Yes, You Can (and Should!) Drink White Wine During the Winter—These Are the Types to Try
Cold weather and cozy foods don't always mean you have to open a bottle of red.
Ready to retire the old rule of no whites after Labor Day? When it comes to white wines, we're here to say that they are most definitely not just for summer. Winter white wines can offer a welcomed reprieve from the heavy reds mostly closely associated with the season. What's more, you'll find that some white wines even pair better with your favorite winter dishes than reds do.
How to match a hearty and deliciously cozy wintertime dish like Brown Rice and Mushroom Soup with a white wine? A bowl of umami-rich flavor like mushrooms or chicken meets its match when paired with a new world Chardonnay from Carneros, California, or an Oregon bottling. These wines are known for a melody of ripe fruit and earthy notes along with a great textural balance that will come alive with savory foods like mushrooms and meat. Try the 2018 Scribe Carneros Chardonnay ($38, scribe.com) that boasts a bouquet of lime, apple blossom, and a subtle note of cream. Drink a bottle from further north in Oregon's Willamette Valley by pairing a savory cream soup with the 2017 Lingua Franca AVNI Chardonnay ($37, wine.com). This wine has notes of butter cookie, biscuit, lemon, and baked pear. It's also a delicious pairing with our Pear Galette.
Transport yourself to France's Northern Rhone Valley with a bottle of Condrieu. This white wine is made from 100 percent viognier grapes and is beloved for its rich texture and flavors. Hallmark tasting notes for Condrieu are tangerine, gingerbread, allspice, Marcona almond, and citrus peel. If that doesn't sound like the perfect pairing for the holidays, we're not sure what does! As the area of Condrieu is extremely small, only 110 hectares are planted to viognier here, the wines can be pricey but are well worth the splurge. Beloved 19th century, biodynamic producer Paul Jaboulet bottles a delicious version called Les Cassines. Try the 2017 Paul Aine Jaboulet Condrieu Les Cassines ($49, wineexpress.com) with a Clam Spaghetti or Fried Oyster Po' Boy. Another Rhone favorite is the 2017 M. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate ($29, wine.com).
We would be remiss if we didn't bring your attention to riesling, which is true royalty when it comes to winter white wines. Originally from Northern Europe, today both Germany and nearby Alsace as well as New York State grow tremendous riesling that is cultivated and crafted into ideal wines to drink on cold winter nights. It's important to keep in mind that not all rieslings are sweet. In fact, most rieslings are dry, incredibly complex wines that have a reputation for aging far past any other wines in the world. For dry styles look for wines that list "Trocken" on the label. 2019 Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling ($12.99, wine.com) from Mosel, Germany, is a classic and value-driven dry riesling with flavors of apple, white flowers, and the herb savory. In the Nahe region of Germany, the 2019 Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken ($29.99, wine.com) is another delicious choice. A stateside favorite is 2017 Empire Estate Dry Riesling ($18, tribecawinemerchants.com). It boasts flavors of orange, honey, and apricot. Dry to off-dry rieslings pair beautifully with notoriously hard-to-pair spicy foods from across the globe. Try a bottle of riesling with your favorite Indian or Asian dish this winter. One of our favorites pairings is with General Tso's Chicken.