10. Veramonte Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Chile ($9)
Grown in Chile’s Casablanca Valley—the premier south of the equator location to grow Sauvignon Blanc—this wine is vibrant and refreshing with floral and citrus characteristics. The rich fruit flavors are complemented by a lively acidity.
9. Huber Gruner Veltliner Hugo 2006, Austria ($10)
This Down Under offering is apple-y and fresh with citrus and a touch of the exotic. It has a pale straw color and a distinctly earthy character. The flavor is consistent with the nose, with the crisp citrus coming through nicely. Tart and bone dry.
8. Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2007, California ($9)
Crisp, make that, very crisp. A tropical-style Sauvignon Blanc that has the breezy flavors of pear, melon, lime and sweet pea. No oak flavor, just a clean, tart wine with a refreshing finish.
7. Banrock Station Riesling 2006, Australia ($6.50)
This is the wine you bring to the neighborhood barbecue. A hint of sweetness and minerals to go along with its tropical notes and a bit of acidity. And for the asking price, it is well worth stocking up on for any summer occasion.
6. Danzante Pinot Grigio 2006, Italy ($10)
This wine is a light straw yellow with lovely notes of apple and pear and a crisp floral bouquet. It’s fresh and lively but also has a full-bodied quality rare in the price range.
5. Eola Hills Chardonnay 2006, Oregon ($10)
A remarkable price/value ratio on this Oregon Chardonnay: Wine & Spirits magazine calls it “simple and fresh,” and praises the “lightly-oaked Chardonnay” with “plenty of ripe apple flavor and sufficient acidity.” For those who prefer a little more body and complexity than found in the average Sauvignon Blanc.
4. Luis Felipe Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2007, Chile ($9)
Don’t let the screw top fool you. Wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk included it in his book, 101 Wines. Made in Chile’s Central Valley, this wine is crisp and bold with hints of lemon and minerals.
3. Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2006, Portugal ($8)
The editors at Wine & Spirits magazine thought enough of this bright, crisp white with a hint of spritz to rate above several far pricier wines at a recent tasting. MainStreet agrees: The perfect companion to those long, languorous summer days.
2. Santa Barbara Crossing Chardonnay 2005, California ($10)
Another top-rated pick by Wine & Spirits, this wine is a different experience altogether. It is rich, and well-ripened, with aromas of apple, pear and peach. (It’s refreshing and complex making it one of those whites you can drink year-round.)
1. La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon 2007, France ($9)
A lovely Rhone Valley choice, this label blends four white-wine grapes. The result is a flavorful and crisp wine with citrus and peach accents balanced by a nice mineral undertone. Enjoy!