Chances are when Esther Williams asked for “a half a drink more,” she didn’t mean white wine. I know, as the song reminds us over and over again, “baby it’s cold outside,” so yes, bold, warm, chewy, tannic, peppery, tobacco, caramel, chocolate, licorice, cherry note-filled reds are what we’ll open. While sipping chilled white wine is like gazpacho on a snowy day, white wine can have its place at your winter table in January. Here are some of my personal favorites paired with some of my favorite winter fare.
Williamsburg Winery Acte 12 Chardonnay
This wine showcases wonderful structure and balance. The lemon and citrus characters are nicely paired with the softer pear, banana and pineapple notes. Not overly buttery, as most traditional chardonnays, it will stand up nicely to heavier sauces and gravies.
Cost. $18 (Williamsburg Winery)
Pairing. Oven roasted turkey with traditional fixings, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and hearty greens like as kale or collards.
Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner
The Sandgrube vineyard is one of the larger vineyards in the Krems area, well exposed to the Danube River. This Gruner is soft, finely formed, with a youthful texture that gives a mineral tang.
Cost. $13 (Total Wine)
Pairing. Weiner Schnitzel served with a warm potato salad, and traditional stewed cabbage.
Anne de K Pinot Gris
Typical nose, expressive with apricot and mirabelle with a subtle note of smoke. A mouth with a beautiful structure.
Cost. $17 (Total Wine)
Pairing. Winter salads such as an arugula, pecorino, pine nut and pear salad.
Geil Rheinhessen Kabinett
The light savory notes accenting the mineral-infused apple and citrus flavors give this wine an airy texture. The hints of gooseberry linger on its fresh finish.
Cost. $15 (Total Wine)
Pairing. Southern Virginia roasted ham, smoked and salted, served with traditional fixings, such as mashed sweet potatoes, which will pair well with the ham’s glaze, and haricots verts tossed in butter and topped with slivered almonds.
When choosing an infallible winter white, countries and regions with cooler climates are a good start. Germany, Austria, Northeastern Italy and Eastern France will give you some great inspiration.