February 11, 2016
VinePair: 8 delightful white wines for winter
Yes, white wine is that thing we all sip while sitting on the bow of our yachts, mulling which pair of topsiders or wedge sandals to wear to the cabana dinner. But once summer’s over, and we’ve all put our yachts back into the yacht yard, we don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to white wine. Believe it or not (actually, we’d prefer you believe it), white wine can even have a place in your winter dining. (On the winter yacht, of course.)
There are plenty of foods around this season that could benefit from some crisp and/or buttery (but not too buttery) white wine character. And let’s not forget that the acidity and citrus of many white wines can both slice through and amplify the flavors of the season. But it’s not just crispness we’re looking for—lush fruit, stony minerality, honey, herbs, even spice. Don’t underestimate the power of these winter whites.
Fear not, oak haters, this one’s unoaked (and no malolactic fermentation). You still get a bit of creaminess, but enough balancing acidity that the heft won’t feel too hefty, but you’ll still feel like you’re getting something a bit richer. Extra special.
A wine to bring some life back to the bleak midwinter (or your sunny 70 degree San Diego paradise). Lush with lychee and tropical fruit, delicately floral, but still substantial in both ABV and texture.
Made in the light oak Burgundy style, and among the top-rated Macon-Villages wines, you can get this bottle for under $20 and bring home a bottle with some honeysuckle nectar, citrus and fruity acidity.
A “show off” wine because you are now an expert on the Alto Adige region. An Alto Adige wine made with Gewurztraminer, with a good dose of tropical fruit and subtler acidity. Spice notes keep things svelt and a surprisingly high ABV keeps it exciting.
Pear nectar and quince? That’s a winter wine. Balanced by deft minerality and some flirty acidity, to start or end your holiday party. Bonus points: organically and biodynamically produced.
Good Riesling is (reasonably) adored, and it shouldn’t just be adored when it’s warm out. Take this bottle—which should absolutely be adored for its complex, almost herbaceous minerality, a nice solid undertone to the fruit and fresh acidity at play.
An oaked, but lightly oaked, Chardonnay that has more to say in the way of citrus (lemon), honey, and chamomile than it does oak. Though a bit of smoky wood and vanilla keeps things full-fleshed.
White Bordeaux ranges pretty widely when it comes to quality, but if you do some research, you’ll be rewarded, as you are here with a bottle that contains nice citrus that doesn’t scream “acidity.” Some of the classic beeswaxiness of white Bordeaux but a lighter iteration, elegant and smooth.