...Okay, I'm a newbie to wine; I'm a 21 year-old cat who has been turned on to wine over the past 6 months and have been exploring it (as well as cooking and entertainment with food/wine) enthusiastically. I have become a big fan of Petite Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Haut-Medoc, Graves, and Port...

However, I am trying to break into whites; for a long time, I've pretty much hated all white/rose wines except for Riesling. However, recently, a friend who is really into wine said I need to round myself out with my wine knowledge... but now I realize why: I've really only had really buttery, oaky Australian/Nappa Valley Chardonnays and stuff like that. I have heard I should try to study Chablis and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnays from France; does that sound like a good course of action?
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Yes, agree with Wineaux. Good stuff.

I'd personally head straight to the Loire Valley: Sancerre, Vouvray, Savennieres. . .and on, and on. Some mind blowing white wines that can be every bit as complex as red wines. See if you find a recent Nicolas Joly wine in your LWS (local wine store), decant it, and see how it picks up weight over a two-day period. You can thank me later.
I agree with the recs for Rhone Whites. Also try the Burgandy Whites. There's some great stuff available without spending bongo dollars. Also White Bordeaux, just for a good experience.

Great rec on the Loire Valley from indybob.
For kicks, do yourself a favor and experience a Pur Sang or Silex from Didier Dagueneau. The man is like no other! Cool
Good suggestions but if you've only been drinking wine for six months don't already decide that certain wines just aren't for you already. Do you like floral wines, wines with super acidity, lean and austere wines, wines with notes of peaches and / or tropical fruit, wines that are slightly oxidized, wines that are older/younger, wines that smell and taste grassy or like cat pee, wines that are slightly sweeter or softer, etc.?

Just keep trying wines from all over. Also don't make the mistake of assuming that you can tell everything about a varietal from wines that are only under $15 or some arbitrary price - it's true that price and quality don't march in lockstep, but the fact is that some wines just aren't available at "reasonable" prices, especially as we're getting massacred with the Euro!

There are some chardonnays from CA that are made with no oak - some even say so on the bottle. And as far as the chardonnay from France, remember that a few CA chardonnays bested them in blind tastings held by people who drink a lot of the stuff. Wines from the Loire are often lower priced than those from more popular places, but they aren't for everyone either. And don't overlook Spain as a source of great whites - many of them are highly aromatic but sill very lean and perhaps reminiscent of the Loire, if you like that style. Austria and Hungary also make extraordinarily good whites, although in the former case they're expensive and in the latter, rarely imported. And Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay make pretty interesting whites, some pretty good too, and the prices are not Euro-pegged so don't forget S. America.

Finally, Australia makes some of the most bone dry rieslings and semillons anywhere. So if you don't want to pay European prices for example, you might look there. Pepper Tree semillon from Hunter Valley, for example, is almost austere on the palate, with a mild citrus note and a super clean finish. My only problem with it is that it was a bit short but it's only $16 or so and can hold out for a few years with no harm at all.

Good luck!

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