5 Refreshingly Cheap White Wines

by in Grocery Shopping, July 18, 2009

White Wine
Big red wines are comforting against winter’s chill, but they just don’t work as well when summer’s heat starts taking hold. Reds’ higher serving temperatures and often higher alcohol content and tannins can clash with summer’s lighter foods. This is where a good white wine comes in.

Here are five summer whites that are all easy to enjoy and pair well with the warm-weather dishes I love — fresh produce, lighter grilled fishes and meats. They’re easy on the wallet, too! –Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth.com

2007 Beyond Sauvignon Blanc, Buitenverwachting, South Africa
South African Sauvignon Blancs offer a good balance between the lean, mineral styles popular in France and their more intensely fruity and chili-laced cousins. Sure, the winery name is complicated, but this wine has a pure, refreshing fruit flavor.
Price: $10
Suggested food pairings: lighter fish dishes (try it with sushi!), pasta and veggies, avocados

Echeverria Chardonnay, Chile
In summer, unoaked Chardonnays give buttery flavor without the richness that might be too heavy for hotter days. South America is becoming a great source of budget-friendly whites, and the unwooded Chardonnay from Chile’s Echeverria vineyards is no exception. The bottle bursts with a fine blend of crisp, subtle fruit tones.
Price: $10
Suggested food pairings: richer fish dishes, pork, fruity olive oils (drizzled over grilled meats and veggies)

Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, California
This wine, one of my long-time favorite domestic whites, is on the lighter side and sports pineapple and passion fruit flavors. Its modest alcohol levels won’t leave you feeling dizzy in the summer heat either! Enjoy it on its own or as the start to a pitcher of white sangria.
Price tag: $10
Suggested food pairings: spicy grilled chicken or fish, curries

Clean Slate Riesling, Germany
Riesling grapes produce a surprisingly broad range of wines, from bone-dry Trockens to decadently sweet Eiswein. The flavors in this Clean Slate version add just a touch of sweetness and accentuate the contrast between its light mineral tones and rich lime and peach fruits.
Price tag: $9
Suggested food pairings: spicy dishes (try it with your favorite Thai takeout), salsa, salads that combine fruits and chiles

Col Vetoraz Prosecco, Italy
I couldn’t imagine going a whole summer without a bubbly Prosecco! These are soft, easy wines meant for celebrating life, and the Col Vetoraz, with its drier floral style, is one of my favorites. Around my house, Prosecco is a standard brunch wine as well as a versatile cocktail-hour choice. Its relatively low alcohol content – usually around 11 percent – won’t dull the senses either.
Price tag: $18
Suggested food pairings: summer salads, heirloom tomatoes, brunch
MORE IDEAS: Check out my favorite summer drink mixes featuring Prosecco.

Wine Glossary:
Tannin – Bitter or astringent flavor from the grape skins, seeds and stems
Unwooded/Unoaked – Wine that is not fermented in a wooden (usually oak) barrel, which gives it a nutty flavor
Mineral – Earthy or smoky scents and flavors
Acidity – Tart, sometimes sour, flavor that varies in strength depending on the type of grape used

Gregory Dal Piaz, community manager at Snooth.com, has worked in the food and wine world for more than two decades. Check out the Snooth.com forums to read his reviews, wine musings and join the discussion.

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Comments (20)

  1. MISSISSIPPI MAMA says:

    I REALLY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING MUCH ABOUT WINE IAM NOT A DRINKER OF ANY ALCOHOL BUT I HAVE BEEN HEARING LATELY THAT DRINKING WINE IS REALLY GOOD FOR YOU IN MODERATION OF COURSE, SO IF THIS IS SO, CAN ANYONE DIRECT ME TO A GOOD WINE FOR A BEGINNER? I WOULD PREFER IT TO HAVE A LOW ALCOHOL CONTENT AND TO BE KINDA FRUIT/PEACHY FLAVORED. OF COURSE, IT HAS TO TASTE GOOD. THANKS WAITING IN MISSISSIPPI.

  2. newbie2 says:

    Mississippi, we are new wine drinkers too, we love the SUTTER HOME Moscato which is a sweet, white wine and cheap too ($6?)! Red wines are better for your health, but I haven't found a sweet one I like yet. Can anyone recommend?

  3. Ms T. says:

    Oliver Red a simply delectable sweet red wine.

  4. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

  5. I really enjoy reading your blog. I also like the 5 cheapest wines because I do like wines. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. tamidor says:

    Hi Jane,
    A bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade contains 222 calories and 38 grams of sugar. As for a glass of wine (considered 5 fluid ounces)–is around 125 calories. Here's a post of mine on lighter summer cocktails and some ideas on making white wine cocktails.
    Enjoy!

  7. tamidor says:

    Hi Jane,
    A bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade contains 222 calories and 38 grams of sugar. As for a glass of wine (considered 5 fluid ounces)–is around 125 calories. Here's a post of mine on lighter summer cocktails and some ideas on making white wine cocktails.
    Enjoy!

  8. Guest User says:

    Most white wines are around 100 calories for a 4 ounce glass..or…as I like to think of it, 2 weight watchers points..

    On the WW plan I have 35 bonus points to use per week…so if I save all for alcohol I can have 17 glasses of wine….wootwoot..

    spaced out of course!!

  9. Carol Spencer says:

    I heard that the white wine Famega is lower in calories. Can you tell me the nutritional content?

  10. tamidor says:

    Hi Carol,
    I just looked up some information on Famega and it looks delicious! Since it contains a slightly lower alcohol content than most white wines (9.5% verses 11%) it would be slightly lower in calories (but just slightly:)
    Cheers!
    -Toby

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