Posts Tagged ‘White wine


Tilia Torrontes 08

I’m more of a red wine person than a white wine person.  I love some Sauv Blanc, but aside from that there’s not a white I’m fond of.

So I was more than eager to dive into a bottle of Tilia Torrontes, as I didn’t even know this varietal existed.

Chardonnay is too boring for me.  Even to this day I haven’t found one that I like.  They’re not bad, but they’re not good.  They’re like the Coldplay of wines– served to the masses and met with lukewarm responses, but no one ever turns it down, especially at wedding receptions.

Torrontes, as it turns out, is a common South American varietal, at least in the same sense that Malbecs are common.  They’ve been dropped by the wayside slightly, but are still popular in niche markets.

The taste is fruity, but wholly unlike any other kind of wine.  There’s (I swear) a cherry taste in it somewhere.  The citrusy fruits aren’t present at all, and what fruits are blended in can only be described as aromic.  I know it sounds disgusting, but it’s like drinking perfume if it were wine.  But it’s not sweet, tart, or sour.  It’s like the underlying tones of a fruity smell mixed into a wine.

There’s no way for me to describe it where it sounds appealing, but trust me, it’s worth a try.  It’s the most off-flavor wine I’ve had in a while.  But don’t think of it as a table wine, because it’s definitely not sweet.

It’s as if the fruits that usually don’t make it into a wine mixture were given a shot with this one.

At the very least, it’s an extremly interesting wine.

3.5 out of 5 strikes


Dyed in the Wool Sauvignon Blanc

Dyed in the Wool Sauv Blanc was my introduction to Sauv Blancs in general.  Much like how the Beatles were my introduction to music and the Ghostbusters my introduction to cinema, this brand has a special place in my heart.

I like sour beverages.  I always have.  In fact, my favorite non-alcoholic beverage is unsweetened grapefruit juice, which not a whole lot of people would say.

Dyed in the Wool tastes quite a bit like grapefruit juice.

This New Zealand brand packs multiple citrus fruits into the Sauv Blanc, with the sour ones shining through.  It’s crisp, clean, and doesn’t have an aftertaste to speak of.

With Sauv Blancs the main area for variation is exactly how sour they are and how much you can taste the alcohol.  With Dyed in the Wool, the sour factor is high, and the alcohol taste is minimal, making it all the more refreshing.

Like other Sauv Blancs, this one goes well with spicy food.  But it also serves as a pleasing beverage to sip on the porch on a warm evening.

4 out of 5 strikes


Relax Riesling 2008

Over the years, it has become obvious that I have quite a Teutonic streak. I usually have one German obsession going at any given time. Werner Herzog, Popol Vuh, Kraftwerk, etc. I’ve been reading a little about German wines and my mother-in-law was in town and wanted a Riesling. Coincidence? I will find any reason to drink.

I’m not going to drink a lot of Rieslings, but this was a fun, fruity wine that went well with the warming days. This particular bottle was from the Schmitt Sohne label, who produces a lot of wines from the fatherland (uh, Germany). I wasn’t particularly fond of the packaging and branding attempt at all, but I forgive Europe all the time for more serious transgressions, so what the Hell.

Relax Riesling is fruity like a fresh peach and a tart apple. it did have a good acidity to cut through the sweetness, which sort of calms after a few sips. It smells of fruit peelings, which I really liked, and it coats the glass with an almost oil-like viscosity. It reminded my of a dry Muscadine.

If your looking for a wine for an outdoor party or cookout, grab a Riesling. Germany is really coming into its own, according to many experts (of which I am not). I am sure you will have fun with it, though.

3 out of 5 strikes.

(post by Tre)


2008 Root One Sauvingnon Blanc

Root 1 Sauvignon Blanc has been one of our favorites for a while now, and it’s embarrassing to think about how much money we’ve spent on it.

 The white wine is pretty sour and citrusy, typical of Sauv. Blancs.  More fruit taste breaks through than in other types of the same varietal.  It has a strong bite, and if that’s not something you enjoy then this wine isn’t for you.

 Many whites tend to be bland.  Even though the Sauv. Blanc varietal is more like grapefruit juice than grape juice, Root 1 in particular is strong.  It goes extremely well with spicy food, especially Asian or Mexican food.  The spice and sour flavors even each other out.

 It’s refreshing in a weird way, like a glass of sour lemonade during the middle of summer. 

 Interestingly, this wine is one of the only ones available in the US that’s made with actual root stock, hence why it’s called Root 1.  But we’ll get into this more later, with our second post about Root One.

4 out of 5 strikes



(This Wine the Lightning post comes from Tre Berney and is about a South African  Sauvignon Blanc, not a Flaming Lips album of a remarkably similar name.  He also came up with our new rating scale!)

Picking up a bottle of white from South Africa sounded interesting enough. The packaging grabbed me with its exotic look. I have the same basic interest in trying wines from tumultuous climates as I do in visiting them, returning afterward to my temperate home base.

I didn’t know anything about South Africa’s lengthy winemaking history, dating back to the mid-1600s. It was once said to have produced one of the best wines on the globe. Recently, the Wine Of Origin system was set up in 1973 in order to insure that the grapes come from the proper designated farms, concentrated mainly in the Cape Town area. It now serves as the guardian for over 60 different appellations centered mainly in the cities of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

This Zafrika sauvignon blanc was on the dry side, sort of crispy, with hints of tangerine and lime. The bottle mentioned a green pepper flavor, but I didn’t get that. Nonetheless, it was complex enough without being overly so. I prefer a simple white. The fruity sweetness oddly came in the form of a tangy finish that lingered longer than you would think for such a dry sauv. blanc.

It had an almost champagne color in the glass, very clear. I drank it along side grilled Ahi tuna steaks marinated in soy & lemon juice with a small potato and salad.

I recommend.

I give it 3 strikes of lightning out of 5.

(Post by Tre Berney, Wine the Lightning‘s Northern Virginia correspondent.)

April 2018
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