Wine & Spirits

A New Summer, a New White

Maybe it’s time to break out and try a new white grape.

New Summer White Wines
We have all had sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, pinot grigio from Italy, and big, buttery, oaky chardonnay from California. Maybe it’s time to break out and try a new white grape. These cover the gamut and might reveal for you a new love. This month’s selections are available at France 44 Wines & Spirits, 4351 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-925-3252,

Balnea Verdejo 2010 (Rueda, Spain)
100 percent verdejo
Price: $10.99
•  A great white grape from Spain, verdejo has North African origins and can be blended with macabeo or sauvignon blanc. The wine is fresh and crisp, with tart limey acid and white peach and apple fruit. Drink it very young, as a cocktail wine or with light fare such as fish tacos.

Atrea The Choir 2010 (Mendocino, California)
70 percent roussanne, 30 percent viognier (pronounced vee-oh-NAY)
Price: $19.99
• A beautiful white Rhone-style blend, this wine has flowers and white peaches on the nose and a little peppery spice on the finish. It’s fuller bodied than I expected but would go great with herb-roasted chicken or chicken Caesar salad.

Lagar de Cervera Albarino 2010 (Rias Baixas, Spain)
100 percent albarino
Price: $19.99
•  This is Spain’s substitute for sauvignon blanc. It is great with seafood or anything to which you’d add lemon or lime. A nose of pear and basil balanced with crisp citric acid will make this wine a favorite on a hot summer day.

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc 2009 (Alsace, France)
100 percent pinot blanc
Price: $22.99
•  Full bodied and rich, this selection has a smell like honeysuckle and apricots and a big mouthfeel like a California chardonnay, but with a lot more going on with fruit and that burnt orange kind of acid. Try it with Mexican food and be pleasantly surprised.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at