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Mar 23, 2007 02:11 PM

What white wine would be good with a variety of apps?

Being a red wine imbiber myself, I'm at a bit of a loss here...I need a white that will work with a variety of appetizers. Having a party in April for 16 ...What would y'all suggest?

Personally, I usually find that second glass of white tastes sour...espec. Chardonnay. I do like some Gewurtzstraminers and a particular Semillon, but that's about it. Anyway, I won't be drinking the white...I just want my guests to enjoy their beverages.

Under $10 would be desirable.

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  1. Hard to say as you have not offerred up what the range of appetizers may include. Champagne tends to cover a broad range of food matchings so it might work for you. Pine Ridge makes a Chenin Blanc / Voigner blend that is pretty versatile and is generally available for around $10 to $12.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scrappydog

      Agree with Pine Ridge. A truly great value at $10 !

    2. If any of the apps are spicy, I find that Rieslings tend to stand up to spicier dishes... I'm blanking at the moment at the one we usually get, but it is certainly in the $10 and under category.

      1. Savignon Blancs are typically food friendly. I also second the Rieslings.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Niblet

          1) I am still putting my list of apps together as I've got 3 weeks but they will range from a roasted veg and couscous dish to goat cheese to sun-dried tomatoes to a seafood thingy (hot or cold? shrimp or crab?) to snow peas dipped in curried cream cheese and dipped in peanuts to feta/sauteed onion tarts etc. I need a variety to suit many tastes.

          2) One correction. I meant to say Sancerre and not Semillon in my original posting.

          Thanks for the suggestions. Do you have specific vintners that you like?

        2. truth to the matter, if you are serving many people in varied levels of wine saaviness (just assuming this as you only want to spend $10 a bottle) - keep the onus on the wine and don't get too caught up in the food / wine pairing perfectly. a flavorful well balanced wine will go a lot further than pulling out an ecletic never heard of wine that matches well.

          serve what is common and will please many, instead of going on a limb and trying to hit a home run with something that might work perfectly with couscous or seafood thingys.

          additionally, you are probably in the minority when you say that the second glass of wine tastes sour. maybe there are deep, recessed pits in you taste buds, but I would venture to guess that most people don't experience the same sensation. most people don't think that, in general, the first glass tastes okay, but the second glass tastes sour. at least, i have never had that sensation nor has anybody else i have known. if the wine is bad, it is bad from the gitgo.

          keep it simple and save yourself the headaches. go to costco, unload on a six pack of $10 chardonnay and another six pack of $10 sauv blanc and two cases of beer. you'll be in good shape.

          1 Reply
          1. re: waffleman

            I would guess that the "sour" sensation may be as the temperature of the wine climbs (assuming it is white wine). Many bottles of white are opened and then kept out on the counter. Now same may prefer the temp as it warms a bit, but if teh first glass was straight from the fridge, the refreshing sensation from the cold first glass may be diminished. With somewhat "generic" white wine, I would keep it on ice. I know, the arguement about serving at 45 - 50 degrees, but in this case, I would say keep it cold.

          2. Argentinian Torrontes is a wildly aromatic dry white that many people enjoy. Etchart's is ubiquitous.

            Similar aromatically, dry Muscat (either alone or in a blend) from southern France. Chapoutier's Cigala (Muscat and Macabou) is a fine example -- or maybe was (I've not seen it around in a while and it's not listed on Chapoutier's website).

            Spanish Rueda reminds many people of Sauvignon Blanc.

            Hungarian Furmint is dry but has an appealing honeyed quality. The 2005 Pajzos is just dandy.

            Don't rule out bubbly. Some decent Spanish cavas and southern French sparklers (Blanquette de Limoux, Clairette de Die, etc.) are quite affordable, though they may slightly exceed your price point.

            4 Replies
            1. re: carswell

              Thank you all for your helpful input. I want to elaborate a bit here if I might:

              1) I think the point about keeping white wine cold is so true. I can't drink white if it isn't really cold. Someone in the wine business told me that the "sourness" I experience is tied to the acidity of the wine. I find this happens with a chardonnay most often than other whites.

              2) Last weekend I made butternut squash ravioli (from absolute scratch) with a brown butter sage "sauce". I had a slurp or two of a Pinot Grigio before the ravioli. After trying the ravioli and the crispy sage leaf, the wine just got lost. Understandable because of the strong, but tasty, flavor of the sage. I am hoping to find a kind of generic wine that will hold up to a variety of apps as well as being a good aperitif. This is where I need help because I lack experience with red, espec. chardonnay.

              3) If the price point goes up a bit, I don't mind. Most of the guests are red drinkers and I will only have to buy 4-6 bottles of a white. So I am a bit more flexible with the price point on the white.

              4) I have bought a case of French Beaujolais as a general red and I have enough red on hand to adjust the red supply if I need to bring out something "heartier".

              5) I might bring out some Moscato d'Asti for light desserts.

              6) Would Gewurzstraminer be a bad idea for a general wine? Or perhaps a few types of white to please people? Maybe 2 chards, 2 Pinot Grigio's/ Viognier/Sauvignon Blanc and maybe 2 Gewurz. or Riesling? What do you think?

              1. re: twodales

                A more fruity white stands better once people being chomping on apps. Its the flavors, salts, spices in foods that can change the palate and experience with the subsequent glass of wine (not to mention the loss of chill,, oxygen, etc.). Keep the wines as chilled as possible with ice tubs, inflatable chillers, etc. Typically a sweet pinot grigio ( I find Santa Marghetria or an Italian Pinot quite satisfying, or a drier Reisling. You can then finish up with a white dessert white , such as a Sauternes, Moscato, (Eiswein if you want to be flamboyant) or even a chilled Vanilla cognac such as Navan is a great blend in for the finish. I too find Chardonay unappetizing after the second glass.... I just don't know what it is. But I don't think it blends well with foods sometimes. It can be thick and buttery and almost fights with the food on the palate.

                1. re: twodales

                  Just a reiteration of a few points already made, but I think they bear repeating: have a variety of wines on hand. You need the sauv blanc for the goat cheese dishes (the Sancerre would work well, but might be more expensive than a CA). Reislings and gewurztraminers tend to work well with curried foods, even those that aren't spicy, so if you do your curry cream chese dish, I'd have one of these on hand. I would personally probably choose a reisling because I find that good reislings are still easier to find at a good price than good gewurztraminers. Chateau St. Michelle makes a good reisling and I think there's a decent value gewurz made by ... Valkenburg? I'll get back to you on this one.

                  Chardonnays are accessible, of course, but I also think that for your interestingly spiced appetizer menu, a cava or other bubbly would play more broadly.

                  Sounds like it'll be a good dinner!

                  1. re: twodales

                    Based on your additional info, if it were me, and I was looking for six bottles of white, I would go for 2 bottles Reisling (for the curry / spicy items), two bottles SB (CA/WA if under $10, NZ if around $10) and 2 unoaked Chards, like Kim Crawford. I think the Gerwurz could be a good match, but the Reisling is probably an odds-on bet to be a better crowd pleaser at this price range. The appetizer selection sounds great, and there are many good suggestions on this thread. You probably can't go wrong with a mix of any of the wines suggested.

                    As an aside, if you only like a white wine if it is extremely cold, then you may not really like the taste of that wine, and that's OK. Serving the wine extra cold suppresses some of the flavor. We actually have the same problem with some Chardonnay, and we have be on a "mission" lately to find some whites for summer that we like better. This is why I suggested the unoaked Chard. You might also prefer a French Chard to a CA Chard.