An Adventure into New White Varietals

An Adventure into New White Varietals

Sometimes it’s easy to love the wine you’re with, but if you’re feeling adventurous there’s a whole world of varieties with unique flavors for you to experience.

What can be difficult however, is taking that leap of faith when you’ve already established a few wines that you know you’ll enjoy. Hey, it happens to the best of us – what if I don’t like the wine? Am I going to finish it? Probably. But, will I enjoy it? I mean, it’s still wine…so yes. Crisis averted.

To take these fears away, I’m here to help spice up your normal wine routine with three white wines that are easy to try and even easier to love.


Albariño is a white grape that grows primarily in northwestern Spain and Portugal, found most commonly near the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean’s cool breeze allows the grape to keep its high acidity and citrus flavors, similar traits found in its parentage grape, Riesling (you know what they say – the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine). Martín Códax Albariño comes from the Rías Baixas region of Spain and is named after a medieval poet, known for his love of the sea. This medium-bodied white wine can be enjoyed with most seafood, especially salmon, tuna or scallops to match the coastal sub-region it originates from.

White Burgundy

Whenever you hear “white Burgundy”, know it’s fancy way of saying “Chardonnay”. Burgundy is a growing region in north-central France and the Chardonnay grape is the only allowable white grape in that region. Chardonnay is the world’s most popular grape, but recent rough growing years and lower yields in Burgundy have made this chardonnay harder to find without spending an arm & a leg. Domanie Thierry & Pascale Matrot is an offshoot of one of the most famous winemaking families in Burgundy, Domaine Matrot. Our Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Salmon or Fish & Chips (because sometimes you just need fried food) complement this round & opulent wine.


I have always considered Riesling to be a “gateway wine” because its slightly-sweet profile is an easy start for newly-minted wine drinkers.  In general, Riesling has high acidity (read “super juicy”) which enables the residual sugar left behind after fermentation to provide a great balance between mouth-watering & sweet. All that being said, Riesling is also fermented to complete dryness in many regions of the world.  Lightweight, razor-focused and dominated by crisp citrus flavors (think lime candy), dry Rieslings are growing in popularity. Pewsey Vale hailing from Australia’s Eden Valley, is an example of a dry Riesling and emphasizes those fresh limey flavors & intense focus. Pair with dishes like our Cheesesteak Eggrolls, Ahi Tuna Tacos or Guacamole for an out-of-this-world experience.

If you need me, I’ll be sipping some Pewsey Vale with Ahi Tuna Tacos – you know, for research purposes.  Love your faces.

– Jess



Jessica Norris is the Director of Beverage & Wine Expert for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. In addition to her expansive wine knowledge including multiple certifications and awards, she holds a Masters in Music in Opera Performance from Manhattan School of Music as well as Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  Jessica started at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in New York as a server in Spring 2008 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a Sommelier in 2010.  Wine Director of the New York Double Eagle Steak House from 2012 to 2016, she lead the Sommelier team to $8 million in wine sales and a Wine Spectator Grand Award, curating a list of 2,100 selections.  She continues to inspire and share her love for wine through video education and wine classes.  This education program prepared 119 Del Frisco’s Restaurant team members for the Court of Master Sommeliers Level 1 Exam last year.  Jessica is currently pursuing the Master Sommelier Exam.