As winter creeps up on us, we turn the heating on, and don our warming winter ware, but that is no reason to put those chilled white wines to the back of the cellar.
White wines need not be pigeonholed into something that is just cold and refreshing for summer days. Look for rich, full bodied styles from cool climate regions such as France, Germany, Austria or Northern Italy for elegant yet sumptuous drinking. The food that we eat in the winter months changes and it strikes me that many dishes are actually better suited to white wines than red too, and we don’t mean just your Christmas turkey, think fragrant pork or chicken casseroles, creamy pastry topped pies, and much more. Also don’t forget the sweeter wines, pairing these with chicken liver has always been a favourite indulgence of our wine team at Christmas! So lets celebrate winter whites, here are our top picks.
The Soellner family own vineyards in the Donauland on the Danube in Austria and they consistently produce wines of great depth of character and balance. This blend makes a light and typically characteristic wine.
The wines from the chalky-limestone soil of this village adjacent to the better-known Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, are probably the finest value-for-money Côte d’Or white Burgundies.
Off-dry, with a balancing freshness that brings the flavours to the fore. Shows the typical Gewürztraminer fruit character of pear, rose petal and lychee enhanced with exotic notes of spice and a pinch of peppermint. The vineyards are planted to an altitude of 280 metres and have a south-easterly aspect, ideal for ripening grapes.
This classic racy Mosel Riesling has been created by innovative owners, Annegret and Gerhard Gartner to mark the 650th anniversary of one of Germany’s very best wine estates. Slightly off-dry with refreshing grapefruit and peach flavours backed by crisp acidity. A wine which shows a clear expression of the Riesling grape.
A blend of 70% Sémillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc: the Sémillon evolves superbly and is capable of refinement, whilst providing richness; the Sauvignon, on the other hand, provides the wines with a defined, lively and sappy character, with precise, up-front attractive aromas. Vinified and aged in barrels, 40% new, for nine months with 'bâttonage', the wine shows a good balance between richness from the oak and mineral notes from the ‘terroir’; aromas of pear, melon and blossom.
After hand-picking, the fruit is whole-bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barriques with indigenous yeasts. The wine is left in oak for nine months and the lees stirred weekly to enhance both texture and flavour. An elegant and complex wine showing lovely nectarine and apricot notes balanced by toasty French oak. The rich, silky textured palate exhibits the same fine flavours with an elegant finish showing a hint of citrus.
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