There are lots of silly adjectives that we wine geeks use to describe wines and their styles. I know that you have heard some pretty ridiculous ones.
There is nothing worse than hearing some pompous wine guy referring to a wine as a beautiful wilting flower that brings to mind the essence of mum’s garden at the summer cottage.
There is, however, the necessity for many of these adjectives when describing wines that are probably not as abstract as you might think.
When referring to a white wine, the term fresh has a pretty distinctive meaning. "Fresh" not only describes how a wine feels in your mouth, and how it tastes, but it also refers to the way the wine is made. I typically think of fresh and crisp wines coming from France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Here there is a great demand for white wines that are not oaked, or stored in oak barrels, at all and are made and sold with the expectation that they will be consumed within the first year or two after their vintage.
Portugal’s Vinho Verde is one of the most fun wines out there and can be made from a variety of grapes. The name Vinho Verde literally means green wine and refers to the age by which it is sold and should be consumed.
There wines are typically fermented in steel and then, after resting, flow straight into the bottle.
The resultant wine is acidic, sharp, and full of bright and fruity flavors. Some of these wines are commonly produced to have a touch of fizz and are usually bone dry. The selection in Utah is quite limited but there are a few out there.
Fresh wines dot much of the Italian peninsula. Many are made from the ubiquitous Trebbiano variety, which for the most part makes pretty regular wines though certainly pleasant and refreshing, but relatively unassuming.
Many fresh wines made throughout Italy are incredibly intriguing full of character and terroir that come from grapes that are produced nowhere else in the world. One of my favorites is the Soave wines from the Veneto.
These wines have a tendency to get a bad rap because so many are diluted with the Trebbiano di Toscano variety and made by greedy producers that draw far too much yield from their land to make interesting wines.
When care is given in the vineyard and in the winery, these wines have proven to be some of the best values and most intriguing wines out there.
Spain is another stellar producer of fresh wines. There are two such wines that have had moments of vogue in the wine business lately. The Albariño wines of Galicia are one and the Verdejo based wines from Rueda are another. Particularly the Rueda wines seem to strike a chord that none other has the ability. There is something of an herbal grapefruit combined with a touch of passion fruit that seem to make up the body and focus of this wine.
Keep your eyes out for them. They are lots of fun.
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