Of all the stereotypically male behaviors that women are supposed to object to (not asking for directions, improper toilet seat etiquette, and so on)there’s only one that truly irks me: their indifference to white wine. When’s the last time you saw a guy drinking white wine? Or even admitting to liking one? Unless they’re French, in the wine industry (or both), the men I know don’t really drink white wine. They often say they don’t like the lightness, the sweetness, or the tropical fruit character found in a lot of whites.
That’s too bad. They’re missing out on a lot of great wine. Plus, it makes them less-than-ideal dining partners for those of us who love whites as much as we love reds. But all is not lost. I’ve spent 12 years convincing my husband that there are worthy whites out there and, in the process, have discovered a few categories of wines that will please even the most avowed red chauvinist:
1. White Rhône wines. I know, I’m on a bit of a Rhône kick these days (OK, always) but there’s good reason. These wines, made from varieties like Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne, are full-bodied, robust, and go well with rich dishes like lobster. If you’re on a lobster roll budget, go with a white Côtes-du-Rhône. If you’re feeling more lobster thermidor, try a Condrieu.
2. Madeira. The wine of our Founding Fathers: intense, nutty, historic, and with searing acidity that’ll put hair on the chest of even the manliest of men. (OK, so Madeira is more brown than white.)
3. Chablis. These Chardonnay-based wines from northern Burgundy are taut, dry and austere — Gran Torion-era Clint Eastwood in a bottle. They’re great with shellfish and seafood.
4. Pinot Gris. Versions from Oregon or Alsace, in eastern France, pack a lot of punch. These are full-bodied, high-alcohol wines with a unique smoky, almost roasted quality that goes well with poultry cooked outdoors: think grilled chicken or fried turkey.
5. Champagne. I’ve found that even the most passionate white wine haters will make an exception for Champagne. And if they do resist, offer them a Blanc de Noirs, as it’s made solely from red grapes, Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier. And if that doesn’t convince him, well, it’s probably a lost cause.