What Happened When Two Red Wine Devotees Tried White

Let me tell you a little bit about my twin sister and her husband. They have the most adorable baby girl ever, the grumpiest old mutt, and the cutest house on the friendliest street. They also love fine dining, craft beer, cheese boards, black coffee, and bold red wine. Preferably from California. Preferably Cabernet Sauvignon, but they'll settle for Zinfandel in a pinch. They know what makes them happy and they like it—a lot.

Now for most observers, this would be fine. A normal person might think, "What a lovely couple. They have great taste! I bet the baby is sweet." They are, they do, and she is. But they have the misfortune of being related to a wine blogger who refuses to believe that anyone could drink just one type of wine forever. And so after some begging and maybe a little bribing, this nice couple and their bouncing baby found themselves at a blind white wine tasting orchestrated by their crazy sister on a rainy afternoon in Pittsburgh. And that's just where this story begins.

"Tastes Tart"

Realistically, I didn't think I could get them to like a white wine; I just wanted them to find one they didn't hate. I asked them, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a go-to option for salads in the summer?" To which my sister said, "I think red wine goes with everything." K, this is going to be tougher than I thought...

I knew if they so much as heard the name of any white varietal they would be turned off. ("I hate that one.") Blind tasting was the way to go. I asked that they taste each wine, give me their candid thoughts, and enjoy some cheese alongside (aforementioned bribery). I did not make them write tasting notes.

For quality control, each cost $17-25. Here was the tasting order, along with their reactions:

Wine #1 (Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis, Burgundy, 2015)
J: "Green apples, strawberries, wouldn't be good with food, smooth, tart"
T: "Above average, pears, smooth, would work with flakey fish"

Wine #2 (Trimbach Riesling, Alsace, 2014)
J: "Don't like it, bitter, #1 is better, tart"
T: "Not as light as I expected from the color, sour then dry, #1 is better"

Wine #3 (Carlisle Grüner Veltliner, Sonoma Mountain, 2016)
J: "Lemons, tingle, spicy, tart"
T: "Least favorite so far"

Wine #4 (Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2016)
J: "Lighter, smoother, apples, second favorite after #1, tart"
T: "Sharp aftertaste, third favorite"

Winner, Loser, and Hey, Wait a Minute...

Their favorite of the group? The Chablis! I have several witnesses who can attest to the fact that I predicted Chablis as the winner. Guys, these two might hate white wine but I knew they could sniff out a quality Burgundy.

And their least favorite? Carlisle's Grüner Veltliner coming in at #4 for Tadeusz and #3 for Jessica. I selected it because they LOVE Carlisle's reds. For the record, I tasted it too and felt it was an above average Grüner.

The real winners? Jessica and Tadeusz, but mostly me. Because in a crazy turn of events, they kept drinking the white wine. BY CHOICE. They even finished the bottle of Chablis. And Tadeusz put a good dent in the Riesling, too.

What We Learned

According to Jessica, she learned that she doesn't need to say "strawberries" just because she thinks that's the right answer. From Tadeusz, he thinks that white wine might be nice on a summer day with a cigar.

And for me? Well, I learned that my sister has an incredible sensitivity to tartness. I also learned that sometimes it is ok to push people outside their wine comfort zones as long as you add fun and subtract pressure. Ultimately people should drink whatever makes them happy—even if that's just one style of wine—but sometimes a little change can brighten a rainy day in Pittsburgh.

Huge thanks to Jessica, Tadeusz, and Baby Zofia! Love you guys.

Next Read: The Best Wines for Every Time of the Day