In the middle of summer, when the height of harvest season is still a couple months away, the green grapes used in white wines are collected from the vines. Unlike reds, which are fermented with their skins to achieve a deep, burgundy color, white wine grapes are quickly pressed and only the remaining juice undergoes fermentation, without any skins or seeds.
The fermentation process is quicker, and white wines aren’t aged in oak—they go quickly to market so you can enjoy them when they’re young and fresh. The result is a tart, crisp, and refreshing wine that can be enjoyed with light foods or on its own. Always check the year of your bottle of white—if it’s more than two or three years old, pass. Because a shorter fermentation process results in less labor, you can typically enjoy high quality white wines at a lower price point than their red counterparts.
GOOSE BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC. One of my favorite white wines. This one is from New Zealand. It has incredible citrus aromas and flavors. I can close my eyes and feel like I’m biting into a grapefruit. When properly chilled, this is incredibly refreshing. Though I drink a lot of red wine, I can never polish off a whole bottle. Of this though—I can. I think it’s the best kosher Sauvignon Blanc out there.
BINYAMINA RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC. When you see a screw cap on a bottle of white wine, it means it’s meant for young, early drinking. Of all the Sauvignon Blancs coming out of Israel, this is one of the best.
NESS BLANCO DE ELVI WINES. This white blend has the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc and the aromas and flavors of the Muscat grape. Together, it makes for a really beautiful wine.
CARMEL “KAYOUMI” VINEYARD WHITE RIESLING. I loooove the Carmel Riesling. Many people might be familiar with Rieslings, as a grape that’s known for its sweet, late harvest wines. The grapes for the dry variety are harvested earlier than a late harvest Riesling. It has a hint
of sweetness but it’s really a dry wine with a refreshing acidity. You can enjoy it with all kinds of dishes, but it’s also great to sip on its own. It has a pretty smell and aroma—like a bouquet of flowers. If you think you only like sweet wines give this one a try…you may be pleased to learn that you can enjoy a dry wine as well!
BARTENURA PINOT GRIGIO. The Pinot Grigio grape originated in Italy. It’s a neutral, easy drinking wine, without the acidic quality of Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re going to try Pinot Grigio, choose this authentic Italian bottle.
INVITA BY ELVI WINES. This is a brand new wine which will be out next month. It’s a dry wine with a hint of sweetness and refreshing acidity. Whoever has enjoyed a sneak preview has loved it—I think it will be very popular.
Contributed by Gary Landsmen.
As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller (Summer 2012) - Subscribe Now.