White light

After years (a lifetime, actually) of being a Caucasian, I am now officially a “white man.”

For a good year or more, when it has been time to sit down and enjoy some fermented fruit juice, my gut/brain/soul’s first instinct fairly shouts “minerally white.” Even last winter, during Minnesota’s blissfully long syrah season, I had a hankering for something crisp but complex, and there ain’t many reds like that.

So this might be a matter as much of texture as color. And perhaps as a nod to the season, early this year I was especially enjoying whites from cool mountain regions such as Alsace, Alto Adige (left), Piedmont, Savoie and Mosel.

Still, I never had consumed even remotely that high a ratio of whites in winter. And my penchant has not abated as the weather warmed.

I simply find these wines more interesting and enjoyable than I ever have. Not to mention food-friendly, especially given how much I like spicy dishes from all over Asia. And pork: The “other white meat” does decidedly better with wines of the same hue.

I still love reds and enjoy them all the time, but I don’t foresee an imminent end to this trend. Many friends in the trade have reached the same stage, and some of them have stayed there. In other words, this might be a stop along my wine-drinking evolution, or the end of it. Don’t know, don’t care.

I asked my blanc-loving friend Annette, whom I respect as much as anyone in the business, for her take:

“AH-HA!!! You are a true wine drinker! Not sipper, taster, swirler, sniffer, but drinker! We all do this, those of us who are around it day and night. We want lift, refreshment and complexity. And yes, the flavor generated by moderate temps, slower evolution, ripening ‘hang time’ with acidity, that’s the formula I like, too. It’s a normal wine drinker evolution.

“I know tons of folks who have done this. Importers like Peter Weygandt, David Shivrick, Andre Tamers [left] confess their white preference. Many more, too.

“I had dinner the other night with a self-proclaimed non-professional wine geek. She had a glass of Rock Block with her chicken, and only one glass, while the rest of us swilled down a bottles of Sancerre like water.

“The big question is how often do you drink wine? Every day? On the weekend only? As a cocktail? Chances are good that if you drink wine with your meal, and if you are also an adventurous eater, you will like these fresh whites.”

Sounds about right to me.

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