When it comes to summer sipping, what's better than crisp, dry white wine out by the pool (OK, other than maybe Provençal rosé)? We sipped through a range of wines from around the world, and while there are so many more to include, consider this your summer white wine cheat sheet.
When you want something elegant, Chablis is never a bad choice. This wine, which comes at a great price for Chablis, is vibrant yellow with that classic Chablis nose of green apple with hints of lime and lemon and a round, lush mouthfeel that works well with shellfish, especially oysters.
If there was a style of wine that screams summer porch pounder, it's the effervescent, crisp wines from northern Portugal's Vinho Verde region. But they're also great with food, like this one from Vinhos Norte that blends indigenous grapes arinto, loureiro and trajadura. The result has a slightly floral nose with a mineral-driven dryer wine that's perfect with salads and seafood.
After excelling at Napa chardonnay for years, winemaker Richie Allen pushed for the winery to produce a second white wine, and he finally did in 2014. Well, it was worth the wait. This wine is so refreshing with grapefruit, lime, white peach and that awesome "it just rained" taste of grass without the harsh vegetal notes often associated with New World sauvignon blanc.
There are a lot of great Greek whites to drink, and this 100 percent assyrtiko is a fabulous place to start. With its lovely nose of white flowers and citrus, it has really nice acid and minerality with a bit of spice and a seriously long finish.
For a refreshing example of accessible Austrian grüner, you will never go wrong with Lois (and please don't call it "low-is"—it's pronounced like "choice"). With 12 percent alcohol, this is one zippy, bright and crisp sipper.
There's something about this wine's sensual zaftig bottle that begs you to drink it, and when you smell the green grapes, pear, honey and wildflowers on the nose, it draws you in more. Then you sip the pale yellow liquid and experience its fresh minerality, bright acid, honeysuckle and tropical fruit, and you demand more.
When you find yourself enjoying oysters this summer, you'd be remiss to not order a bottle of muscadet to go along with those tasty bivalves. The 2015 Henri Poiron one has green apple and pineapple on the nose that leads to a slightly tart green apple palate with lemon peel, acid and a really nice near-bone dry body. Not an oyster lover? That’s OK. This wine would hold its own at any barbecue.
While Spain is more known for its albariños, Portugal produces a number of alvarinhos (different spelling, same pronunciation) to rival its neighbor. This one is made on an estate on the south bank of the Minho River, which separates Vinho Verde from Galicia. It is fresh and stony and has nice structure, citrus and notes of exotic fruit with lower acid and a lovely lingering finish.
You may be scratching your head about a chardonnay from Spain. While northern Spain is more known for albariño, viura and verdejo, this one will surprise you. With citrus and honey on the nose, it offers a nicely rounded mouthfeel with just enough freshness that it keeps going long after you finish your sip.
With its 50th anniversary bottling, Vietti once again shows why arneis makes such damn delicious wine. Aged entirely in stainless steel, this unoaked medium-bodied arneis is delicious on its own on a hot day, but with its crisp acidity, lime, honeydew and grapefruit notes, it's great to pair with salad, seafood, soft cheeses and white meat.
Where some other better-known pinot grigios cost well over $20, this is a steal at under $13, with enough argument in the bottle to say it stands up to those others. This estate-grown wine screams summer: crisp, dry, bright and fresh with citrus, apple and nice minerality.
You may not associate Texas with crisp white wines—or wine at all, for that matter. But Texas Hill Country is one of America's emerging regions. We've enjoyed a few William Chris reds, and the same can be said for this native American grape. There's a lot happening here: fresh grass, lemon, lime, peas and asparagus on the nose with green apple, watermelon rind, grapefruit and vegetal notes in the mouth, plus a crisp acid to finish things off.