When it’s aperitif time, there’s something for everyone. Between strong alcohols and virgin cocktails, wine remains a drink of choice for many people. And if rosé wine is a must, white wine is also having its little success. So let's see if it makes sense to serve white wine as an aperitif .
The history of the aperitif
Historically, the aperitif is a medicinal concept that has been in place since the dawn of time. Thus, if we refer to the etymology of the word, “aperitif” comes from the Latin “apertivus”, which means “to open”. And we are not talking, here, about whetting the appetite , which is a much more modern concept, but about opening natural pathways. Romans and medieval lords thus had the habit of drinking an alcoholic herbal decoction before a meal, with the aim of preparing the digestive system for digestion .
In a nutshell, the aperitif was then a laxative.
It was not until the middle of the 20th century, after the Second World War, that the concept of a festive and convivial aperitif that we know and practice today appeared .
Good to know: the aperitif is an essentially French tradition, found in very few countries. In Spain or Russia, for example, we enjoy tapas or zakouskis, but they are closer to the dinner aperitif than to the aperitif we know in France.
Choosing a dry wine to drink as an aperitif
Among the different white wines , we essentially distinguish between dry white wines and sweet white wines . For a successful aperitif, dry white wine is always preferable and avoids missteps. We will reserve the sweet white wine with foie gras, which can be served with a Pouilly-Fumé or a pinot gris from Alsace, for example.
Fruity dry white wine
If you plan to offer your guests an aperitif based on seafood, you can without hesitation turn to a fruity dry white wine , vinified from Sauvignon Blanc. This grape variety, found in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, etc.), offers aromas of peach and citrus that go perfectly with seafood, shrimp, or even whelks.
But fruity dry white wines also offer a beautiful minerality, like white wines from the Loire. They are then a wine of choice to accompany goat cheese or products from the Loire, such as andouille de Guémené.
Dry white wine full of freshness
To start a meal and highlight appetizers and other sausages and chips, nothing beats a good chilled white wine . We can then trust without hesitation in two major wine-growing regions.
- White wine from the Loire : often made from Chenin Blanc, a fresh and sweet grape variety, white wine from the Loire Valley offers aromas of apple, quince, pear, honey and flowers. Its slight acidity is perfect for fatty products, such as cold meats or cheese;
- Alsace white wine : made from Riesling, a typically Alsatian grape variety, Alsace white wine is characterized by its finesse, balance, minerality and elegance. We love its floral notes and citrus aromas, which enhance aperitifs based on salmon or caviar.
Round and fatty dry white wine
Because there is something for all tastes, round and bold white wines also find their place on the tables of an aperitif with friends. Speaking of bold white wine , we of course think of Chardonnay, this Burgundy wine aged in oak barrels. It then offers buttery and brioche aromas, with notes of exotic fruits and white-fleshed fruits.
If you are looking for a mineral white wine , Chablis, this white wine from Burgundy, will go wonderfully with your charcuterie and cheese platters, but also with raw vegetables.
From the Rhône Valley, Viognier is both round and bold, but also fragrant and elegant. We appreciate its notes of exotic fruits, apricot, white flowers and honey, which make it a dry white wine perfect for enjoying petits fours or savory cakes.
Other round and bold dry white wines , wines made with Marsanne and Roussanne stand out for their freshness, as is the case with Crozes-Hermitage, or Saint-Joseph, for example. The notes of white flowers, acacias, exotic fruits and grilled toast are an asset for an aperitif based on seafood or Mediterranean recipes, such as anchoïade or tapenade.
Our best white wines for an aperitif
The white wines of Provence often have the characteristic of being fresh and dry, as evidenced by the bottles of white wine that we offer you on our Provençal estates.
La Grande Cuvée – AOP Côtes de Provence white 2018
Composed of Sémillon and Rolle, the Grande Cuvée de Berne shines with its intense yellow color and its complex nose. The aromas of milk bread, pineapple, licorice and toasted hazelnut bring a nice freshness, appreciable with an aperitif based on fish or vegetables.
Berne Great Harvest – AOC Côtes de Provence white 2021
The 2021 vintage of the Berne Grande Récolte vintage guarantees you a fresh and fruity white wine, with authentic aromas of lemon and stone fruit. This dry white wine, composed of Ugni Blanc, Rolle and Sémillon, then highlights aperitifs with Provençal flavors.
Ultimate Provence – AOP Côtes de Provence white 2021
Perfectly refreshing, the UP vintage from the Ultimate Provence estate reveals a pretty pale gold color and aromas of Menton lemon, but also notes of citrus, flowers and white pepper. This 100% Rolle white wine works wonders with seafood, such as oysters or sea urchins.
Planning to serve wine at your next aperitif? You now know the criteria to take into account to choose well and ensure a successful food and wine pairing. To help you, white wines from Provence remain a safe bet to which you can turn with confidence.