the corner. And what does that mean for wine connoisseurs around the world? It marks the beginning of the rose and white wine season. Over the first few weeks of spring, world-class restaurants around the world will pare down their red wine selection and begin to add white and rosé selections.

Here are a few great tips for selecting white wine in the spring and summer at a restaurant that runs a strong wine program.

Rule 1: There’s more to it than White Burgundy

White Burgundy which is mostly chardonnay is not the only white wine on the list. Yes, we know that someone will order that 2010 Puligny Montrachet. But it doesn’t have to be you. You will rarely find good value for a white burgundy on a restaurant wine list.

Rule 2: If you want high-end value wine, go to Germany or Austria.

The most expensive, highly regarded wines in the world in the 19th century were German Rieslings. Now, two world wars later, not so much.
But there is a reason German Rieslings used to be the most expensive wines in the world: they are outstanding and currently en vogue for the past few years among sommeliers. Look for that German wine priced at normally a $90 on the restaurant’s wine list.

Rule 3: For value, look for the Greek Wine

For years, a small group of wine aficionados have extolled the virtue of Greek wine and they’re now finally being heard  the world over. The standard-bearer for white in Greece is currently the grape varietal assyrtiko from Santorini. The volcanic terrain of Santorini imparts a unique minerality to the wine which is native to the island. Keep an eye out for names like Sigalas, Gaia, and Koutsigianopoulos.

There isn’t a better way to revel in everything that white wine has to offer than pair it with the perfect food.
According to Clive Castelino from Charosa Vineyards – “ Enjoying Wine With Our Meal, Is a Way Of Expressing How Relaxed And Joyful We Are.”

Rule 4: Keep Rules 2 and 3 in mind when talking to the Sommelier.

Many sommeliers love white burgundy, but every sommelier has wine regions and particular wines that they are passionate about but do not sell regularly in the restaurant.

Hopefully you will find and like German wines and assyrtiko. But referencing them to a good sommelier is announcing to them that they can recommend something off the beaten path that will likely be one of the wines that have a great mark up and taste even better because they do want to sell it.


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Deepika Rajadas

Editor at Fine Dine Love
Deepika shares an unhealthy obsession with all things cheesy. She believes that there's nothing like Chinese take-out and gets a little too emotional about chocolate.
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