Friulano

(free-ooh-LAH-noh)
Synonyms: Friulano, Tocai Friulano (formerly), Sauvignon Vert (France and Chile), Sauvignonasse, Zeleni Sauvignon or Jakot (Slovenia),  Blanc doux, Cinquien, Istarski Tokay, Malaga, Mosler, Sauvignon de la Correze, Sauvignon gros, Sauvignon à gros grains, Sauvignonazz, Sauvignon vert, Tocai bianco, Tocai Italico, Tokai Italiano, Tokay, Trebbianello

Wine Name:  Friulano (Italy), Sauvignonasse, Zeleni Sauvignon, or Jakot (Slovenia)

Background: Friulano is similar to but different than, a Sauvignon Blanc grape variety. It is used in the white wines of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, northeastern Italy and also in western Slovenia where it is called Sauvignonasse or  Zeleni Sauvignon (meaning “Green Sauvignon”) or Jakot (effectively the word “Tokaji” backward). The key Slovenian growing region is Goriška, specifically Goriška Brda and Vipava Valley.  In Italy, Friuli’s two most respected DOCs are  Collio (officially Collio Goriziano o Collio) and Friuli Colli Orientali.  Friulano is also found in Lombardy, at the southern end of Lake Garda and outside of Italy and Slovenia, it is planted in Chile, where it is called Sauvignonasse. Often there is confusion, as the variety is often mistaken for Sauvignon Blanc, with which it shares various characteristics.

These wines, usually varietal, are aromatic, lively and fruit-driven with notes of citrus and almond, and often a touch of minerality. Sometimes there will be a non distinct wildflower aroma and an herbal taste.

Classic Brands and Sources:  Bastianich, Borgo Conventi, Borgo Magredo, Eugenio Collavini,  Torre Rosazza,  Mario Schiopetto, and Villa Russiz

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Friulano

Body – light to medium

Acidity – high

Sweetness – slight fruity

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Cool weather pairs with herbal, and fairly acidic dishes and sushi,

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Baked or sautéed fish/shellfish, grilled seafood, sushi, baked/roasted chicken, turkey or pork with any citrus flavorings, grilled white meats, light curry dishes, Mexican dishes, salsa, Tex-Mex or Thai dishes that are not high in capsaicin, salads, vegetable dishes

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed (cool climate), Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream (warm weather), Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow’s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

Appetizer Pairings:

See Appetizers the Pair with Friulano

Riesling

  (REEZ-ling)
Synonyms: Riesling, Johannisberger Riesling, Rhine Riesling, White Riesling, Riesling Renano (Italy)

Wine Name: Riesling

Background: Riesling wines are somewhat similar to Chenin Blanc wines in that they are highly acidic which can make them last a long time in the bottle. Also the French Alsace and German producers have discovered how to temper the acidity of the grape with residual sugar fruitiness that results in a wine that can still taste dry but have a sweetness that is not a dessert style taste.

Cool weather Rieslings (German Mosel-Saar-Ruwar or Ahr regions, Austria) are lighter and more acidic. Warmer weather Rieslings (Alsace, USA, Australia, Chile, South Africa) are heavier in body and less acidic. Late harvest Rieslings are sweeter and fuller-bodied.

Classic Brands and Sources:
FE Trimbach, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Joh Jos Prum, Weingut Keller, Loosen Bros, Egon Müller, Chateau Ste Michelle, Pacific Rim, Best’s Great Western,

Characteristics:

Style #1 – cool weather, dry, Old World

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Style #2 – warm weather,dry, New World

Body – medium

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry, fruity

Tannins – low

Style #3 – off dry

Body – medium

Acidity – perceived as medium

Sweetness – slightly sweet

Tannins – low

Style #4 – late harvest

Body – full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – sweet

Tannins – low

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Dry Riesling pairs with acidic dishes while off-dry Riesling pairs better with savory, sweet and sour dishes, and lightly to moderately spiced (hot) dishes; Late Harvest Rieslings are primarily dessert wines that do well on their own or with sweet desserts.

