Torrontes, Albarino & Other Lesser Known White Wines for Summer

APRIL 06 2011


In the hot summer months, many wine lovers reach for a chilled white wine to quench their thirst. Here are 4 lesser known whites to help you beat the heat.


There are hundreds of white wine grapes in the world, but most of us are familiar with only a few. Grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio (Gris) are well within the boundaries of our comfort zone. Many of us are intimately acquainted with these grapes and may even love to drink them. We reach for them out of habit and familiarity. But, sometimes it’s exciting to delve into the unknown and unfamiliar. The following grapes may be more unfamiliar to most of us, but they are definitely worth exploring.



From the high altitude vineyards of Argentina comes the aromatic white grape, Torrontés. While Malbec rules the red wines of Argentina, Torrontés is definitely the queen of the whites. Torrontés displays a distinctly grapey character similar to Muscat along with aromas and flavours reminiscent of Gewurztraminer. Wines made from these grapes can smell of exotic flowers and tropical fruit with a hint of spiciness. These wines are generally dry and are meant to be consumed young.


The region producing the best examples of Torrontés is Salta province, in the northern part of the country. The high altitude of the vineyards there produce Torrontés of naturally higher acidity and an assertive flavour profile. There are also large plantings of the variety in La Rioja where it produces a voluptuous yet elegant wine. For more information on the Torrontes grape, please read “Torrontes – Argentina’s White Specialty Grape.”


Torrontes is great paired with spicy Thai and Mexican cuisine. It also a beautiful match with most seafood and shellfish, including sushi.



The Rias Baixas region is home to the Spain’s highly fashionable Albariño grape, where it produces intensely aromatic wines similar to Viognier, but with less weight and more acidity. It conjures up aromas and flavours of white peach, apricot, citrus, and sometimes almond.


In Portugal, the grape is known as Alvarinho, and is best known in the Vinho Verde region. Here it is made into refreshingly light, zippy, and slightly effervescent wines. The best examples have well-balanced acidity with aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, peach, apricot, dried fruit, and white blossoms. Vinho Verde wines are not as intensely aromatic as those from Rias Baixas, but are delicious and thirst quenching just the same.


Albariño (Alvarinho) is not meant for ageing and should be consumed while still young and fresh. Any kind of shellfish is a great match with Albariño. Try mussels, oysters, scallops, or crabs for a real treat. They also pair well with light summer green salads.

Read on


* The Dry Wines of Portugal

* Refreshing Red Wines for Summer – Beaujolais, Barbera, Pinot Noir

* Albarino and Savagnin Misidentified Wines


Grüner Veltliner


In Austria, the hills are alive with the vines of Grüner Veltliner. It is the most planted and most important grape in that country. Grüner Veltliner is an incredibly versatile grape that can be made into a wide range of wine styles from very light and refreshing summer sippers all the way to lusciously rich sweet wines. Flavours and aromas can include cracked white pepper, spice, herbs, blossoms, citrus, and exotic fruit. While Grüner Veltliner is not as aromatic as Alvariño or Torrontés, it is definitely crisp, refreshing, and revitalizing. For more information on Gruner Veltliner please read the article “Groovy Gruner Veltliner from Austria.”


Good quality Gruner Veltliners are suitable candidates to cellar and can gain complex flavours of tobacco, sponge cake, and dried fruit when mature.


Grüner Veltliner is extremely versatile with food, especially lighter summer fare, and pairs well with a number of dishes. They are great matches with vegetarian starters and salads and also work surprisingly well with deep fried finger foods. Traditional Austrian wiener schnitzel is a favourite match as a myriad of seafood dishes including tuna tartar, sushi, prawn’s and soft goat’s cheese.



Assyrtico (also spelled Assyrtiko) is as much fun to say as it is to drink. Hailing from the Greek island of Santorini this top quality grape is able to retain a high level of acidity despite the hot climate. The wine typically displays a steely minerality, with citrus notes of grapefruit and lemon. Most are made in a dry style but the grape is also used to make sweet Vinsanto wine.


It’s amazing how well wine tends to pair with food from the same region. It is no different with Assyrtico which pairs beautifully with the classic Greek dishes of calamari and traditional Greek salad. Actually the wine’s crisp acidity, minerality and fresh citrus make this wine perfect for just about any seafood dish and most fresh green salads.


There are many other lesser known grapes that make high quality, refreshing white wines for summer. If you’re in the mood to be a little adventurous just ask the salesperson or product consultant at your local wine shop to recommend one of these wines or something else out of the ordinary. You may be surprised at the great wines you’ll discover.





The wine shop in Angeles Philippines Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga as well as other wine shops, wine bars and wine outlets in Subic and Manila are wells stocked with interesting selections of many kinds of wine from various producers covering a wide range of prices.  Of particular interest to wine lovers is the depth of vintages of wine available at the wine shop, wine bars and other wine outlets of Yats Wine Cellars in Philippines.


As a wine collector, hobbyist or someone in the wine trade, are you concerned or interested about this also?  If so, please stay tuned in to Yats Wine Cellars’ web site to stay abreast of things to do with wine in the world.


News and pertinent information about wine trade, wine appreciation, wine shops and outlets, wine and food pairing, wine making, viticulture, vintages, climate conditions affecting wine, new and revived wine regions etc can be found here in this section. Yats wine Cellars is much more than a Philippines wine supplier with a few wine shops, wine bars and wine outlets in Philippines where clients can buy good wines in Manila, Angeles City, Subic and Clark Philippines.  Yats Wine Cellars is also a rich source of information for the convenience of the growing community of wine lovers, wine connoisseurs and hobbyists in Philippines.   Wine lovers in Manila, Subic, Pampanga, Angeles City, Clark Philippines can enjoy fine vintage wines in any of Yats Wine Cellars wine shopping outlets, wine bars, nightlife spots, wine shops and wine restaurants.


You are welcome to post your comments and questions about any topic related to wine on or email with your comments, suggestions, questions, purchases or inquiries on wine and wine-related topics.





Wine lover’s choice – Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar – for the most impressive and practical wine list in the Philippines, over 2700 selections, enough to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseurs.  Wine lovers and gourmand foodies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia dine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar when they visit Philippines and bring home some rare vintage wines too.


An excellent wine list is not just about 1st growth and cult Cabernet but a seemingly unending selection of affordable aged vintage wines that are not available anywhere else, not even in the best wine shops around town.  Yats Restaurant has just that.


Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine.  Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport


Clark Philippines lists Top Three Restaurants in the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City areas of Philippines Pampanga province.  Clark Freeport is a bustling new cosmopolitan city complete with its own Clark International Airport.

Topping the list is the famous fine-dining Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar located inside Mimosa Leisure Estate of Philippines Clark Freeport.



This restaurant in Pampanga Philippines is highly recommended by food critics and frequent diners in Manila as a place to wine and dine in Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone.  Although it is a famous fine dining restaurant with an award winning 3000-line restaurant wine list, Yats Restaurant is also a popular restaurant for family with children.  Aside from French Mediterranean haute cuisine, this restaurant also serves healthy food and the best vegetarian cuisines in the Philippines.



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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines

How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines?  Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa.  After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left.  Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.



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