White Wines From Lesser Orbits

For most American wine drinkers, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are the sun and the moon of the solar system, chasing each other around our drinking universe.

Here are some interesting whites — some from familiar grapes, some not very familiar, all very affordable — that have their own stellar appeal and tug at us to get into their gravitational orbits.

2013 Artemis Karamolegos Santorini assyrtiko ($19)

Pleasant, tart, green flavors of apples and gooseberries. Crisp, straightforward, yet not complex.

2013 Hatzidakis Santorini assyrtiko de Mylos ($17)

Sauvignon-like with its green fruits, light layer of cream, savory herbs and a touch of spritz.

2012 FEL Anderson Valley pinot gris ($27)

Fruity and a touch sweet-ish with savory, dried herbs in the finish. It has a nice juiciness, but also comes across as being a bit clumsy.

2013 Finca OS Cobatos Monterrei godello ($11)

From a little-known grape grown from a little-known region of Spain, this is a good food wine with a combination of fresh apple fruitiness followed by a tart minerality.

2013 Gustav Austria grüner veltliner ($16)

Delightful — crisp peach and pear flavors that are long on the palate — full-bodied and with hints of tannins on the finish.

2014 Mulderbosch Western Cape chenin blanc ($12)

Green fruit flavors, rounded and a little granular in texture with a slightly sweet finish.

2012 La Scolca Gavi ($19)

From the cortese grape, the wine has creamy, green-fruit flavors with some brioche notes as well.

2013 Santi "Sortesele" pinot grigio delle Venezie ($11)

Also with brioche flavors along with mellow apples.

2012 Hugel Alsace riesling ($20)

A very nice entry-level wine with nicely tart, very dry apple flavors, plus some of those pleasant petroleum hints in the nose and on the palate that riesling producers hate to talk about.