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
dry – light seafood poached, sautéed or grilled with acidic sauces, poached salmon, chicken, salads with vinaigrette, smoked and cured meats. Asian food not heavily spiced
off dry – pork, chicken or duck with fruity sauce, ham, fruit salads, fruits, cold cuts, spicy cuisines such as Cajun, Creole, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Curries with coconut, Indian , Tex-Mex, foie gras
sweet – desserts, caramel, pâté, blue cheese and other salty cheeses, fruits with added sugar, bread pudding

Cheese Pairings:
dry – Brie with rind, Brin D’Amour, Camembert with rind, Emmental, Feta, Garroxta, most goat cheeses, Muenster, Raclette, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Swiss, Vacherin
off dry – Brick, Colby, Double Glouster, Edam, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Langres, Vermont Shepard
sweet – any rich cheese, blue cheeses, “cheese cake”

See also Appetizers for dry and off-dry Riesling

Pinot Blanc

  (PEE-noh BLAHN)
Synonyms: Pinot Blanc, Clevner, Klevner (Alsace), Pinot Bianco (Italy), Weissburgunder (Germany); Beli Pinot (Slovenia)

Wine Name: Pinot Blanc

Background: Pinot Blanc is a mutation of Pinot Noir and is just a lighter, white version of that grape. It has very little aroma but when it does it is of apple and almond. The grape is highly acidic which makes it ideal for sparkling wines, but on its own it is realtively neutral in flavor.

Classic Brands and Sources: Alsace – Weinbach, Zind-Humbrect, Hugel; Italy – Shiopetto, Terlano; USA – Arrowood, Au Bon Climat, Chalone, Amity, Archery Summitt;

Characteristics:

Style #1 – cool climate

Body – light to medium (-)

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low to medium (-)

Style #2 – warm climate

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry but fruity

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
pairs with light dishes or salads which are not heavily flavored but acidic

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
baked or sauteed fish/shellfish, sushi, baked/roasted chicken, turkey or pork marinated with lemon or vinegar, light curry dishes, salads, vegetable dishes with acidic component

Cheese Pairings:
Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Neufchatel

Pecorino

 (PECK-oh-REAN-oh)
Synonyms: Arquitano, Mosciolo and Vissanello

Wine Name: Pecorino

Background: Pecorino is white Italian grape which is being rescued from distinction. It is grown on the eastern side of mid-Italy centered around the Abruzzo region. Actually it is a red skinned grape used to make a white wine by avoiding any contact as much as possible with the skins, but sometimes it does pick up some tannins. It makes a medium bodied, medium acidity wine with melon, pear and white peach notes both on aroma and taste. It can have a minerally finish bordering on a saltiness sensation.

Classic Brands and Sources: Cantina Tolla, Collefrisio, Antonio Costantini, Pasetti, Velenosi Villa Angela

Characteristics:

 

Style #1 – typical Southern Italian

Body – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low to medium (-)

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs with medium bodied dishes with slightly acidic sauces

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Goes with fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and veal dishes with medium acidity sauces such as tomatoes, goat’s cheese, pecorino cheese, and wine

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed, Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Pecorino, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Cream, Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

See also Appetizers that go with Pecorino

 

Muscadet

(MUSS-ka-DAY)
Synonyms: Melon de Bourgogne, Melon

Wine Name: Muscadet, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Sur Lies

Background: Muscadet is a crisp white, minerally wine produced near the mouth of the Loire River close to Nantes France and not found in many other areas of the world. Originally it was grown in the Burgundy region of France until it was ordered to be uprooted in the 18th century. Although the name means “musk-like” there is really no muskiness to the grape nor its wine at all and it is not related to Muscat or Muscadine wines. It is an acidic fresh wine slightly different than a Pinot Blanc with which it has been confused in the past. It can be a very neutral wine but often has hints of green apple and citrus fruits. Occasionally it has a hint of saltiness which complements any seafood dish and give it the classic pairing with oysters. Often this wine is kept on its lees (dead yeast and wine sediment) for months or years as Champagne is, giving it a slight toasty taste and creamy smoothness.

Classic Brands and Sources: France – Chéreau-Carré, Luc Choblet, l’Ecu, Pierre Luneau, Louis Métaireau, Ragotière.

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical from Loire Valley France

Body – light

Acidity – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Pairs well with light, acidic dishes and especially seafood

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
oysters, shrimp, scallops, fish, pork that are not breaded and have acidic sauces or just lemon

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed, Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream, Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

Macabeo/Viura

(mack-ah-BAY-oh)
Synonyms: Maccebéo, Macabeu, Maccabeu, Viura

Wine Name: Macabeo, Viura, White Rioja

Background: This grape is widely grown in the Rioja region of Spain as well as the Cava producing areas south of Barcelona. It is a non aromatic, relatively neutral grape often used for blending but also used on its own in many Spanish white wines. It is low acid and goes with many savory dishes.

Classic Brands and Sources: Artadi, Bodegas Bretón, Martínez Bujanda, Enomar, Marqués de Caceres, Marqués de Murrieta, La Rioja Alta

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical Spanish style, unblended

Body – light

Acidity – low to medium (-)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
pairs well with less acidic, more savory dishes with herbs

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
ish/shellfish baked or poached with a savory sauce, or fried, frittatas, seafood pasta, polenta, pesto, white pizzas, risotto, savory soups, vegetable dishes

Cheese Pairings:
American, Colby, Mild cheddar, Velveeta, Double Glouchester (similar to mild cheddar), Fontina, Gouda, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Triple Creme, St André, Zamarano (Spanish sheep’s milk cheese), Brie and Camembert (without rinds)

See also Appetizers for Macabeo/Viura

Soave

(SWAH-vay)
Synonyms:Garganega (gahr-GAH-neh-gah) (the predominant grape varietal)

Wine Name: Soave, Soave Classico, Garganega

Background:This grape is usually blended with Trebbiano and sometimes a bit of Chardonnay or Pinot Bianco to make Italian Soave, a medium-bodied wine in the Veneto region around Verona, Italy. Garganega must be at least 70 percent of the blend. The best producing regions are labelled DOCG Soave Classico or Soave Classico Superiore. On its own it, Garganega tastes of almonds, plums and citrus fruit and occasionally a little herbal on the finish. Soave can be an excellent food wine for more savory dishes.

A sweet wine, Recioto di Soave is also made by allowing the grapes to dry and raisinate thus producing more concentrated sugars and flavors.

Classic Brands and Sources:Inama, Pieropan, Prà, Tedeschi

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Soave Classico

Body – light

Acidity – low

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low to medium (-)

Style #2 – Recioto di Soave

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – low

Sweetness – semi-sweet

Tannins – low to medium (-)


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
The classico pairs well with less acidic, more savory dishes with herbs while the Recioto can also go with spicier foods and some desserts

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Fish/shellfish baked or poached with a savory sauce, or fried, seafood pasta, polenta, pesto, white pizzas, risotto, savory soups, vegetable dishes

Cheese Pairings:
American, Colby, Mild cheddar, Velveeta, Double Glouchester (similar to mild cheddar), Fontina, Gouda, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Triple Creme, St André, Zamarano (Spanish sheep’s milk cheese), Brie and Camembert (without rinds)

See also Appetizers that go with medium acidity-medium bodied white wines

Falanghina

(FA-lan-GHEE-nah)
Synonyms: Falanghina Greco, Biancazita, Biancozita, Biancuzita, Falanchina, Falanchina Bianca, Falanghina Verace, Falenghina, Falernina, Falerno Veronese, Fallanchina, Fallanghina, Folanghina, Montecalvo, Montellese, and Uva Falerna.

