Finding a good organic wine is not easy. I’ve choked down my fair share, hoping my taste buds would adjust, but haven’t found a pleasantly drinkable organic white. I decided to prepare a homemade tasting, enlisting the palate of fellow a wine connoisseur who happens to be one of my dearest friends. Carli and I popped a few bottles, sniffed, tasted, chewed, and gabbed. Here are our thoughts.
Green Fin Pinot Grigio 2014, $4.99 in store
(Sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s)
Julianna: This wine is clean, light in color, and gives off a fruit forward aroma. Taste is lightly sweet and a little acidic. I’d say that is a solid pinot grigio for a hot day – almost tastes like a pinot/sauvignon blanc blend. It’s very drinkable and should appeal to a variety of palates. Rating: ★★★★1/2
Carli: I’d say this wine is perfect for a hot summer day. It’s very drinkable, pleasantly sweet, lovely, and refreshing. Clear and surprisingly leggy, it gives off mild pear and is slightly acidic. Rating: ★★★
Pairing suggestions: spicy Thai food, ceviche, spring salad
Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc 2013, $11.99 in store
J: The Bonterra smells like a typical sauvignon blanc and is acidic in scent but tastes a bit lighter than other sauvignon blancs. High in tannins, crisp, and clean. Rating: ★★★★1/2
C: A pretty canary colored sauvignon blanc with a subtle nose: grapefruit, green apple. It’s very acidic – glad I took an antacid! However, it’s still very drinkable and comprises everything I look for in a sauvignon blanc, slightly flowery, light, and refreshingly citrusy. Overall, a treat. Rating: ★★★★
Pairing suggestions: sushi, Mexican food
Meinklang Burgenland White 2014, $12.99 in store
J: A robust flavor at first sip coupled with high acidity, this blend is drastically more complex than the previous two whites. Its heavier body would pair better with food versus its current role as a sipping wine. Rating: ★★★
Second taste: Better the second time around, allowing this white to breath opened it up nicely.
C: This has a lot of bite, I feel like I could chew this wine. It’s semi-sweet and lightly acidic. (Does that make sense?) Off-dry with a bit of carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Agreed, would for food pairings. Rating: ★★★★1/2
Pairing suggestions: scallops, salmon, tuna, skirt or flank steak
Frey Chardonnay 2013, $13.99 in store
J: This is our only wine labeled USDA Organic. Frey also uses non-GMO yeast and includes no additional sulfites. I’m not a huge oaked-wine lover and, at first inhale, this chardonnay smells oaky but also shows notes of butter and citrus. Low acidity in the mouth and overall a decent chardonnay. Rating: ★★★1/2
C: A buttery, oaky nose – almost a buttered popcorn scent – I could sniff this wine all day. Taste is very nice, clean, smooth, and surprisingly acidic. Clearly unoaked with slight carbonation, this is a very friendly chardonnay and would be great for red wine drinkers. Rating: ★★★
Pairing suggestions: Buttery lobster or scallops, creamy seafood, Indian food
Pacific Rim Riesling 2012, $18.99 in store
J: As a preface, I never like Rieslings. I’m not really into super sweet whites and Rieslings just never do it for me. This wine is citrusy in scent with notes of buttered popcorn, tastes like I’m eating a bunch of grapes. A very sweet flavor places this in the dessert wine category for me. Smooth and buttery in essence but not in flavor, it has more of an aftertaste than the others. I think if this were much colder, I would like it better. Rating: ★★1/2
Second taste: I added an ice cube, don’t judge, but it drastically improved the taste.
C: I tend to handle Rieslings better than Julianna. But this one is sweet! The caramel, butterscotch white is super smooth and creamy. It could take the place of a dessert or act as an after dinner drink. I could also see myself pouring it on vanilla almond milk ice cream. Rating: ★★★★
Pairings: Nothing sweet!
At the end of our tasting and re-tasting, I went back to the Green Fin and Carli went back to the Meinklang. Going into this, I expected to hate most of wines I had purchased (I’ve had a few before). Overall, I was pleasantly surprised.
Note: An aerator was used on all five wines and each were chilled and kept in ice during the tasting. However, the wine could have been a bit colder on tasting day – it was 97 degrees. Most wines can be purchased in Whole Foods or wine stores, typically for less than prices listed online. As another side note, The Candida Diet (of which I subscribe) doesn’t approve of wine, nor do most “whole, clean” ways of eating. But I just love wine, and a girl has to live, right?!