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Recommend White Wine for Wine Newbie

Hello all,
My name is Mike and I am a long time reader now making my first post :)
I am looking for recommendations for white wines. I am 21 and new to drinking wine. Over the years I have tried the wines my parents bought but never liked them (almost always Franzia brand boxed wine, either Chillable Red or Zinfandel). I always found these way to bitter, as well as the way I feel about any other red that I have tried (save for a bottle of Wal-Mart brand Sweet Red my brother bought once).
The one sure fire wine I know I enjoy is Portuguese Vinho Verde. Luckily for me this is easy for me to track down as I live about an hour away from Fall River, MA (aka little Sao Miguel) and I run out there about once a month to stock up on Chourico and other portuguese supplies.
I just want to expand my taste and I am looking for recommendations. Big bonus for brands I can find for under $10.
Thank you ahead of time,
Mike D

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  1. Vinho Verde is distinctive and there's not much like it.
    The obvious suggestion would be to look for verdejo and verdelho at a store with good imports.
    Verde means green. The gruner in gruner veltliner also means green. There are some one liter bottles of gruner veltliner that are fairly serious wines. Look for ones imported by Terry Thiese.
    Foxglove is the second label for Varner. Their chardonnay runs about $12 a bottle and is pretty good.
    Chateau St. Michelle riesling is usually less than $10.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SteveTimko

      I will have to look into other green wines. Even if they are not a Portuguese green wine, are they similar in they have a very fruity taste? Also I will look into your other recommendations. Thank you for the reply :)

    2. Another wine you might like that has a "refreshing" quality similar to vinho verde is Torrontes (from South America, usually Argentina). Many can be had for around $10.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        I will have to keep my eyes open for that. Thank you!

        1. re: Akitist

          You're the second one to mention that so I will surely have to look for some. Thank you!

          1. re: Akitist

            Another good rec. and a food-friendly one, at that.


          2. In that vein, I would also look to a few other wines/varietals:

            Albariño/Alvarinho -similar in acid, mouth-feel, and also in the parings with many foods.
            Sauvignon Blanc - I'd hold off on the wonderful NZ SB's, until later
            White Bordeaux - especially the SB, but some Semillons and blends as well.
            Many Loire whites

            That would be my starting point, or points, and I'd hope to enjoy,


            1. How far are you from Sturbridge, MA? Yankee Spirits is there. Their wine guys are fantastic. Ask for Joe or Adam- I'm sure they'd love to help with specific recommendations.

              1 Reply
              1. re: invinotheresverde

                I live in Thompson CT so I am only 15 minutes away from Sturbridge. I used to pass Yankee Spirits all the time when I used to work out there. I will have to stop in and talk to them. Thank you for the rec!

              2. Torrontes already has been mentioned. Riesling (if you can get some good stuff, not the sweet crap), Pinot Bianco/Blanc, Vernaccia, Moschofilero. All very nice whites to try.

                4 Replies
                1. re: linguafood

                  Sweet riesling=spatlese, auslese, BA, TBA and Eiswein.
                  Some of the most profound wines I've had are ausleses from 1976 and 1971.

                  1. re: SteveTimko

                    I am familiar with the various kinds of Rieslings. Young Rieslings are also very drinkable.

                    Unfortunately, a lot of the Riesling we get here (PA) are from wineries I've never ever heard of - none of the popular ones NOW in Germany -- Dr. Loosen comes to mind as well as several others.

                    I have had wonderful old Auslesen myself.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Wine-Searcher.com shows Pennsylvania has JJ Prum spatlese from Wehlener Sonnenuhr and Graacher Himmelreich and the Donnhoff Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg. The Prums need some time for the sulphur to blow off. Donnhoffs are not made to age beyond mid term. Both are excellent sweet wines.

                      1. re: SteveTimko

                        I don't particularly like sweet wines (save for dessert). I thought that was fairly obvious.

                        But thanks anyway for the rec.

                2. I would give Rene Barbier Mediterranian White a try. Clean, crisp and inexpensive ($5/ bottle). Big step up from the boxes that you mentioned and a good entry level everyday wine.

                  1. Vinho Verde is made from the Alvarinho grape. That same grape in Spanish is called Albarino. There are a couple of Albarino wines in the $10 range. It is similar to, but definitely not identical to the Vinho Verde you like.

                    Here's another vote for Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings. very good qpr on those. There are at least two that are around $10.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      Well it's settled, I'm going to have to look for a bottle of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings. Thank you for the rec as well as the information about the grapes.

                      1. re: MDinCT

                        Chateau St. Michelle has a little rating scale on the bottle that rates the sweetness. Just choose one of the less sweet, if that's what you like.

                    2. I would suggest that you purchase Andrea Immer Robinson’s “Great Wine Made Simple”, which will explain what you are tasting and point you towards the style you prefer. I drink mostly French, Spanish & Italian white wines, which seem to be less expensive as most that I buy are about $10 or $12. Pine Ridge, Chenin Blanc/Viognier at $10 is domestic wine I really like. These $10/$12 wines are the suggestions Bill Hunt made above.

                      1. When I first started drinking wine, it had to be white and had to have some residual sugar. Not necessarily sweet, but off-dry. Speaking to people, it seems this is a somewhat common starting point. It also had to be cheap.
                        I was happy with Canadian "rhine" wine (don't remember the brand). A cheap, mass produced jug wine that was plenty fruity. There are quite a few California brands also producing a "rhine".
                        Not fancy, the opposite of classy, but I liked it when I was 20.
                        As I went along (again, like many I know), my tastes tastes changed to more dry, crisp wines, and ultimately to dry, complex reds.
                        Use the recs here, speak to the people at the store, find what you like!

                        1. Thank you everybody for the rec's! I'm going to have to hit up the liquor store and see what I can find.