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Posts tagged ‘chardonnay’

 By Giuliano Bortolleto

On my last post I talked about the great quality of the south-american white wines. More specifically about the chilean Sauvignon Blanc and the argentinean Chardonnay. Now, I will talk about the taste of the three wines I have detached on that post one by one.

Domaines Barons Rothschild - Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2007: This winery was created in 1988 by the Domaines Barons Rothschild, producer of the Chatêau Lafite. That’s why they always aim to put their french philosophy in their wines, which usually are more delicated and sophisticated then the other chilean wines, and with less alcohol too. This Sauvignon Blanc is very citrus, with some lemon and passion fruit notes on the aroma and also on the flavour. Very bright and clear colour. Excelent to pair with light meals and appetizer for the hot summer.

Viña Errazuriz - Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2007: The winery Erazuriz really knows how to produce great Sauvignon Blancs. This one is very very fresh and has a fantastic passion fruit aroma. Very nice to enjoy a hot day with some salad.

Casa Lapostolle - Sauvignon Blanc 2007: Casa Lapostolle is certainly one of the best wineries of Chile. They really knows how to take care of a winery in order to extract the most that the grape can give to the wine. The Clos Apalta 2005 wine is a real proof of that. About the Sauvignon Blanc, i must say that is very surprising. A very special special mineral aroma. Very refined. It really express the local terroir. It is also citrus, with some pine apple notes. Perfect to be drunk young.

Heather Johnston, demonstrates how easy and delicious grilled clams can be, and pairs them with three satisfying Chardonnays.

Scallops with mushrooms & white wine
Recipe by Anne Willan


- 900g shelled scallops
- 350ml fish stock
- ½ bottle (375ml) white wine
- 350g button mushrooms , trimmed and quartered
- juice of ½ lemon , more to taste
- 2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp melted butter

For the duchesse potatoes

- floury potatoes , such as Kind Edwards or Maris Piper, each cut in 2-3 pieces
- 85g butter
- large pinch of grated nutmeg
- 6 egg yolks

For the sauce

- 2 shallots , finely chopped
- 65g butter
- 35g plain flour
- 125ml crème fraîche or double cream
- 8 large scallops shells or shallow individual baking dishes


1. For the potatoes, boil them until tender. Drain them, put them back in the pan and dry them for 1-2 minutes over a low heat. Take off the heat and mash the potatoes with the butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then beat over a low heat until fluffy. Take the potatoes off the heat and beat in the egg yolks to thicken. Adjust the seasoning. Let the purée cool slightly, then spoon it into a large plastic sandwich bag with a 2cm/3⁄4in cut in a corner (or piping bag with a plain nozzle) and pipe a generous border of potato around each scallop shell.

2. Discard the white muscle from each scallop and cut any large scallops horizontally in half. Heat the fish stock and wine in a pan, add the scallops, cover and poach 1-2 minutes until the scallops just whiten (remember that they will cook further in the sauce). Transfer them to a bowl, reserving the stock separately.

3. Cook the mushrooms, covered, with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, in a thin film of water until tender, about 5-7 minutes. If any liquid remains, simmer uncovered until it has evaporated. Add the mushrooms to the scallops.

4. For the sauce, boil the reserved stock for 10 minutes until reduced to 450ml/16 fl oz. Fry the shallots in the butter until soft, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until it’s foaming. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer until the sauce thickens to coat a spoon, 3-5 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and any liquid released by the scallops, and simmer until the sauce reaches coating consistency. Season.

5. Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan 180C. Stir the scallops and mushrooms into the sauce and spoon into the shells. (Can be prepared ahead to this stage and kept in the fridge for 6-8 hours.) Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and melted butter. Set the shells on a baking sheet, steadying them on a slice of bread or a bed of foil. Bake until browned and bubbling, 12-15 minutes. Serve very hot.

Nutrition per serving:

Per serving 527 kcalories, protein 30g, carbohydrate g, fat 29 g, saturated fat 15g, fibre 3g, salt 1,32 g

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2002 .

