Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Yup, here is your permission to drink white wine ALL year round!
Especially through the holiday season. Why? Well, first of all, if you like it – drink it! That has long been our motto. Second, you'll find that some white wines pair even better with your favorite winter dishes than reds do. Big, fruity, tannic red wines can easily overpower some dishes.
Here are our suggestions for white wines to try this fall and winter.
The grand dame of grapes! She’s the most popular grape varietal for a reason. Chardonnay is easy to drink and has such a large flavor profile – from oaky and buttery to crisp and acidic this wine is always a crowd pleaser, and its diversity can me matched with so many foods.
Bold, oaked Chardonnay pairs well with crab cakes, lobster, creamy dishes, pork, and cozy winter veggies like pumpkin and squash seasoned with sage. Unoaked Chardonnay is generally more acidic and brighter and complements crisp, delicate foods like clams, oysters, sushi and crudités.
Riesling is the ideal winter white. Riesling is primarily made in Germany, a cold weather country with a rich, hearty diet. Riesling ranges from crisp and dry to more on the sweet side. The sweeter Rieslings pair perfectly with spicy foods like Thai or Indian dishes. However, dry Rieslings pair with so much more. It goes perfectly with pork, turkey, creamy sauces, bold cheeses, fresh or lightly dressed fish. Look for Rieslings from Mosel, Germany and Washington state.
Viognier (pronounced “Vee-own-yay”) is for those who love to stop and smell the flowers. Viognier ranges in taste from lighter flavors of tangerine, mango and honeysuckle to creamier aromas of vanilla with spices of nutmeg and clove. It has such a wide range of flavor and it all depends on the producer. This gorgeous wine pairs well with fondue, baked brie with apricots, herbaceous dishes, turkey, quail and fish.
The diversity of Chenin Blanc makes it hard NOT to love. Although it’s light-bodied, Chenin Blanc is very high in acidity and lifts heavy winter foods. This gorgeous wine pair beautifully with veal, trout, chicken, turkey, pork chops and cheese. It’s also just delightful on its own.
CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING WINES
You really can’t go wrong with champagne or sparkling wines. They are obviously wonderful as an aperitif, but they can be enjoyed throughout your entire meal. The high acidity in sparkling wines is perfect for cutting through rich foods, and the minerality and yeasty notes pair perfectly with turkey!
In the end, I always say drink what you like! Fall is here, but you’re going to have to pry the chardonnay out of my cold dead hands.
XXOO – Julia