Variety is almost certainly the spice of life, and when it comes to white wine, there’s nothing greater than a fresh, unexpected drop to really impress your guests (or host, depending on the situation). Besides, it’s party season, and there’s only so many glasses of rosé-over-long-lunch one can handle before it looses its appeal.
In order to master the art of choosing a great and interesting bottle of white, you could either A: spend your hard-earned money getting it wrong (not ideal), or B: scroll down for our foolproof guide, made possible by the expertise of our friends at Penfolds. It’s a step away from traditional go-tos like sav blanc and pinot gris, because a well-rounded, varied wine repertoire is most definitely a good thing to have. Plus, we’ve thrown in a few food-pairing suggestions, because we’re good like that.
Read on for our trustworthy suggestions…
Not your average Chardonnay
Got an in-law, boss, or perennially chic pal you really want to impress? Penfolds Yattarna is a multi-regional, cool climate Chardonnay that’s perfect for just that. It’s won a stack of awards, and is in fact the product of over 144 winemaking trials. How’s that for fancy? Pale, balanced, and with a lingering acidity, it works well with crab risotto or chili prawn spaghetti. Save this for only the most special parties and occasions.
Rich and complicated (just like your ex)
Complex and medium-bodied, Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay is best paired with seafood and good company. A single-region drop hailing from the (you guessed it) highly regarded Adelaide Hills, it’s contemporary and expressive. And to add to the appeal, the fruit for this particular blend is only picked in the early hours of the morning or after sunset for peak flavour and aromatics. So. Damn. Lush. Opt for this if you’re dining with wine connoisseurs who will appreciate its layered composition.
Light, classy, and made for long-lunching
Hailed as one of Australia’s finest, Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay is one of those easy-drinking type wines. It’s medium-bodied and multi-regional, and makes for perfect conducive drinking (don’t leave this one in your bar cart). Served chilled over a long seafood lunch (think fresh prawns, lobsters, seared scallops with lemon-the works). It’s essentially what endless summer dreams are made of.
Everything happens for a Riesling
Party season is just as much about cheese as it is the wine, and Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Reisling is the perfect pairing. Light, floral, and with notes of citrus, it’s the ultimate accompaniment for all of the festive fromage and charcuterie boards that are sure to roll out over the coming weeks. Add some prosciutto, quince paste, olives, and a soft, creamy brie for good measure. Alternatively, it cellars beautifully for any time frame over five years (we see you, 2025).
Entry-level for the white wine skeptic (Max’s Chardonnay)
Easy on the palette and your bank account (because post-Christmas got us like, bye $$$), Max’s Chardonnay is the perfect Penfolds entry-point. It’s approachable and light, so your circle won’t back away or refuse a glass. Bring this one to a dinner party, and you’re sure to score a return invite. Personally, we love it matched with fresh sashimi, wasabi, and ginger, or any fragrant Japanese cuisine.