I was a red wine drinker. Living in the Northern Rhône Valley; home to the best syrah in the world, I got used to drinking Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Joseph. My palate got accustomed to syrah wine profile; full-bodied, exuberant, structured, deep, complex, spicy, peppery, smoky, meaty, minerality with aromas and flavours of ripe and black fruits, olive, violet, herbs and mint. Auguste Clape’s Cornas is my all time favourite. You can grow syrah all over the world, but you can only find its utmost beauty, glorious and distinctiveness on its unique terrior in the Northern Rhône.
I used to think that red wine goes with just about every type of food and every occasion. I was not a fan of whites. For me, a glass of white wine is only more appealing on a very hot day. I never really explored white wines in any significant way. I found that most of generic whites are often uninteresting and unattractive. Over the past years, I have been exposed to many amazing white wines. I love the way white wine can be rich, aromatic, powerful and refreshing. They are not just aperitif wines or a drink with finger food. Various types of white wine; dry, off-dry, sweet, fortified offer exciting food pairing possibilities.
I am still a red wine lover but I have found myself move gradually onto white. I can say that I am now a big fan of white wine. A simple proof; half of my wine cellar are whites! Some of my favourite are Condrieu, Saint-Péray, Hermitage, Viré-Clessé, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, Pouilly-Fumé, and Cour-cheverny. There are many more great white wines to explore that will intrigue me.
If you want to open up the eyes of your red-wine-only friends, one of the best strategies I would suggest is getting them to try a really good one so they could say “hmm… this is better than I thought!” or through food parings. It is important to show them that they can not match every dish with red wine. The success of white wine in food pairings will excite them and they will become more willing to try others.