Source: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3236/scallops-with-mushrooms-and-white-wine-coquilles-s.jsp

Chilean White Wines

February 22nd, 2008

Chilean Vineyard | White Wines
Wine is a product which comes from many wonderful countries and regions. One such country which produces its fair share of wine is Chile. Chilean wines are varied in nature and the vineyards of the Chilean wine regions produce both reds and whites for consumption by wine enthusiasts all over the world. The following paragraphs will highlight Chilean white wines and provide some details regarding popular white wines from this area.

Sauvignon Blanc

One of the favored white wines from Chile is Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is produced in many vineyards throughout the country and is quite popular both within Chile and around the world. Sauvignon Blancs are usually crisp in nature and can vary in dryness depending upon the vineyard which produces the wine. This wine usually consists of fruity overtones and has a pleasing aroma. When looking to pair Sauvignon Blanc with food it is best to go with meal varieties such as barbecued foods, various salads and seafood entrees.


Another popular white wine type in both Chile and abroad is Chardonnay. Chardonnay produced in Chile is usually light and crisp with various oak flavors. Along with the oak overtones, Chilean Chardonnay is fruity in nature yet not too sweet. Chardonnay is a white wine that goes marvelously with a wide array of food choices. Some of the preferred food pairings for Chardonnay include cheese filled pastas, salmon and chicken dishes.


Semillon is another Chilean white wine which is favored for its delicious, crisp taste. This wine can be purchased alone or in combination with Chardonnay such as in a Chardonnay/Semillon mixture. Semillon often has fruity overtones where one can taste fruits like apricots and citrus items. This type of wine usually has a good acidity to it and has a pleasing taste overall. When interested in pairing Semillon with a meal, any entrees which consist of seafood or vegetables are a wonderful combination with this Chilean white wine.


Chilean white wines are extremely popular around the world but especially within the United States where their popularity continues to grow. As the popularity of such wines increase, so will the production of the wines within this country. Any of the previously mentioned types of wines can be consumed alone or with a wide array of entrée items. One who expresses an interest in Chilean white wines should try each variety to determine which one they like the best and also try wines from different vineyards as no two vineyards are alike. By doing so, one will ensure that they have truly experienced the delicious white wines of Chile.

Source: http://www.mamashealth.com/wine/chilwhite.asp

French White Wines

February 22nd, 2008

Champagne| White WinesFrance is a country that is known for its wide array of wines, both red and white varieties. French wines come in a variety of styles such as dry and sweet and those which are sparkling and non-sparkling. There are a number of wonderful French white wines which are favored not only in the country itself but around the world. Some of these more famous varieties will be discussed.


A popular white wine variety which many are familiar with is Chardonnay. Chardonnay wine from France is especially exceptional as a rule. Chardonnay comes in a variety of tastes and body style which provides one with a wealth of options when it comes to selecting the Chardonnay which pleases them the most. Many of the Chardonnay types produced in France are crisp and clean in nature. Some have a fruity overtone while others have woodsy attributes. If one is looking to pair a French white wine with a meal, Chardonnay is an excellent choice as it goes nicely with many different entrée selections.

Sauvignon Blanc

Another type of French white wine is Sauvignon Blanc. This type of wine is similar in certain aspects to Chardonnay yet may tend to be more on the drier side when compared with its white wine counterparts. Many of the Sauvignon Blanc varieties of the French region have the essence of fruit and floral components to them. This too is a wonderful white wine choice for a variety of meal selections.


A less dry variety of French white wine which may appeal to those who prefer a sweeter tasting wine is Chablis. This wine is produced in the Burgundy region and is quite popular in the area and around the world as well. Chablis is produced by using Chardonnay grapes and the finished product is one which is fruity and slightly dry, although not nearly as dry as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This is a wonderful wine to pair with food items such as fish, poultry, shellfish and pork.


When individuals discuss the topic of Champagne, the country of France automatically comes to mind. France is a premier producer of Champagne and there are many different varieties produced in the Champagne region. There are often three different types of grapes included in Champagne production which are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This sparkling wine is perfect for any type of celebration or simply to have as an accompaniment to a meal entrée such as shellfish and fish as well as a great wine to drink while tasting cheeses.

France is definitely a front-runner when it comes to white wine production and one is certain to find a French white wine which strikes their fancy.

