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Red Wine Lover Switching to White. Any Suggestions, besides "Don't Do it!" ?

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Because of migraines etc I am switching my day to day wine drinking from reds to whites.
So far I am enjoying alborino, vernaccia, prosecco (I buy an inexpensive bottle at Trader Joe's), and a pinot gris from Chateau St Michelle out of Washington.
Have nothing at all against chards but I haven't found one I like as well as these others.
Also, I don't usually care for German Gewurztraminer or Reisling, preferring to drink those from the Alsace region. I'm telling you all of this so you'll have some idea of what I like.

Lately I cannot find the Chateau St Michelle pinot gris (tried their chard and was disappointed) and often have trouble finding vernaccia unless I go a town or two away. Alborino is often at the top end of what I can spend so not for frequent drinking.
I try to stay in the $10. range most of the time.

Do you have any recs for me? Certain bottles that you enjoy? I'd love to go shopping armed with a list of possibilities.

I should add that with my limited wine knowledge I've surely missed out on many nice wines and am very open and eager to try wines not mentioned above.
I'll appreciate any help you can offer!

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  1. From your preference descriptions, it sounds like you prefer cooler climate wines, that are crisper and more acidic than warmer climate wines.

    If the chards you have had previously have tended to be Californian, I would recommend trying French - they are nowhere near as oaky as Californians typically are.

    French Sauvignon Blanc.

    Vinho Verdes from Portugal tend to be fun (very young, fruity, and slightly fizzy).

    There was a Spanish Priorat that I had once, a few months ago, that took me by surprise when I found out it was a white (I had only ever encountered red previously) - doubly so as it tasted like a red. Very interesting. Sadly I am drawing a blank on the name at the moment.

    Sorry I have no specific names to recommend, but I am at the office and nowhere near any wine notes I may have jotted down regarding wines I have tried previously (besides I tend to favor reds over whites, so my memory for specific whites is not as developed).

    As for the under $10 goal, I think that is where it gets tricky as the options for white seem to be fewer when compared to red.

    1. If you like albariño and vernaccia di San Gimignano, you'd probably like vermentino and falanghina.

      1. Not sure how well stocked your local shops are, but you might look for Loire chenin blancs...they have enough substance to satisfy a red wine drinker. Dry Vouvrays, Saumur or Anjou blanc, Savennieres.

        Check the Sept. 21 entry in this NY Times wine blog:

        1. Ellaj, Camus Conundrum is an outstanding white that doesn't easily fit into any established catagory. Given that, after one taste you'll be enchanted.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Walters

            It's a blend of sauvignon blanc, muscat, chardonnay, vigonier, and maybe other varietals. At $24 list I think it's well out of the stated price range.

            Somebody whose taste runs to Alsatian whites, albariño, and vernaccia di San Gimignano would likely find it overoaked and unpleasant. I do, anyway.

          2. Look for some Rhone varietals - Roussanne and Marsanne; they are rich and complex without being strident and thin (like a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc) or overtly buttery (like the much-hated Chard is for me!).

            1. You might want to try wome white wines from the Alto Adige region of Italy. I have had a very high rate of success with these. In particular, a dry Gewurtztraminer, once available, but alas, no longer imported (really a Gewurtz Kleinstein) from the Santa Magdalena cooperative.

              Try a Muller Thurgau (a local varietal - a cross of Riesling and Sylvaner), or a Kerner or Sylvaner. All, in my experience, have been fine wines, good bargains, aromatic/floral, and crisp. By the way, under $10 is pushing it, but you can buy many of these for $12-15.

              Try a veltliner. I am in love with Austrian wines as well, particularly Gruner Veltliner. These can get very pricy. Watch out for the oaky ones, though. Try the top tier Nigl Gruner Veltliner - this is good drinking!

              Check out this link. http://www.thewinenews.com/febmar99/a...

              I hope this helps.

              2 Replies
              1. re: eLPete

                Good suggestion, Alto Adige whites are somewhat similar to Alsatian, though they tend to be lighter and less acidic.

                1. re: eLPete

                  Easy way to avoid having a Gruner Veltliner that has seen some oak is to buy only those from the Wachau region (they have a very strict code which forbids it). If you look for ones with "steinfeder" and "federspiel" on the label you should be able to buy them for in the ballpark of $10. Also seek out other whites from Austria: Rieslings (they are done bone-dry in this country, not at all like a German Riesling in style), and Sauvignon Blancs from Styria. For those, look for labels with "classic" and you should end up with a great wine for a very good price. Austria also does great Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gelber Muskateller (AKA dry golden muskateller), Chardonnay and some lesser known grapes such as Neuburger.

                2. The switch to whites is not a bad thing, it seems to me (unlike djohnson) that there are a lot more great whites for less than $15 than reds.

                  I love Alsatian wine, a good $10 bottle is Hugel Gentil, a white blend.

                  I have really been enjoying Italian whites this summer.
                  Look for Cortese from Piedmont, it is crisp and refreshing. Araldica Castelvero is nice for less than $10.

                  Argiolas makes a great Vermentino di Sardegna for around $10, very aromatic.

                  My favorite white this year is 05 Funtanin Roero Arneis, $15, very dry with violet aromas and mineral finish.

                  I love Albarino too, Burgans, Martin Codax, Nora...a really nice (and more expensive) bottle is Granbazan Ambar.

                  You might also like Rueda whites, I had a good one that was around $12, Bodegas Casto Pequeno Chamelin.

                  Do you like Sauvignon Blanc? Crisp, zingy, grapefruity, grassy ones from New Zealand like Babich or Monkey Bay are around $10; Loire SBs are sometimes similar, I had a nice Domaine Mardon Quincy for $11.

                  I agree, you want French chardonnay it is often much crisper. The cheaper ones (like from Languedoc), however, may be made in the oaky California style. Chablis is the uber crisp, minerally, dry chard but it is way expensive. Try wines from Cotes Chalonnaise for less pricey white Burgundy.

                  1. Agreed. In my (limited) experience, Alsatian whites have tended to be a little more "buttery', though not without charcter (and acid).

                    1. Buy now, outstanding quality for great prices. These countries are using high altitude to make great whites.

                      Chardonnay, Finca Sophenia Altosur, Argentina
                      Chardonnay, Funky Llama, Argentina
                      Chardonnay, Miolo Reserva, Braszil
                      Chardonnay, Morande Grand Reserve, Chile
                      Chardonnay, Gran Araucano, Argentina
                      Sauvignon Blanc, Morande, Chile
                      Sauvignon Blanc, Los Vascos/Lafite Rothchild, Chile
                      Sauvignon Blanc, Gran Araucano, Chile
                      Pino Gris Lurton, Argentina
                      Muscat, Terran Va, Miolo, Brazil
                      Torrentes, Lotango, Argentina
                      Viognier, Don Pasual Reserva, Uruguay
                      Johannisberg Riesling, Luigi Bosca, Argentina
                      Gewurztraminer/Chardonnay, Vinedo De los Vientos, Uruguay

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: 2top

                        You mean Miolo Espumante Terranova Moscatel? Is that available outside of Brazil?

                      2. This list is almost 2 years old and I remember this being a dry still wine from Miolo with the grape "Muscat" named on the label. At the tasting we all expected something sweet but were pleasently surprised.

                        1. Did some searching. Here it is.


                          Terranova Muscat is an aromatic white wine, produced in Vale do São Francisco from Muscat grapes. Light structure , it should be consumed young for a better appreciation of its characteristics

                          Color: it has a light pale yellow color, brilliant and with lightly greenish tints.
                          Aroma: lively , delicate and medium intensity. Aromas of white fruits such as pears and floral aromas (roses) are its characteristic.

                          Taste: a light body, roundness, low acidity and a floral taste. Some lingering in the mouth and a smooth, lightly fruity finish.

                          1. Many thanks to you all. I've copied the information and your very helpful suggestions.
                            You've whet my appetite and I'm looking forward to learning more and tasting, tasting, tasting!

                            Certainly a generous bunch, the Chowhounds.


                            1. I agree with the New Zealand Sauv Blanc suggestion, specifically look for those from the Marlborough region.