Spring’s gloriously warm weather has us in the mood for refreshing white wines—specifically, whites made from grape varieties that show off lighter fruit tones, have zingy acidity, cool mineral tones, and are unfettered by oak aging. We’re talking about the kind of wine you’d want to wash down a plate of flash-fried calamari or deliciously local asparagus from the farmers’ markets. We’ve tracked down three thirst quenchers to get you in the mood for patio sipping.
Hailing from the maritime climate of the Basque region of Spain, Xarmant Txakoli 2010 ($17, Bacchus Importers Ltd.) seduces through its lightness. Whispers of Key lime, lemon zest, and cool chalk ride the wine’s oh-so-slight effervescence. And at 11.5 percent alcohol, it positively slides down the gullet without lulling you to sleep. It’s a perfect aperitif wine, but would also go well with grilled shrimp or octopus.
Another delicious white wine with a mouthful of a name can be found in the Semeli Winery Moschofilero “Feast” 2010 ($10, The Country Vintner). Moschofilero is a grape variety native to the Peloponnese region of Greece and is favored for its perfumed aromas and juicy flavors. Both traits are obvious in this classical beauty. It smells wonderful and bursts with pineapple, pear, and lemony snippets. It will add a Mediterranean flair to many types of food.
The Grüner Veltliner grape has already established itself as a lively alternative to wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. It can be even more interesting when blended with other grapes. The Steininger “Young” 2011 ($16, Potomac Selections) is a succulent example. It’s mostly Grüner but also has a dollop of Sauvignon Blanc and a dash of Muskateller. It all adds up to a lot of citrus from the Sauvignon, pear and white pepper from the Grüner, and a hint of peach from the Muskateller. White-wine fans will appreciate this offbeat option.