Skip to main content
good taste
Open this photo in gallery:

Fans of pinot grigio should expand their horizons in the world of white wines.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Easy-to-appreciate pinot grigio is a go-to white wine for many people. Typically made in a light, dry and unoaked style, white wines labelled as pinot grigio aren’t zesty and intensely flavoured like sauvignon blanc can be, or rich and round like many chardonnays. Their refreshing character is often described by sommeliers or winemakers as neutral because of their low-intensity flavour, usually suggesting bright lemon and, perhaps, subtle floral or nutty notes. But pinot grigio is just the tip of the iceberg: there are many other crisp and enjoyable styles of white wine to explore, starting with these three options.


A top-quality white wine grape from Greece, assyrtiko is best known for the stylish and refreshing examples made on the island of Santorini. These dry wines show characteristic apple and lemon with mouthwatering acidity. They are distinctively fresh and juicy, which makes them especially desirable during the summer months. Assyritiko is often more expensive, some better value brands are Boutari and Kouros. Top producers are Argyros, Gaia, Kir-Yianni, Sigalas and Skouras.


There are many Italian white wines with similar characters to pinot grigio, including wines made from vermentino and trebbiano grapes. I suggest your first move should be checking out wines made in the Soave region, which produces refreshing whites from the native garganega grape variety. The best examples show off citrus and green apple flavours with almond, white flower and blossom notes. Labels to seek out now: Anselmi San Vincenzo, Bolla, I Campi, Pieropan and Tedeschi Capitel Tenda.


The bright and lively whites made in the Muscadet region on France’s Atlantic coast are often viewed as terrific wines to enjoy with oysters and other seafood. Produced with the melon de Bourgogne grape variety, these wines typically age with the dead yeast cells responsible for fermentation to enhance the texture and flavour of the finished wine. Nutty and earthy flavours typically develop from aging on the lees. As a result, you’ll see the term Sur Lie on many Muscadet labels. Wines labelled as Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine come from the region’s most significant area of production. Labels to seek out now: Château de la Gravelle, Domaine des Tilleuls and Heritage du Cleray Muscadet Sevre et Maine.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe