Today I was struck by the realisation that I can’t nominate a single general purpose white. White wines seem too different to me, and the blends that are supposed to be widely enjoyable lack the distinctive tastes that are the purpose of it all. About the only worthwhile blend I know is Bordeaux Sauvignon Semillon. I might make room for Alsace Edelzwicker, but it’s not really that versatile.
I can’t see a way of doing without true to type varietals:
- Sauvignon (and I keep Muscadet separate)
- Riesling – the traditional delicate off-dry type
- Riesling the Alsatian limey type (sometimes supplemented for Asian cuisine with fruitier, oilier – OK ‘more unctuous’ – Chenin Blanc)
- Pinot Gris
By the way, you ought to be able to identify these with just a sniff, they are so different. You are allowed to taste too so keep practising!
Any of these can make a decent aperitif or even party wine, though it would be quite a party that served the better Chardonnays or Rieslings. I am available for any such party.