For some, it doesn’t get any better than savoring a generous glass of rich red wine on a cold winter evening. Depending on variables like food pairing, guest preferences, or the opportunity to switch things up a bit, white wines can also give immense pleasure during this time of year. When seeking bottles of white wine to keep warm, it’s always helpful to take factors like alcohol, oak treatment, lees, and residual sugar into account. Consider the following bottles when the temperature dips.
Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Many winemakers look at Chardonnay as a “neutral” grape, giving them a blank canvas with which to work. For a mouth-filling and creamy style, Sonoma’s Russian River Valley offers some stunning examples, especially those where techniques such as barrel fermentation help integrate new toasty oak qualities into the wine. Lees aging and stirring can add further depth and flavor complexity as well. Try a bottle alongside a decadent lobster bisque or warm, flaky chicken pot pie for an unforgettable meal.
Recommendation: Pine and Brown Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2021 (Available online at WTSO.com)
Northern Rhone’s Condrieu appellation gives a unique twist with its aromatic bouquet of floral, stone fruit, lychee, and spice notes. Oak and lees aging marry well with the Viognier grapes, enhancing the mouthfeel and diversity of flavors in this dry white designed for near-term drinking. These wines are a dream for pairing with seafood, especially alongside crab cakes or buttery lobster.
Recommendation: 95 Pt. Les Vins de Vienne Condrieu La Chambée 2020 (Available online at WTSO.com)
Spain’s Rioja region is best known for red wines, but the whites are also worth exploring. Traditionally, Viura grapes served as the base for these wines, but now others are permitted, and blends are more common. The best typically display excellent depth and a round, creamy mouthfeel, often produced in a more full-bodied style and with oak barrel influence, especially the Reserva and Gran Reserva bottlings. Try them with classic paella or fish stew for a winning combination.
Recommendation: Diez-Caballero White Rioja Viura 2020 (Available online at WTSO.com)
Sauternes delivers one of the world’s truly great sweet white wine styles, but there’s nothing delicate about it. Luscious fruit flavors in the dried apricot, citrus, and tropical realm arrive in an unctuous, full-bodied wine of incredible intensity and length. These bottles tend to showcase an exceptional balance between high residual sugar and acidity, gained from the beneficial effects of botrytis, or noble rot, in the vineyard. If you love powerful reds and have ever wondered what to drink with desserts like bread pudding or an apple crisp, sweet wines are your answer.
Recommendation: 94 Pt. Sauternes 1st Cru Classé 2004 375 ml Château Guiraud (Available online at WTSO.com)
Keep WTSO and Premium Wine Club in mind whether you’re seeking out white, red, rosé, sparkling, or fortified wines. With an ever-evolving selection of the best deals, there’s always something to suit everyone’s taste!