Wine Name: Falanghina

Background:Falanghina is an ancient white wine grape grown on the coast of Campania north of Naples, Italy that is often accompanied by seafood. It is thought to have been a major component of Falernum Wine well regarded in Roman times. It is a straw-colored, medium bodied-wine with medium acidity that has delicate aromas of flowers and fruit.

Classic Brands and Sources:Villa Raiano, Villa Carafa, Cantina del Taburno, Feudi di San Gregorio, Terredora di Paolo, La Guardiense

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical Southern Italian styleBody – medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
A versatile wine that does well with both slightly acidic and savory dishes, usually seafood

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Fish, shellfish, pasta with pesto sauces or light tomato sauces

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed, Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream, Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

See also Appetizers that go with medium acidity-medium bodied white wines

Fiano

(fee-ON-oh)
Synonyms: Apiana, Apiano, Fiana, Fiano di Avellino, Fiore Mendillo, Foiano, Latina Bianca, Latina Bianca di Barletta, Latino, Latino Bianco, Minutola, Minutolo, Santa Sofia

Wine Name: Fiano, Fiano di Avelino, Apianum, Cilento,

Background: Fiano is a white Italian wine grape grown near Naples, Italy (Campania region) and on Sicily. It has moderate floral notes and tastes of subtle honey, nuts, and spice along with tropical fruit aromas. It is medium acid and similar in body to the Italian grape Falanghina. It is not only made as a varietal dry wine but also as a dessert wine by using the appassimento method of drying grapes to raisinate them on straw mats similar to the process used to produce Amarone wines in the Verona region.

Classic Brands and Sources:  Cantine Terranera, Guido Marsella,  Quintodecimo Exultet, Mastroberardino, MandraRossa, Villa Raiano

Characteristics:

Style #1 – typical dry

Body – medium (-) to medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry but floral

Tannins – low

Style #2 – sweet

Body – medium (-) to medium

Acidity – medium

Sweetness – dry but floral

Tannins – low

 

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:

Fiano wine is very versatile in that it works well with both slightly acidic (e.g., tomato-based) and with savory (e.g. cheese, butter) dishes. Since it is often left on the yeast lees for longer than most wines, it develops more body and smoothness that complement heavier dishes. It would pair with many of the same foods that Vermentino, Roero Arneis

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
In Italy it commonly is used with fish and shellfish, but it also goes well with chicken, pork, and veal with any sauces that are not strongly citrusy.

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin-herbed, Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream, Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

See also Appetizers for medium acidity-medium bodied white wines

Cortese

(core-TAY-see)
Synonyms: Cortese dell’ Astigliano, Fernanda bianca, Raverusto, Bianca Fernanda, Corteis, Cortese Bianca, Cortese Bianco, Cortese d’Asti,  Courteis, Cortesi, Courteisa

Wine Name: Gavi, Gavi di Gavi, Colli Tortonese, Cortese, Cortese del Alto Monferatto, Bianco di Custoza

Background: Cortese is an acidic white grape from the Piedmont area of Italy, especially in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. It is also grown in the more eastern areas of Lombardy and Verona. Cortese makes a light, citrusy white wine that goes well with seafood. Occasionally there are herbal notes and a distinct, elegant aftertaste. A frizzante version similar to Portugal’s Vinho Verde is also produced.

Classic Brands and Sources: Italy – Battistina, Bergaglio, Gian Piero Broglia, La Chiara, Chiarlo, La Guistiniana, F Martinetti, Pio Cesare, Marchesi di Barolo, San Pietro, La Scolca, Castello di Tassarola, Villa Sparina

Characteristics:

Style #1 – Northern Italian style, dry

Body – medium (-)

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Style #2 – Frizzante

Body – light

Acidity – medium (+)

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

 

Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Generally a light bodied white wine that goes well with acidic dishes

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Any seafood, shellfish especially with citrus sauces

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed , Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream , Neufchatel , Saint -Felicien (French cow’s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

See also Appetizers that go with medium acidity-medium bodied white wines