This month I am craving white wine. Not the bright, citrusy Sancerres and Pinot Grigios of Summer, no, this week I'm craving WINTER white wines! The vinous equivalent of a lush, luxurious cashmere sweater.
But what exactly does that mean?
Winter white wines have a little somethin' extra - a little vinous booty if you will. Winter white wines are rich, creamy and delicious and capable of keeping you warm on a chilly night. They should even be served about 5 degrees warmer than lighter-bodied Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (50-55 degrees is ideal). This allows the complexity of their aromas and flavors to really shine.
Luckily, I've had the chance to sample some of these beauties recently. From a luscious Viognier from France's Rhone Valley to a Marilyn Monroe-esque Chardonnay from California's Napa Valley, I've got some steals and splurges that I think you are really going to enjoy!
1.) YALUMBA Y SERIES VIOGNIER, BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA ($12): This alluring, medium-bodied winter white displays floral-imbued notes of honeyed citrus, peach and spiced pear with a delightful palate-hugging viscosity.
2.) CROSSBARN SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA ($28): A medium-bodied wine with delightfully creamy notes of spiced apple, peach, apricot, fig and vanilla which culminate in a long, lovely, lingering finish.⠀
3.) ZIND-HUMBRECHT GEWURZTRAMINER, ALSACE, FRANCE ($27): Fragrant aromatics of lychee, rose and ginger emanate from this completely delicious, spicy Gewürz that should be dubbed "the official Wine of Winter!"
4.) HARTFORD COURT FOUR HEARTS VINEYARD RRV CHARDONNAY, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA ($42): Floral and fabulous this Chardonnay entices with glorious aromatics of honeysuckle and orange blossom. On the palate, alluring notes of Meyer lemon, red apple, candied ginger, peach and spice are followed by a mineral-tinged finish.
5.) CLIFF LEDE NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC, NAPA, CALIFORNIA ($24): This medium-bodied white wine envelops the palate in rich, elegant notes of mandarin orange, white flowers and peach balanced by a delightfully crisp, lively minerality.⠀
6.) CHATEAU DE SAINT COSME CONDRIEU, RHONE, FRANCE ($78): This perfumey and richly textured white wine, made from 100% Viognier, delights with enticing notes of honeysuckle, lemon verbena, star fruit and apricot which you can readily savor on its luxuriously lingering, spice-tinged finish.
For purchasing information for any of these Winter White Wines, simply click on the wine’s name above. And, just in case you can't find a particular wine or it's not available in your area, please don't give up! Ask a clerk at your local retail store to recommend a wine that’s similar to the one you're looking for. Better to enjoy something similar than no wine at all!
Also, if you're interested in learning more about wine this year, I have the perfect place to start: my White Wine 101 and Red Wine 101 blog posts. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share this post with your wine loving friends ~ Cheers!