White Wines You Should Be Drinking This Winter
The internet is full of articles meant to convince people that they can or should drink white wine during winter. But why the tone of persuasion? What makes people think that white wine in winter is anything less than expected? We’d argue that it’s only natural to include white wine in your winter dining and enjoyment. Here are a few of the best white wines for this time of year.
Round and Rich Chardonnay
Is there a more versatile white variety than Chardonnay? For winter meals that employ cream, butter, or cheese we look for fuller-bodied versions. Wines in this style are crafted all around the globe, from new world versions from California or Australia to old world classics from spots around Burgundy.
Blanc from the Rhône Valley
Hands down one of the most underappreciated white wine categories out there, white wines from the Rhone Valley (both North and South) are entirely satisfying. This category combines fruit richness with a light lift of freshness and savory saltiness—complex bang for your budget. Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette, and Bourboulenc lead the variety pack, so many interesting flavors.
White Rioja Stunners
Another exciting category that is often outshined by its red counterpart is white Rioja. Led by the Spanish grape Viura, other permitted varieties include Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Malvasia, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Verdejo. Rioja whites are available in a fresh style that’s released after a year or aged upwards of 5-10 years to gain high complexity.
Chenin Blanc for Versatility
The thing about winter drinking and dining is that the flavors can often be layered, bubbly au gratins or seasoned, roasted meats, even winter salads seem to rely on multi-texture variety. Chenin Blanc is one of our top choices for food-friendly pairing that wins no matter what’s on the table even if the flavors are all over the place.
How to Serve White Wines
Keep in mind that although white wines are often served chilled, they don’t have to be presented on ice with a layer of frost. If the idea of drinking something cold has kept your hands off of white wines in winter, note that ideal serving temperature is somewhere around 50-55 degrees fahrenheit, so warmer than your fridge and probably warmer than outdoors. But seriously, we do find a bottle of white wedged into a snowbank to be highly photogenic, so feel free to have some fun with it.