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Here Are Some Budget-Friendly Wine Picks for Diner en Blanc 2017

by Drink Philly on Aug 4, 2017 in Wine

One of the city’s most elegant events, Dîner en Blanc, is just weeks away. This “chic picnic” brings thousands of guests, all clad in white, to an undisclosed public space in the city where they will feast and dance the night away in a truly unique and sophisticated fashion. This year, Diner en Blanc takes place on Thursday, August 17.

For the event, guests are required to bring a picnic basket filled with fine foods and may only bring wine or champagne as beer and hard liquor are prohibited. If you’re attending Diner en Blanc and are unsure of what refreshment to bring, luckily, Jill Weber of Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516 is here to help you pick out the perfect wines to pair with your packable meals, all of which are available at PLCB stores and all of which will fit perfectly into your Diner en Blanc picnic basket.

Sparkling
 
Gruet Brut NV, New Mexico — sale 14.99 (all stores except 15th & Locust). New Mexico’s Gruet has long been producing great, champagne-method bubbles. Super-fine long-lasting bubbles with a classic palate of green apples, citrus and toast.  Have fun and drink this with chips and salsa.
 
Eric Texier Pétillant Naturel Rouletabulle Dry 2015 — 24.99 (only 21st & Market,, 11th & Chestnut and Columbus). Trying to satisfy the beer *and* wine drinkers? This effervescent, dry, tart wine will please both with its citrus and cider notes. And, it is low in alcohol! A perfect aperitif. Biodynamic.
 
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs NV, California — 34.99 (all stores). This will transport you to a table in the countryside, surrounded by orange blossoms, honeysuckle, and peach trees… Crisp and fresh apple notes too. Such a delicious start to the evening, perfect with any cheese.
 
Primaterra Prosecco NV, Italy — 25.00 (only at Jet – call ahead and we’ll chill it!). This light and soft bubbly has notes of green apple, lavender, and jasmine. Drink it before, during, or after your meal – it is always pleasant and pretty.
 
White
 
Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore, Italy — sale 7.99 (all stores). Blend of Malvasia and Trebbiano from Frascati (Lazio) – light and fresh with nuts and orchard-fruits. Floral nose. Wild flowers. Bring a smoked-trout spread and enjoy!
 
Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes Salta 2014, Argentina — 13.99 (21st & Market, Grant Ave). Tropical fruits, lemon zest, orange blossoms make this a real winner. Torrontes from Salta is just so clean and tangy.
 
Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes Mendoza 2015, Argentina — 9.99 (all stores; Chairman’s Selection). This wine with grapes from Mendoza is more readily available – and still great — but Salta is Torrontes’ true home.
 
Pietrafitta Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy — 13.99 (all stores). I adore Vernaccia, and San Gimignano always makes me think of the Guelphs and Ghibelines. Dry, with tart citrus and hints of pineapple, and “green” – think a little minty, a little herbal, a little leafy. This would be fantastic with crudo or tartar of meat or fish.
 
Hugel et Fils Gentil Alsace, France — 15.99 (all stores). This is just an outstanding wine from a storied producer. The Gentil is a blend of Alsatian white grapes, with a round body, citrus and wildflower nose, spicy mouth of apples, pears, and flint. It is such a crowd pleaser, but still elegant. If your basket has some spicier foods, be sure to pick up this wine.
 
Cune Monopole White Rioja, Spain — 13.99 (all stores). White Rioja is so underrated relative to its Red sister. This wine is 100% Viura, with a palate-pleasing combination of nectarine, melons, and nuts. Chilled scallops? Eat them with this wine.
 
Achaia Cellars Retsina, Greece — 9.99/1 liter (all stores except 15th & Locust). Some people love retsina’s lemon balm and pine notes, some hate those same “pinesol” notes. Make everyone happy with this budget-friendly buy, and make a retsina spritzer! Our bar manager, Amanda J., recommends club soda, rosemary, and peaches. Let it sit overnight. Enjoy!
 
Rosé
 
Crios Malbec Rosé, Argentina — sale 8.99 (all stores). Skip the red and bring this fuller-bodied rosé. Notes of fresh-picked wild strawberries, a little white pepper, and sage. Please, please have some fried chicken in that basket - and deviled eggs – this wine screams for it!
 
Argiolas Serra Lori Rosato Isola dei Nuraghi 2016, Italy — 12.99 (all Premium stores). Drink like an islander – from Sardinia!  Argiolas wines are full of character and flavor. This rosé is medium-bodied, fresh, clean, and crisp, with notes of juicy raspberry and violets.  It is very food friendly; pull out the pate for this fine wine.
 
Montalcour Cotes du Rhone Rosé, France — 20.00 (only at Jet). Both elegant and strong, this Grenache/syrah blend is full of ripe, red fruits, rose petals, and pears. It is clean, fresh, and delicious. Yes, it is also perfect with deviled eggs! I also recommend it with your charcuterie plate.
 
Orange

Radikon Jakot 2007, Italy — sale 24.04/500 ml (11th & Chestnut, 15th & Locust, Girard). Orange wine is not cheap, sadly. But, if you are searching for a white-grape wine fermented with its skins (e.g. “orange” wine), then this 100% friulano from a pioneer in its popular resurgence is well worth it. It is rich and complex with an initial mintiness giving way to chopped nuts and dried apricots, plus a little rhubarb and “sherry” notes. Organic and Biodynamic. Buy two, they’re small!

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