Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Favorite White Wine(s)

When it comes to alcohol, unless an icy cold beer appears on the occasional hot day in Seattle or I'm in the mood to pulverize mint for a refreshing blackberry mojito, I'm basically a drinker of wine. White wines have always been my preference because for some reason the reds have a higher association with headache the next day. White wines on the dry side (but not chardonnay) that leave a crisp bite on the tongue are my favorites.

Several years back, D and I attended a wine tasting event on board a cruise ship and were introduced to what became a favorite for many years; a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Nobilo Winery. Wonderful, crisp flavors; not too dry, not too sweet. I'm not one to wax on poetically about the features of wines; I know what I like and seek variations on the theme. But, to those in the know, the following has been said about this great bottle of white...

NOSE: Lifted fruit characters of pineapple and grapefruit with secondary notes of green pepper and freshly cut nettle aromas. PALATE: A crisp and zesty backbone combines with fresh tropical fruit sweetness. Excellent weight and balance, this wine lingers on the palate in a full, refreshing finish.

After enjoying a few bottles of U.S. (California and Washington) Sauvignon Blanc, I must say that although lovely, nothing can compare to the New Zealand twist on this magnificent grape. D and I have tried many from the Marlborough region of N.Z., a place I'd love to visit some day. Located on the northeast corner of the southern island of N.Z., wineries seem to be everywhere. And, the good news is: if you check out the Australia and N.Z. section of any wine shop and most grocery stores, an ever growing collection of new choices from this area of the world grace the shelves. Amazing and highly recommended.

My absolute favorite choice is the Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (remember: in the southern hemisphere grapes are harvested in May and bottled in September) from Mud House Winery. Five stars in my book; this one can be hard to find in the stores however. After enjoying a bottle when we took Chris and Heather out to dinner for Denny's birthday last December, I combed the stores looking for another but with NO LUCK. In my quest to find a bottle of Mud House SB, I ended up trying many others from the Marlborough region to see if any could live up to the best of the best. Many came close but Mud House is still, in my opinion, the absolute best. Serve it very cold as a pre-dinner drink or with a meal; chicken, fish, or pasta. Glorious.

D and I finally stumbled on a supply of Mud House SB at Esquin Wine Merchants in Seattle. I'm hoping that others will find it so compelling that Mud House wines will expand to the local grocery store shelves along with their cousins which are much easier to find. Below are three other wonderful Sauvignon Blancs from NZ that are definitely ubiquitous, at least here in the northwest.

Fire Road: my second favorite

Nautilus: also lovely

Oyster Bay: mmmmm

For those of you who prefer red wines, I'm told that the other fabulous wine produced in the Marlborough region of New Zealand alongside Sauvignon Blanc is Pinor Noir. Guess there is something for everyone! Cheers!


  1. Yummy! Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely checking it out.

  2. Hi Kate, we wanted to drop you a line and say a BIG thank you from all of us here at Mud House Wines.
    Thank you for blogging about us, and for the very kind words about our 2009 Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc!
    We are working with Maritime Wine Trading Collective (our USA importers) www.maritimewine.com to broaden our distribution in the USA, check out http://www.mudhouse.co.nz/where-to-buy/united-states.aspx for more places to find our wines - we update this page regularly.
    Thanks again - so glad you are enjoying our wines! Ps, check out our Central Otago Pinot Noir too, it just picked up a Gold medal at the Royal Easter Wine Show here in NZ!

  3. Ahh, I can't wait for summer and white sangria time (or anytime I go to Carrabas Grill or Jaleo (that has been a while). Here's Jaleo's receipe:

    Jaleo Cava Sangria
    Makes 1 Liter
    1 bottle of cava sparkling wine from Spain, chilled
    3 oz. Licor 43
    3 oz. Brandy
    3 oz. White Grape Juice
    500 cl. Ice
    3-4 Fresh Strawberries
    1/2 of a Fresh Peach
    4-5 White Grapes
    1 bunch of Fresh Mint

  4. Thank you for sharing your favorites from NZ. We may have a tougher time finding them on the east coast, but I am going to start looking.

  5. I was in the grocery store to pick up a few items and thought I'd check out the wine selection just on the off chance...and without a list but from memory I found Nobilo and Oyster Bay! I circled back to pick up a chicken to roast for tomorrow night's dinner ~ something to look forward to with a fine white wine.


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