Source: http://www.mamashealth.com/wine/frenchwhite.asp

Prosecco | White Wines

February 20th, 2008

Prosecco | White WinesProsecco is a variety of white grape grown in the Veneto region of Italy, and also gives its name to the sparkling wine made from the grape.

The grape is grown in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene wine-growing regions north of Venice. Its late ripening has led to its use in dry sparkling (spumante) and semi-sparkling (frizzante) wines, with their characteristic bitter aftertaste.

Like other sparkling wines, Prosecco is served chilled. Most commonly it is served unmixed, but it also appears in several mixed drinks. It was the original main ingredient in the Bellini cocktail, and it can also replace champagne in other cocktails such as the Mimosa. Prosecco also features in the Italian mixed drink Sgroppino (with vodka and lemon sorbet).
The name “Prosecco” is now protected under European law and can be used only for the wine made from the Prosecco grape in the Conegliano/Valdobbiadene region. The Italian Prosecco should not be confused with Dalmatian Prosecco, which is actually called Prošek, and made out of dried grapes.

Some premium quality chocolate companies sell chocolate packed together with miniature bottles of Prosecco.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecco

From: Vieux Routier, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Tips: To barbecue this fish, use al foil instead of a pan; barbecue for 30 minutes, over medium-high coals.
Servings: 4


- 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted margarine
- 2 medium-size onions, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) fine breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon rind
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper
- 4 (8-ounce / 227-g each) silver hakes, scaled and cleaned
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) dry white wine


1. Preheat oven to 400° [200°C].
2. Into a medium-size frypan, melt margarine over medium heat; soften onion slices, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
3. Remove softened onion slices from heat.
4. Transfer half of onion slices into a bowl; mix in minced garlic, breacrumbs, chopped parsley, grated lemon rind and black pepper.
5. Thorouly mix, until of stuffing consistency.
6. Evenly stuff each silver hake; secure openings with toothpicks.
7. Layer half of remaining onion slices over the bottom of a lightly greased oven-safe pan.
8. Arrange silver hakes on top of onion slices, head to tail; garnish with remaining onion slices.
9. Pour in dry white wine; cover tightly with al foil.
10. Bake into preheated oven for 30 minutes.
11. Fish is done when flesh can easily be broken-up with a fork.

Source: http://www.therecipebox.com/members/barbecue/fish/bbq-fis0013.htm

Lentils with Speck | White Wines

February 18th, 2008

Adapted from Kyle Phillips on www.italianfood.about.com

• 1 1/8 pounds lentils

• Salt, divided use

• Water, divided use

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 tablespoon lard

• 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

• 2 tablespoons vinegar

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 sprig marjoram

• 5 ounces Speck, finely diced

• 1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced into rings

After rinsing the lentils, boil them in abundant lightly salted water with a bay leaf. When the lentils are almost done, saute the lard in a pot with the flour, vinegar and a little water, seasoning the mixture with salt, pepper and marjoram, and stirring to prevent sticking and burning.

In the meantime, gently saute the speck and the onions in a skillet. Drain the lentils and gently stir them into the lard mixture. Transfer the lentils to a serving dish and sprinkle them with the speck and the onions.

Makes 4 servings.

Australian White Wines

February 18th, 2008

Don’t assume that if you’ve tasted Australian Chardonnay, that you have experienced the extraordinary diversity and quality of all that Australian white wine has to offer.

Australia’s white wines have a story to tell that’s all their own, and it won’t surprise you to learn that the winemakers who create them have a unique approach that sets their wines apart from the rest of the world.

When you look at it in the glass, a white Australian wine can be anything from opulent golden yellow – orange almost – to palest lemon yellow. The colour depends on the region it comes from (how cool or warm it is) and on the grape from which it was made; for example, Rieslings are paler than Chardonnays, and so on.

Colour can be a clue to the taste (the deeper it is, the richer the flavour) but a better indication comes from taking a big sniff. Swirl the glass round and sniff again. One thing you’ll be sure of from Australia is that you will be smelling the product of well grown and fully ripened grapes.

Delicious, concentrated ripe fruit, harvested in perfect conditions is easier to obtain in Australia than almost anywhere else in the world. Beyond this it is difficult to generalise, so different are the aromas, flavours and taste sensations that come from each of the grapes, blends and regions.

