Monday, May 19, 2008

Wine Blogging Wednesday #46: Rhone Whites

I'll be your host for Wine Blogging Wednesday #46, the June 2008 edition of the online tasting event started by Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours. June marks the beginning of summer, and we will all be looking for white wines to carry us through the warm evenings. Some of the best options for summer white wines are made with one or more of the classic Rhone grape varieties: Bourbolenc, Clairette Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, Picardin, Picpoul, Roussanne, Ugni Blanc, and Viognier. Wines made with these grapes tend to be aromatic, and can often rival your summer garden in terms of lush floral and fruity fragrances. At the same time, however, the wines can be crisp and refreshing, especially if there is some Picpoul in the mix. And Rhone white grapes are perfect partners for fish, chicken, salads, and all of the vegetables that are beginning to flood into your local Farmer's Market.

Often Rhone grapes come in blended bottles of Marsanne and Roussanne, or some other combination, and blends are fine for WBW #46. Today, white Rhone grapes are planted throughout the world and I'm not fussy about where your wine comes from--I just want you to get out there and try some of these versatile, flavorful grapes. And, if you taste wines from more than one region (say one from Paso Robles and one from the Cotes du Rhone), you'll get top billing in the roundup. (image of Grenache Blanc from the Rhone Valley Wine website).

I hope that even if you have never participated in Wine Blogging Wednesday before you will join me in drinking a white wine made with one or more Rhone grape varieties in June. Then, on or before Wednesday, June 11 write about your tasting experience(s) and post them on your blog, on the Wine Blogging Wednesday community site, or in the comments here at Good Wine Under $20. Don't have a blog or are feeling shy? Email me your notes, and I'll include them in the roundup.

Just so that I don't leave anyone out, please drop me a line at goodwineunder20 (at) with a link to your post after you make it, send me a message on Twitter with the link, or just plunk it in the comments here or on my June 11 post.

If you're not familiar with white wines made with grapes from the Rhone region, here are a few online resources to help you out:

The Rhone Rangers' list of white varieties, with descriptions of the flavors and aromas you can expect from each.

The Rhone Valley Wine website has descriptions of the French growing region and excellent maps.

Patrick Comiskey's excellent article from the August 2007 Bon Appetit magazine about why Rhone whites are the perfect wines for summer.

Enjoy exploring the expanding world of Rhone whites, and I look forward to reading all your tasting notes and food pairing ideas in June.

And if you're in the Los Angeles area, check your calendar to see if you can attend the Rhone Rangers tasting on June 4, 2008 from 6:30-8:30 pm. Forty-three wineries specializing in Rhone varieties will be there pouring wine at Raleigh Studios--so you may get to see a celeb or two. The cost is $60/person, and more details can be found here. You'll have a lot of tasting notes to share for WBW #46, that's for sure.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Debs,

What a lovely theme: a moment of relief from the hot days that have been wearing me out.


Nancy said...

I'll be there, God willing and if the creek don't rise. If our weather continues as cold as it has been, however, I may have to pair the white with a toasty Rhone red.

Anonymous said...

I have not tried many Rhone whites, so this will be a fun way to explore!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is gonna be a interesting one! Looking forward to it (what to order, what to order...)

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks, everybody. I'm looking forward to reading everybody's notes--not to mention drinking some Rhone whites myself!

dhonig said...

Garretson Roussane "The Limoi Cior" 2004 -

I will add the second night tomorrow, in time for WBW.

David said...

good theme! I had just picked up a $10 roussanne/marsanne blend when I saw this WBW so it was good motivation to get back into doing WBW. Here's the link to my post:

Edward said...

Dr Debs,

Thanks for hosting.

Here is my post:



Anonymous said...

I think you already found my post, but here's the link! After trying seven Rhones last night, my head hurts just a bit this morning...Photos to come...

wild walla walla wine woman said...

Hey Dr. Debs,

Many thanks for hosting and thanks for chosing a theme that I don't have to "cheat!" Of course, my wine of choice is from...

You can locate it here:


Anonymous said...

Hola Dr. Deb,

This is the first time for us in WBW, exited to learn more about Rhone and their whites, here's our post;


Anonymous said...

This one was fun!

Anonymous said...

Dr. D---

Thoroughly entertaining endeavor. Tasty wine as well, albeit a bit of an oddball. Hope you enjoy our write-up and photographs.


Jesse Porter

The Young Winos of LA

Diane Letulle said...

Hi, again! Our electricity is back on and my post is up
Cheers! Diane

Anonymous said...

Definitely great in dispelling the summer heat.
For more info about wines, check out

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to my post. Sorry for the delay: