Get Out of Your Rut


Put down the Chardonnay. 

Yes, I’m talking to you. 

Come on, put it down.  Move down the aisle.  It will be alright.  You can do this.

You are sadly missing out on other wines out there.  I’m not telling you anything new.  You’ve known this for a while, but up until now you have refused to let go of your precious Chardonnay.

It’s time to break out of the mold that holds you so tightly.  Join the new generation of wine drinkers who have been taking pleasure in discovering great, affordable, alternative white wines with great personalities.

Let’s face it, summertime is quickly approaching and it’s time to meander down a road less traveled.  The easiest way to achieve this is by trying a great off-beat white wine. 

The Chardonnay will always be there.  Don’t be afraid.

I’ll admit, I held on to my bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon as if they were the last ones on earth. 

When I finally realized life was too short to be stuck in a wine rut, I slowly and uneventfully put the bottles down (one at a time) and branched out to other unconventional choices.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing will replace my Cabernet, but since variety is the spice of life, I was willing to open my palate to the other great choices available.

There are so many white wines available to consumers other than Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It would be impossible to try them all.  But venturing out of the box to try a few of them would be fun.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You won’t like one?  I’m sure there are a ton of Chardonnays you try and don’t like.  Stop procrastinating.

The processing of these white wines is what makes them stand out. Stainless steel fermentation at cool temperatures, not allowing a secondary malolactic fermentation and never seeing the inside of a barrel keep them vibrant.  Using these techniques, winemakers are able to preserve freshness and lively acidity bottling pure varietal character.  What could be better than that?

Broadbent Vinho Verde, Portugal $10

Here is your first mission.  It’s not hard.  This wine is widely distributed.

Never heard of it?  This is a classic Portuguese wine known as Vinho Verde.  The “verde” does not refer to the wine being green in color but to drink it while it’s “young”.  It is non-vintage and is to be consumed soon after bottling even though it is a highly acidic wine. 

The Vinho Verde appellation of Portugal is a very large area but sits in a very densely populated part of the region.  The confined surroundings led to the grapes for Vinho Verde being grown high (13 ft/ 4 m) above the ground on pergolas while other crops were cultivated underneath, making the best use of the limited space available.  I like that.

However, I’m sure many of the larger producers in the area have now changed over to more conventional vine systems so mechanical harvesting can be put into place.

The grapes making up this Vinho Verde blend are Loureiro (50%), Trajadura (40%) and Pederna (10%), all traditional varietals of the area.

This wine is refreshing and light (only 9% alcohol) making it perfect to enjoy with appetizers, at lunch or with a weeknight meal.  Its delicate nature will not overwhelm you or your food.

The wine’s slightly sparkling character is stylistically proper for Vinho Verde.  This is achieved by suppressing malolactic fermentation and injecting carbon dioxide before bottling.

On the nose you will find floral scents and zesty citrus characters. On the palate the wine is vibrant but not sweet.  It does not turn your mouth inside out as you approach its refreshing finish.

This is one of the only Vinho Verde wines imported using a refrigerated container for shipping.  This makes the wine cost about a dollar more per bottle due to transportation costs but is well worth it.  Fluctuations in temperature is one of wine’s certain deaths caused by variable oxygen transfer rates through the closure.

I don’t think you can go wrong with this bottle.  All bases are covered.

If that is still not enough, buy it at least for the label.  I believe the owner’s young niece painted the picture.

What did you have to drink last night?  I won’t go ballistic if it was Chardonnay.

Post a Comment

43 Comments

  1. Philly 1

    Sounds tasty as long as it is not sweet. I like my wine very dry.
    Last night I had a some homemade red wine.

    Reply
  2. Well, I’ll try, but my peeps and I do love our chardonnay.

    Reply
  3. annbb 3

    You’ve been looking in my shopping cart! And reading my one track, chardonnay-or-death mind!

    And you’re correct – I really do need to broaden my horizons away from our big jugs of chard. Oh, alright, mentalP, jules and I will try broadening our horizons.

    We’re die-hards, tho, don’t know if it will work.

    But we will purchase and consume the wines of the Noble Pig Winery. They are destined to be fabu!

    Reply
  4. It was a blend of chardonnay and pino grigio; is that what Luna de Luna is? Anyway, I happened to have a big bottle of it and I accidentally drank a lot of it, then went on the internet and went shopping on Kevin Kubota’s site where I downloaded some actions for Photoshop. That’s why my rose looks so good. Too bad it didn’t smell so good. I took it at the edge of a shed at a local cow farm, so everything smelled like shit. Ok. This is turning into a novella. I am going out and buying this wine now. And I am so glad that it’s only 9% alcohol. And Cathy . . . I absolutely love the way you have with words. Love, love, love your site!!!