Chardonnay (:shar-don-nay)
Chenin Blanc
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Riesling (:reez-ling)
Sauvignon Blanc (:so-vin-yon-blahn)
Semillon (:semi-yon)
Viognier (:vee-yon-yay)

Chardonnay (:shar-don-nay)
This classic grape variety first came to Australia in the late 1920s but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it become the most widely planted variety in the country.

The peak of its fame came in the 1980s and looking back, the critics now classify some of those wines for being “oaky” and unsubtle, but to tell the truth, people loved them. Pick up a bottle today and you will discover Australian Chardonnay to be consistently well made, often with a hint of vanilla/oak flavours and plenty of ripe, melon/grapefruit to ripe peach fruit. From warmer inland regions (Murray Darling, Riverland, Riverina) they will often exhibit tropical fruit flavours. Whilst from the coolest regions, such as Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Mornington Peninsula the characters will be much more subtle with citrus (grapefruit and lime characters) predominating.

The Yarra Valley, Margaret River and Coonawarra all produce wonderful Chardonnay examples that show fruit richness and complexity. In truth, Chardonnay is Australia’s most versatile white wine grape, as evidenced by outstanding examples from the coolest to the warmest regions.

Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is a favourite with growers over in Western Australia with the Swan Valley and the Peel regions particularly well suited. It’s appley flavours and crisp acidity can fare well in hands of the right winemaker – or after a few years in the right cellar.

Although often blended with Chardonnay and sometimes Sauvignon Blanc, on its own Colombard produces a full-bodied wine with good acidity.

Regionally examples to seek out include Adelaide Plains and Murray Darling. It is a grape variety that generally does better in warmer climates.

Growers are in two minds about Gewurztraminer, do we or don’t we? Try out some of the versions from Clare Valley, Great Southern or Tasmania and you’ll agree they definitely should.

Spicy lychee, Turkish delight and floral flavour predominate; add to this Gewurztraminer’s distinctive rich mouth texture, and you have the ideal wine compliment for the spicy flavours of Thai, Chinese and even Indian cuisine.

Although much-admired in the Rhône wines of southern France, Marsanne is a variety that only really received its fully due praise in Australia.

It is particularly good in the Goulburn and Yarra Valleys (Victoria). Basically, it’s like Chardonnay and Semillon but more so. More honeyed, more peachy, more spicy and there’s just a little more lemony acidity, too, which saves this grape from luscious overkill. As with its cousins from the Rhone, you won’t see too many of these wines around but if you spot a bottle, grab it, it’ll be worth trying.

In Australia, as elsewhere, this variety’s greatest triumph is with its sweet wines.

Grown in the Rutherglen district of Victoria, fully ripened grapes are harvested, then are partially fermented and (traditionally) left to mature in barrels. The result? Heaven! Dessert wine of almost ambrosial concentration and never without a tingling tang of acidity to balance it.

The Muscats from north-east Victoria are truly one of Australia’s “gifts” to the word of wine.

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Australian Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris is another fairly recent arrival that is starting to develop a strong following worldwide. This should be no surprise, as its Alsace cousin, Riesling, has been an Aussie star for several decades.

It comes in two main styles, each equally fashionable: fresh, crisp, unwooded and simple (ideal for hot summer day drinking), and later-picked spicier, richer wine (delicately buttery) which keeps a treat in the cellar.

Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and Great Western regions and the State of Tasmania all produce stunning examples of this now popular variety.

Riesling (:reez-ling)
Unlike their European counterparts, Australian Rieslings are generally made in dry styles. The result is another international gem, which due to their crisp fruit and acid balance are a perfect food accompaniment.

Riesling also has an ability to mature with age as well as delight with its youthful freshness. Look out for examples from the Clare or Eden Valleys of South Australia which develop this grape’s classic honey and citrus characters.

There are more fine examples of Rieslings from Western Australia’s Great Southern region (great complexity), from Tasmania (crisp and perfumed) and the Barossa Valley (more rounded and full-flavoured).

Riesling is also responsible for some of Australia’s greatest sticky sweet dessert wines. They’re either made with a touch of that benevolent mould botrytis or harvested when all the berries have dried and shrivelled on the vines in late autumn. In either case, the perfumed rich intensity of these wines, still with their racy acidity, is little short of magnificent.

