Why am I always out of white wine?
It’s one of the great mysteries in my house. While all seasons - spring, summer, fall and winter - have a place for white wine, whites in my home are lacking. If however, you look in my cellar, you will find excellent bottles of Chardonnay and Riesling, both age worthy and fantastic food wines. You could conclude then that despite my complaining, and the winter freeze, I do have white wines at home and that sipping these chilled styles with elegant flavours and textures is part of my holiday delight. You would be correct!
Like fashion, winter white wines can be cozy and classy. I liken them to turtle necks and woolen wraps. In the winter comfort comes from full bodied whites that have complexity and intensity like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier. These offer winter hugs along with boosts of freshness that keep the spirits and palates lifted.
Winter White Wine Recommendations
While there are many occasions for white wine during the holidays I chose to focus on three important days: Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; and Boxing Day. Let’s take look at these dates for a perfect white wine pairing tri-fecta.
In my house, Christmas Eve is a delicious and happy time loaded with excitement as we celebrate the night before everything - opening our gifts and celebrating together. This evening calls for a white wine that suits standing room only and cheese fondue. For the fondue, I cheat. I pick up Swiss Knight or a prepackaged blend in the deli (quality of course). I pull out my red fondue pot with its ageing burner and the long wooden handled forks, and I lay out the accompaniments.
As a wine gal, picking out that perfect Mosel Riesling (the older the better) is a pleasure. For my tastes, it should be something in the Kabinett or Spatlese classification – sweetness with racy acidity cuts through the cheese richness to refresh me and my palate at every taste. Producers from Germany, Australia and right here at home in BC get my attention for example, Selbach Oster or Schloss Johannisberg from the Mosel; Eden Valley’s Pewsey Vale “Contours” (on the drier side), and of course from our own back yard like Synchromesh Wines, Sperling Vineyards Old Vines and Tantalus Vineyards Riesling.
Christmas Day white wine is a favorite partner to the fabulous turkey dinner with all its fixings. There is so much painstaking preparation and resulting flavours, let’s make our wine choice count. Lingering at the table long after the meal is over is part of the pleasure of this holiday celebration. White wine with richness and flavour is a perfect companion not only to the meal but also the evening. Ah yes - winter white! I recommend with turkey include Gewurztraminer (Domaine Weinbach from Alsace would be my first choice although not broadly available), Viognier (Lariana Cellars) or a butter Chardonnay (Perpetua from Mission Hill Winery) is a real treat.
Boxing Day is the best, yes? It is perfectly designed for sleeping in, wearing jammies all day and noshing on leftovers. Hot turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy is the perfect dish. With all that richness and seasoned goodness try reaching for a glass of Sancerre (crisp and fresh) or Viognier (slightly perfumed and plush). Look for international producers including Chateau de Sancerre and for Viognier how about E. Guigal (White Blend or Condrieu). If you are looking for a BC blend, why not Tightrope Winery and their Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend? It’s fresh full bodied and fantastic.
This is all to say – check out the "The 12 Essential Wines of Christmas" eBook. It’s a celebratory “order guide” designed to make picking wines for the holidays fun, easy and convenient. This order guide will inspire you and “amp up” your celebrations, whether within your social bubble or just for yourself. There are 55 recommended bottles, two retail partners, 10% off, free delivery in the Vancouver area...and great food pairing recommendations. It's priceless.
At the end of the day, life is what we make it. During the holiday season, we can count on tradition and celebration, knowing that family is at the heart of it all. Sometimes road blocks appear and challenges rise up, but the human spirit is strong and as a community we can help each other, and that is a true gift. So here is my gift to you and yours. I hope the 12 Essential Wines of Christmas recommendations add to the quality of your holiday season. From my wine loving heart to yours – Happy Everything!