Shelley Lindgren, sommelier at San Francisco’s popular Italian restaurants A16 and SPQR, shared with me some of her favorite picks for vino bianco. Many of the wines she recommended were new to me (and may be to you, too), so I’m feeling more confident than ever about navigating regional Italian wine lists.
Here are a few varietals Lindgren recommends for white wine drinkers.
“If you’re a Chardonnay drinker, you’ll love these wines,” says Lindgren. “Their natural richness holds up to a variety of different foods.”
Chardonnay lovers, ask for an oak-treated style of these wines. Because these grapes are more robust than other whites, they can start a meal and carry through it.
“Frascati is made from a blend that primarily includes Malvasia del Lazio (aka puntinata), Malvasia di Candia and Trebbiano Toscana, among other local grapes,” says Lindgren. “It has orange blossom and stone fruit aromas.”
Lindgren places Frascati between Viognier and Chardonnay on the richness scale, thanks in part to its dry finish.
“Sauvignon Blanc drinkers may enjoy Verdicchio,” says Lindgren. “Most tend to be lighter, with higher acidity.”
Verdicchio is extremely versatile with slight sweetness, lending itself to ethnic foods and heartier fare like egg-based pasta.
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.