09 Jul The unusual suspects – The whites
It wasn’t all that long ago that, if you ordered a glass of white wine in a pub you’d be asked whether you wanted dry or medium. This was when gin and tonic was served in dumpy little wine glasses with a single cube of ice and a slice from a bottle. Well, perhaps it was a little while ago now, but still fixed in this writer’s memory at least.
Because of this a certain snobbery built up, especially around Chardonnay. ABC, or Anything But Chardonnay, was often overheard as drinkers tired of the grape. Now we are coming out of that as we become savvy about the delights of Chardonnay, which along with Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling is the foundation for so many world-class white wines.
But discomfort – for many – still exists when ordering wine, many of us lack confidence and tend to stick with the same old favourite. Which is why Cameron McKeown set-up OAK N4 in the way he did, with very different wines from all around the world, to bring a freshness to our jaded palettes.
Three stars from OAK N4’s list are:
- For Sauvignon Blanc we have Sancerre, Domaine Tinel Blondelet, a classic combination of citrus and green fruit complemented by a flinty minerality from the Loire Valley
- For Chardonnay lovers there’s this beautiful Burgundy, Macon La Roche Vineuse, Chateau Greffiere. Great minerality, grapefruit flavours and ripe citrus aromas
- OAK N4 don’t have a white Pinot Grigio on the list but they do have this very nice Rose version. Pinot Grigio Rosato, Sentito from the Veneto in Italy, this is beautifully delicate with flavours of strawberry and raspberry on the palate
But then again why not be adventurous? If you like Sauvignon Blanc you should try The Flower and the Bee, organic Treixadura grapes, a beautiful summery bloom of a wine. Pears, white peach, herbs this is intense and fresh, you’ll hear the bees buzzing. For an alternative to Pinot Grigio you should try this lovely blushing pink, Petali Rose, pure Sangiovese from Tuscany, raspberry and wild strawberry flavours mark out this organic wine. And if you are a Chardonnay drinker then this Chenin Blanc, Force Majeure from Swartland is silky yet textural on the tongue with a fresh, pure finish.
OAK N4 feel duty-bound to take you on a journey of discovery. And all three varietal alternatives are available by the glass. Why not submit to the ride?