The following guest post is from MVL.
Ask any bar, restaurant, or wine retailer and most would tell you that up until only recently, when a customer asked for a white wine, they were really only looking for a Chardonnay, maybe a Pinot Grigio if they were a bit adventurous. Times have changed dramatically, and even your most casual wine drinker more than likely has tried a Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, or even a Viognier. With literally dozens of white grapes making headway in the market, there has never been a more exciting time to be drinking white wine. MVL works hard to stay on top of up and coming wine trends, and if there is a white varietal worth drinking, we’ll have it.
During the course of this summer, we’ve been particularly excited by Argentina’s Torrontes grape, and Spain’s Godello. While not yet mainstream in popularity, there is nothing stylistically that should keep these wines from being enjoyed by wine drinkers of all stripes.
The northwestern Spanish region of Galicia saw the explosion of the Albarino grape several years ago, and it appears that Godello may follow in its footsteps. Grown a bit further east in the region of Valdeorras, the grape was only recognized and consumed locally until very recently. Over the past decade a few wines began trickling into the import market, and the wine caught a buzz in the United States just a couple of years ago. Ironically, the wine is not that far off from Chardonnay, with a somewhat neutral profile that takes on the style of the winemaker. Lighter in body, the wine gains a creamy complexity with the use of oak, and a lean minerality is usually found in the mid-palate. The market is by no means saturated with Godello, and we only carry a few in the store thus far. Watch over the next year or so though, and this will likely be the Spanish white on the tip of wine drinkers’ tongues.
Argentinean Torrontes has become a bit more ubiquitous than a grape like Godello, but is still barely on the wine radar. While Argentina borrowed Malbec, its now flaghip red grape, from France, Torrontes is purely Argentinean. Grown in several notable regions throughout the country, from Salta in the north to Rio Negro further south, Torrontes has quickly become the go to white grape of Argentina. Similar to Godello, Torrontes was consumed almost entirely within its own country until very recently. Over the past decade wine drinkers have started discovering the grape’s fresh, high acid profile; easy drinking while still complex and incredibly food friendly, Torrontes has quickly become a staple of many savvy wine drinkers’ repertoire. MVL has been following the progress of Torrontes for several years, and more and more great wines become available to us every year. We currently have as large a selection as you are likely to find in the country.
So step outside the box, there is nothing intimidating about either of these wines except for the fact that you haven’t necessarily tried them. Both are accessible, refreshing, and just plain delicious!