I’m doing research for an upcoming blog post about U.S. wine sales – what varietals we’re drinking, the brands we’re buying, and so forth. Chardonnay, not surprisingly, is still the white wine of choice for most of us.
This wine and grape are not high on those lists. Which, frankly, is a shame. The Wine Curmudgeon has long been an advocate of chenin blanc, a white wine grape that is fairly well known in France but is known in the U.S., if at all, for indifferently made sweet wine. Chenin blanc is much better than that.
The Dry Creek ($10, purchased) is not indifferently made and is not sweet. In fact, It's one of the few wines in the world that isn’t reisling that lists the residual sugar on the label -- 0.6 percent, which makes it as dry as many red wines. (Though, given that hardly any consumers know what residual sugar is, it’s more a good idea in effort than execution).
Look for lots of white fruit aromas, a little lemon peel fruit, and a sort of slate-like, fruit pit finish. This is a wonderful alternative to chardonnay, especially for salads, grilled vegetables, and cheese courses.