    Reply
  5. I had something ‘yellow’ last night – a Corona! Yep…

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  6. I completely agree Cathy. Crisp unoaked whites are both refreshing and quite versatile. I had an Argentinian Viognier/Chardonnay blend (OK, so it had some Chard, but it was not 100% barrel aged with full Malo Chard) yesterday, and expect to open some more crisp whites at the BBQ today.

    Happy Memorial day…

    Reply
  7. I had a bottle of Tara Winery’s Blanc du Bois Dry. I love supporting the local winery.

    Reply
  8. I did not have the Chardonnay, or a beer. They do not sell beer/wine etc in my town on Sunday’s! I was forced to drink Sweet Tea…..forced, I tell ya.

    Peace
    #2

    Reply
  9. OK, I’ll admit, I’m one of the few Americans out there who just plain does not like Chardonnay!
    I had beer last night, but often in the warm weather I find myself reaching for an Alsacian Riesling or dryer Gewurtz, depending on what’s on the grill. I’m also in the midst of a big Sancerre movement–still trying to find the perfect one, but when I do, I’ll probably stick with it for quite a while!

    I have a confession, though: even though I do enjoy whites, (and hubby collects dessert wines) I admit that my very favorite wines are all Bordeaux or CndP.

    Reply
  10. laura 10

    don’t judge me. i just got off a busy, stressful, exhausting 12 hour night shift and at 9 am i am enjoying a seghesio vineyards 2007 pinot grigio before bedtime. i am not a white wine kind of girl…cabs are my fave too…but this is good.
    i will be looking for this vinho verde fo sure.
    thanks!

    Reply
  11. sharon 11

    I usually drink Savuignon Blanc like others drink Chardonnay but last night I had Coppola Bianco.

    Reply
  12. Mrs. L 12

    Mexican Coke in a bottle. Actually I haven’t had any kind of a white in ages. May have to open a bottle sometime this week.

    Reply
  13. Natty 13

    It was my birthday last night and we ended up at Dave and Busters, so it was the ultra-klassy (klassy with a k– it was that klassy) vodka Red Bull. I hurt this morning.

    When I am drinking wine, I love a good syrah, especially from Santa Barbara. For white, I like Sauvignon Blanc too.

    Reply
  14. Marcy 14

    Hm, I don’t do wine. In fact I don’t drink any alcohol anymore and was never a big connoiseur of wine to begin with. However, if I did drik wine, I’d surely try that one!

    Reply
  15. Leslie 15

    I sooo wish that I liked wine. I have tried it many time..but it just suck everybit of moisture out of my mouth! I guess I am just not a drinker…Sad!

    Reply
  16. ummm the citrus sounds refreshing. I am a die hard Merlot/Cab girl. BUT when we go to Florida on vacation I will try and find a bottle of this. I am glad you explained the verde. Your so smart.
    So what’s your favorite dark red?

    Reply
  17. I did not have wine last night, but we did go into Boston to see Shear Madness (great audience participatory murder/mystery/comedy show) where I had one of their signature drinks, the Shear Madness. It was kind of like a Sex On The Beach…real fruity and dangerous and oh so good. :)

    Reply
  18. Stacy 18

    I’ve never had Vinho Verde, but I’ll be on the lookout.

    I’m usually drinking Pinot Grigio, but I also like the German one with the black cat on the bottle. Can’t think of the name, but I bet you know which one I’m talking about.

    Reply
  19. giz 19

    Dear G-d – this is Giz – I promise to open my world and I do like Chardonnay but not nearly as much as Pinot Grigio.. I will promise to look for this new learning wine at the liquor store. For $10 – what do I really have to lose? And I really do need to know more than just about the two kinds of wine in the world…I’m sure there’s more than red and white…ducking from the wrath of the wine gods.

    Reply
  20. I thought I was doing good trying different soda pop.

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  21. Oh all right. If it’s white, I’ll drink it. :)

    Reply
  22. Flea 22

    Tonight I’m having a Pepperwood Grove syrah. But the Hunny and I love a good Merlot, chilled. Thanks for the recommendation. Looking forward to trying the Noble Pig label. :)

    Reply
  23. I’ll be searching for that during my next grocery mission. Last night was my new favorite cocktail, a vanilla screwdriver. Deeee-licious

    Reply
  24. Neen 24

    Amen! See this is why I love your blog. We had a Bert Simon 2003 Reisling Auslese. Which is unfortunately, pretty in the box for us.

    Reply
  25. Jennifer 25

    I had a Sam Addams last night. We were at a cookout for the holiday and the Sam went well with my burger. Nothing beats a planned for diet cheat.

    I typically don’t care for white wine, I’m a red wine girl.

