A world of whites

Now that summer is here, you’ll want to quench your thirst with something light and crisp—and that often means a glass of white wine. For many people, the obvious options are an oaky Chardonnay from California’s Napa Valley or an Italian Pinot Grigio. Those are definitely fine choices, but you might want to explore some delicious wines from other parts of the globe.

Situated between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine River, the Alsace region of France is world-renowned for its aromatic whites, which includes the dry Riesling, earthy Pinot Gris, refreshing Pinot Blanc, spicy Gewurztraminer, as well as its traditional method Cremant d’Alsace sparkling wine. What makes Alsace wines so special? The region is home to one of the most diverse terroirs in the world with 13 distinct soil types, which gives winemakers the ability to match grape variety with soil, thereby creating combinations that are truly unique and specific to an individual vineyard plot.

As many Australians have learned, nothing goes as well with “shrimp on the barbie” as the Land Down Under’s many white wines. There are hundreds of varieties of grapes being grown throughout this vast land because many of its regions have the ideal grape-growing climate—resulting in glass after glass of refreshing libations. Among the country’s most popular exports are Sauvignon Blancs from the Margaret River region in Western Australia, Semillon from New South Wales and Pinot Gris from the Adelaide Hills.

Spain may be best known for its red varietals, such as Rioja, but it is becoming equally famous for its whites. Most notable is the sparkling Cava, which is a delightful alternative to Champagne. Equally excellent are the aromatic Verdejo, the crispy, often silky Albarino, and the ultra-flavorful Godello.

Finally, if you’re the kind of person who simply can’t live by wine alone, don’t worry. You can even use any of these wonderful wines as an ingredient in of the summer’s most refreshing new cocktails: the gin kir! (See recipe below)

Skoal, salut, l’chaim, enjoy!

GIN KIR

  • 2 parts gin
  • 2 parts white wine
  • 1 part Crème de Cassis

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a flute glass and garnish with a blueberry and a white grape.

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