Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rant: White Wine

A common problem I encounter in wine service is a desire for one of three things: a "dry" white wine, an ice bucket, and chardonnay.

Let me expand upon the subject of "dry" white wine.

The vast majority of wines served on the regular wine list at restaurants in California are dry. Many roses are dry. Many rieslings and gewurztraminers (and other traditionally "sweet" varietals) are dry. What people USUALLY mean when they're asking for a "dry" white wine is an ACIDIC white wine.

So fucking ask for that. If you ask for a dry white wine--99% of wines on a list will fit the bill. However there are rieslings and gruner veltliners that are dry and minerally. There are ruedas that are dry and citrusy with strong floral characters on the nose. There are vermentinos and albarinos that are big and spicy with long acidic finishes. Viogniers and muscadets can be dry but musty and/or grassy. All these wines are dry. All are very very different.

But why do you even necessarily want an acidic wine? Acidic wines are not necessarily great to drink alone, but they work nicely with mild seafood and most light and spicy cuisine. Acid perks up the taste buds and cleanses the pallet, brightening up delicate flavors and tempering spice.

Just because a wine isn't bone-dry acidic doesn't mean it's a white zinfandel. So calm down, open your mind, and drink a lot of wine.

Then you'll find out what you really like.


Zack said...

I like how you expanded on "dry" white wines, chiding the reader, without explaining what "dry" actually means.
I had to look it up.
Look, I don't drink a lot of wine.

"cleanses the pallet"
The palate, even!

a linguistics major.

David J.D. said...

That's the point. It doesn't have a useful meaning. People think that it does.

Have you ever washed wooden platforms with an acidic wine? Works wonders.

Zack said...

Probably vinegar works too?