Sauvignon Blanc (:so-vin-yon-blahn)
Australian Sauvignon Blanc is a variety which is both fast-growing in popularity and increasing plantings.

As elsewhere in the world, it is a variety which shows its best when grown in cooler wine regions.
Australia’s huge diverse landmass provides the perfect growing conditions for this classic variety in several of its regions.

Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Orange in New South Wales and Tasmania, are all regions which produce wonderfully expressive Sauvignon Blanc.

In the coolest regions and vintages, these vines have “grassy”, gooseberry characters, whereas, in slightly warmer vintages the more passionfruit flavour with a zing of acidity, are more typical.
In Margaret River, Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon which creates a perfect partnership and fuller palate style.

Semillon (:semi-yon)
Semillon is one of the very best grapes for demonstrating the different characters emerging from Australia’s varied wine regions.

Start with Semillon from the Barossa Valley to get a glimpse of this grape at its most luscious. Deep yellow in the glass, aromas of peaches and mangoes fill the nose and in the glass the flavours will continue the theme – with added vanilla (Barossa Semillon is often wood-aged like Chardonnay).

Semillon from the Hunter Valley is another matter altogether. It’s a lean, rather pale-looking wine that seems to have little more than flintiness in its favour. Give it a few years in bottle, however, and as if from nowhere it turns into a honeyed, nutty, complex classic. Go west and Margaret River’s versions are a fine balance between these two styles, and they age well too. Find a Semillon from anywhere in Australian and you’ll almost certainly be able to distinguish it by its warm, peachy character, whether it be a simple regional blend, a sweet botrytised wine from the Riverina of New South Wales.

Verdelho as a varietal still wine is a success story the Aussies can claim as their own.

It originally arrived in the country for the purpose of making intensely sweet fortified wines, just as it does on the island of Madeira. However, when bottled as a still table wine (unfortified) the winemakers of Australia found they’d hit on something really special.

Nutty/savoury in character it makes a striking contrast to the voluptuous style of, say, a Chardonnay or Semillon but yet isn’t quite as tangy as Sauvignon Blanc.

Look out for this variety in Western Australia, the Hunter Valley and increasingly in South Australia.

Viognier (:vee-yon-yay)
Acclaimed for the stunning whites it makes in the Rhône, this grape is set for more success in Australia than it’s ever received so far.

Truth is, it’s tricky to grow, however, in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and the Eden Valley and McLaren Vale of South Australia, several vineyards have certainly cracked it. Like Chardonnay, Australian Viognier is also great when matured or fermented in oak barrels.

Source: Wine Australia

Chardonnay | White Wines

February 18th, 2008

White Wine GlassFrom Stacy Slinkard, Your Guide to Wine.

Definition: Chardonnay, America’s number one selling white wine, continues to climb the production ladders to emerge as the most beloved of dry white wines in the U.S. The Chardonnay grape itself also contributes to the wine’s popularity. It is a relatively “low-maintenance” vine that adapts well to a variety of climates, resulting in fairly high yields worldwide. These high yields translate into millions of bottles of Chardonnay wines. As a result, you can buy a good bottle of Chardonnay for $8-15.

Flavor Profile:

Chardonnays boast an impressive range of flavors from the expected buttered, oak overtones to the fresh, fruit flavors of apple, pear, citrus and melon, leaving a lasting palate impression.

Food Pairing:

Chardonnay will pair well with poultry dishes, pork, seafood or recipes that have a heavy cream base.

Key Producers:

- Grgich Hills
- Eola Hills
- Stony Hill
- Ferrari-Carano
- Shafer Vineyards
- Jacob’s Creek
- Spy Valley
- Lindemans
- Chateau St. Jean
- Covey Run
- Chateau Ste. Michelle
- Louis Jadot
- Joseph Drouhin

Pronunciation: Shar-doe-nay
Also Known As: Dry White Wines
Common Misspellings: Chardonay Chardonnai
Examples: Many restaurants top their white wine lists with a classic Chardonnay, a versatile wine that will complement many entrees.

Source: About.com

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