Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 22, 2017
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Floral whites for spring

April showers bring May flowers, alongside tables topped with bottles of floral and fruity, aromatic white wine. It’s a natural transition, May finds spring in full swing and marks the unofficial opening of patio season. And there’s no better way to shake off any lingering wintry sentiments than by heading to the open skies and cracking open an aromatic white. It’s akin to vinous smelling salts; a whiff of generous aromas will make the palate do a double take and reinvigorate the senses.

So what exactly is an aromatic wine? Put simply, it’s one that jumps out of the glass with just a faint swirl of the wrist, arousing the nose and putting a smile across the lips before the first sip. The pronounced aromas can range from fruity to floral, and from overtly perfumed to freshly herbaceous.

Aromatic whites can be found in both dry and off-dry styles, but generally they go sans oak for maximum fruit-forward exuberance. Though no formal vinifera classification exists for “aromatic white,” the usual suspects are Riesling, Muscat, Viognier and Gewürztraminer — which are being complemented by an increasing array of more esoteric, extroverted cultivars such as Grüner Veltliner, Torrontés, Albariño and Fiano.

It’s easy to appreciate the growing popularity of aromatic white wines. Apart from being great patio partners, they’re just plain fun to drink. Also, they tend to be enjoyed by both novice punters and serious wine buffs alike, with beginning oenophiles drawn to the obvious, strongly-defined aromas and wine geeks appreciative of the bottles’ typically lively, food-friendly ways.

One grape not on the usual list but befitting of the aromatic tag is Assyrtiko, a varietal indigenous to the volcanic soils and whitewashed hills of Santorini, the paradise isle of southern Greece. Boutari’s Assyrtiko Santorini wafts generous aromas of red apple, apple blossoms, lemon and honey, a perfect prelude to the wine’s lush, full-bodied feel in the mouth and smooth, well-balanced finish. It would be great with halibut (roasted or grilled), pork souvlaki or simply swirled on its own under a setting sun. Now is the time to get a nose full!

Boutari Assyrtiko Santorini is available across the country, priced from $15.95 to $19.99.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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