    Reply
  26. Lydia 26

    Based on your recommendation I went out and bought this today. We had it for dinner and it is just perfect. Light and refreshing.

    I love this site. You are gem in the blogging world.

    I have also tried two of the other wines you have recommended and all have been hits.

    Thank goodness I found you.

    Reply
  27. Liz C. 27

    Well, I a fan of Pinot Grigios myself, but I’m never adverse to trying new, affordable wines. Besides I’ve had some other label Portugese wines that I wanted to buy every available bottle… hoard them. Yes, sadly, I am like that. I’m the same way with shoes.

    Reply
  28. Rob 28

    What a great review.

    I have gone back and read all of your wine reviews and I must say you are THE MOST interesting wine reviewer I have come across.

    It’s nice to see someone with an education can talk about wine in a lighter tone than all those boring and stiff wine writers.

    You Rock!

    Reply
  29. Diet root beer. I’m hopeless…

    Reply
  30. melissa 30

    I just recently stopped buying Chardonnay and moved on to Sauvignon Blanc. For me, it’s a split on use – 50/50 between cooking and drinking. Thankfully, I long ago started ascribing to the theory that you shouldn’t cook with what you wouldn’t drink.

    I should use you as a guide to trying more wines. I’m fairly ignorant on the subject. Thanks for the posts that you do on it.

    Reply
  31. Elle 31

    I’m not a huge wine drinker, but I’d buy that for the gorgeous label. hehehe.

    Reply
  32. Claudia 32

    I have yet to find a white wine I like. I’ve tried, trust me, but they are all too acidic or too sweet or too something…I love my reds. But I WOULD love to find something nice to drink in the summer on a hot day…I love wine. I would die without wine. :)

    Reply
  33. Wow, we had vino verde this past weekend. it was bright and slightly fizzy but didn’t last long enough to see how it would taste the second day. a definite fun alternative!
    I’m into Borgo M Pinot Grigio at the moment. Which is such a change. I’m usually a beaujolais gal!

    Reply
  34. Last wine I had to drink was Mirassou’s Cabernet Sauvignon, which was pleasantly delish…

    …but I recently discovered one of the BEST wine & liquor stores EVER (it is H-U-M-O-N-G-O-U-S and has its own wine bar,) so I’ll be trying lots more new wines in the near future (what with summer guests and all…)

    Reply
  35. Megan 35

    One more unusual white wine that definitely deserves a taste (if any of you haven’t) is Gewürztraminer. It’s spicy and has great floral notes in the bouquet. Also, extremely delicious. It goes really well with summer food- a really flavorful grilled chicken breast, for example. It can stand up to a lot of flavor.

    Or go even more exotic and try something like an Rkatsiteli or Sereksiya. Find the most unpronounceable in your local wine store and try something totally new. It’ll be interesting and probably fun, I promise.

    Reply
  36. Wendy 36

    Currently preggo, so off the wine – but I’m tickled pink to see my last name on a bottle of wine!!! 😀 😀 I’ll need to try this when I can sample some vino again.
    … Mead. Have you tried that!?!? Nectar. 😀

    Reply
  37. Last night I had Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon. Wouldn’t say I’m a big fan…at least not a big fan of the first glass. I don’t know if it’s the alchol setting in or my taste buds dullening, but the second glass’ flavours are never as prominent.

    Reply
  38. Molly 38

    i’ll have to hunt this wine down. i’ve been drinking loads of La Boca Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s here in SoCal. i’m usually a Pinot Grigio gal and the La Boca is Grigio-like. i like the 9% alcohol you list in this one since i like to drink glass after glass :-) thanks!

    Reply
  39. Shirley 39

    I don’t care for Chardonnay. Last night I had a homemade strawberry wine that my BIL made. It was okay. Tonight I enjoyed a Redbridge gluten-free beer (as I am gluten intolerant).

    Reply
  40. Sorry to be so late to get in here, Cathy, it has been hard to keep up these past few days. You are absolutely brilliant with images and your posting prose! I love your blog!

    Reply
  41. Maria 41

    I had a few Becks last night. It was hot, and I’d had a long day….I didn’t know you could get vinho verde here! I tried it years ago when I was visiting Portugal. We drank it every day! I’m not usually a white wine fan, but it is refreshing.

    Reply
  42. celia 42

    Hello like to know your blog and I also enjoy the Portuguese green wine but also the wines of the region of Alentejo wines that are ripe, visit sites of Portuguese wines and get to know, a hug.

    Reply
  43. Lori Pedersen 43

    My first choice is always a NZ Sauvignon Blanc but I really like Vinho Verde too. Gazela is my favorite. And on that note, it might be time to pour a glass of something.

    Reply

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