The Right White Wine Makes the Meal
Welcome to the second installment of Circle B Ranch’s new wine blog series. In the last article, I discussed basing meal preparation on your chosen wine, defined the term “dry,” and provided a short list of dry red wines to get you started. Today, I would like to examine more basic definitions and discuss dry white wine options.
To give you more knowledge about wine selection, I want to begin by going over terminology and definitions. Last time, I introduced the term “dry.” Dry wines are typically acidic and tangy. They tend to make your mouth dry out when you taste them, but one cannot simply define “dry” by taste. A “dry” label technically applies to any wine that contains less than 10 grams of residual sugar. Some dry wines may taste sweet to the palate because they have fruity or sweet floral flavors.
Wines containing more than 10 grams of residual sugar, but less than 35 grams are classified as “off-dry.” An off-dry wine is typically sweeter than a dry wine, but it is still a dry wine. Only wines containing 35 grams of residual sugar or more are identified as “sweet.” This knowledge will come in handy as you continue to read the wine series.
Now, let’s go over some of your dry white wine options. This is only a short list. The wines I discuss here are a few of the most recognized in the world.
Chenin Blanc is generally very dry and acidic. This wine’s fruity flavor profiles include apple, pear, quince, ginger, and sometimes a chamomile floral essence.
Typically, everyone pairs this wine with fish, cheeses such as brie and cheddar, and a list of veggies that includes squash, shallots, and red bell peppers. Chenin Blanc also superbly accompanies pork chops and apples, making it a flawless complement to Circle B Ranch Pork Chops with Apples & Apple Cider. You may also pair it with our Three-Ingredient Sweet & Sour Meatballs as the wine’s acidity balances well with sweet and sour elements.
Originating in Burgundy, France, Pinot Grigio is the 2nd most popular white wine in the United States. It is well-known for a “punchy acidity”. This wine may be white or pink in color. A lighter-bodied wine, it can be very fruity and floral, with peach flavors and honeysuckle. Or the wine can be zesty with notes of lemon, lime, and green apple. Flavor depends fully upon the wine maker.
Serve Pinot Grigio with white meat, light seafood dishes, and pasta. If Pinot Grigio is your preferred wine, pair it with Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara or Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce to create a perfect meal.
To find the dry version of Chardonnay, carefully read the label. Look for labels that say “unoaked,” meaning that oak was not used in the fermentation process. These wines have a purer flavor; there are no additional flavors from the oak. Oaked Chardonnay—created by introducing oak during the fermentation process and aging the wine in oak for an additional time—is sweeter, richer, and creamier, with apple and buttery vanilla flavors.
Unoaked Chardonnay is a medium to light-bodied wine containing a tingling acidity. Flavor varies from producer to producer. Flavor profiles include citrus peel and melon, yellow apples, pineapple and mango, white flowers, green apple, and pear.
Serve your favorite Unoaked Chardonnay with a creamy pasta like our Avocado Carbonara or with your favorite Circle B Ranch grilled pork chop recipe.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of most popular wines worldwide. These light-bodied wines come from Bordeaux and Loire, France. Refreshing, dry, and crisp, this wine has a distinctive flavor that is often described as grassy or peppery with fruity overtones. You may also find flavor notes of gooseberry, grapefruit, white peach, passion fruit, or jalapeno.
Pair this wine with fish, veggies, cheese, or with choice Thai or Vietnamese recipes. The green flavors of Sauvignon Blanc make it a perfect accompaniment for Thai-Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Orange Curry Sauce. You may also pair this refreshing spirit with Chicken Scarpariello as it works perfectly with the sauce (which should also be prepared with the Sauvignon Blanc).
The off-dry version of Semillon is largely produced in Australia and is also “Unoaked.” This unique light to medium bodied wine is described as fresh, crisp, and zippy. Flavors include herbal essences with waxy notes, honey, and fig.
Semillon should be served with chicken, fish, salads, goat cheese, and Asian recipes such as Asian Marinated Pork Chops & Oriental Lentil Salad.
Look for the next article in the Circle B Ranch wine series. I’ll discuss varieties of sweet red wines and provide you with more delicious recipes for your perfect dinner.
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