White wines for summer sipping… and under $10!

Wine Wise with Doug Sloan

White wines for summer sipping on the deck – or out under the trees in the backyard – can be very affordable!

Unless you’re going to be surrounded by sophisticated winegeeks there are lots of options.  Try one of the many CIC options – `Cellared in Canada` from domestic and imported wines –from Sawmill Creek, Jackson Triggs, Copper Moon or Screw It!.

Invariably priced between $8 and $10 these are everyday whites, brought into the country in bulk and bottled here. Chill them down and keep them cool.  Don`t be afraid to add an ice cube or two if the wine gets too warm in your glass.

From South Africa, Blouberg (375709) $7.99 takes its name from the famously blue-tinged mountains of the Cape. It`s an easy-drinking, quaffing wine inspired by the famous Portuguese Vinho Verde made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Cape Riesling – also known as Crouchen – grapes. It glistens pale green in the glass. With subtle aromas of asparagus and fresh green figs it is made in an off-dry style with grassy, lemon and peach flavours.

To keep your white wines cool under the summer sunshine pour half a glass – rather than a full glass? – and refill it as it evaporates.  Keeping the bottle in a bucket of water and ice goes a long way, too.

Traditionally grown in France, in the Charentes and Gascony regions, for distilling into Cognac and Armagnac respectively, Colombard is a white French wine grape variety that is grown in California to add a bright crisp acidic undercurrent to seriously ripe Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc.

Vista Point Pinot Grigio Colombard (328989) $8.00 is an unassuming white from California, light and crisp, almost dry. Aromas and flavours of peach, pear and candied lemon rind swirl out of the glass and onto your tongue.

Andrew Peller released their affordable 50 Peaks wines in the past year. There’s apparently a surplus of Merlot and Pinot Blanc in the Okanagan Valley that may be responsible for these Vintners Quality Alliance wines appearing at such affordable prices.

VQA approved 50 Peaks White (83840) $8.10 has the bright pear, lemon and grapefruit characteristics of Pinot Blanc.  There just might be a dash of Ehrenfelser and/or Gewurztraminer adding some floral fruit to this remarkably full-bodied little everyday white.

South America continues of offer us excellent wines under $10. The Antares label was created for entry level wines from Chile’s Santa Carolina. They are young, attractive wines with a fruity taste honed to suit the taste of younger wine lovers exploring classic varietals.

Santa Carolina Antares Sauvignon Blanc (833285) $8.85 is a pale lemon yellow with greenish highlights. It has seductive aromas of mint, melon and pineapple with refreshing citrus notes of lime and grapefruit. The palate is soft and fruity with a medium body and well balanced acidity.

From Spain and relatively new to British Columbia, the Jana line of wines covers Spanish classics like Tempranillo and Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc as well as more modern varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and – and all bargain-priced at $9.00!

Blending traditional and modern techniques Jana Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc (771246) $9.00 has a wisp of chalky minerality that slides into fresh sliced green apple and pear before spritzing up with zingy gooseberry and grassy kiwi fruit. Sweet on that first sip, dry on the finish!

Founded in 1976, Viña Luis Felipe Edwards has grown to be the largest 100 per cent family-owned wine company in Chile, Luis Felipe Edwards impressed the judges at the 2016 Sommelier Wine Awards in London, England so much that they were chosen as New World Producer of the Year.

Approachable and fruit-forward Luis Felipe Edwards Chardonnay (430298) $9.49 combines pineapple, honey and tropical fruit aromas with subtle oak notes. Pale yellow with soft golden hues. In the nose it is characterized by aromas of tropical fruit and touches of citrus with notes of hazelnut from French and American oak ageing.

From Chile’s Central Valley, Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc (275586) $9.99 is a fresh and fruity white, full of tropical and citrus fruit – grapefruit, lime and lemon peel, complemented by white peach and distinctively savoury herb notes.

Whatever whites you choose for summer sipping be sure to keep them cool to beat the heat!

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com