White Wines for Winter
Red wines typically reign when the temperatures start to drop but don’t rule out the whites. If you are looking for white wines for Winter then look no further! Here are eight festive and fun white wine picks.
Winter White Wines
2011 McIntyre Estate Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands: This delicious, classy and sophisticated Chardonnay is like sleigh bells in the snow – tingling, clear and bright, perfect for sipping while sleighing on a moonlit night! Filled with citrus, toffee, baked pears and peach cobbler – delicious! McIntyre Tasting Studio at the Monterey Hyatt, Open Daily; www.mcintyrevineyards.com.
2011 Holman Ranch Pinot Gris: Appealing aromas of lime peel and zest – very delightful seafood wine. It’s as pure and delicious, and refreshing, as licking a fresh- plucked icicle! Tasting room in Carmel Valley Village or www.holmanranch.com.
2011 Chesebro Vermentino, Cedar Lane Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey: It’s like walking through an apple orchard in full blossom. If ever there was a white wine to serve with a dish tinged with basil, it is this one, with its clean freshness and wonderfully supple acidity. Perfect for a seafood buffet! (available from the tasting room in Carmel Valley Village and www.chesebrowines.com. $18
2010 RoxyAnn Viognier Oregon: A classic Rhone beauty, this wine fills your nose with heady, unctuous, perfume, then spoils your tastebuds completely rotten with flavors of apple-pear cobbler topped with honeyed creme fraiche and the texture of caramel crème brulee. The finish is eternal. You can serve this with a rich cream of onion soup and cheese toasts, brandied pears or a pumpkin cheesecake. Versatile and lush www.roxyann.com. $20
2010 Cadaretta “SBS” Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend from Columbia Valley, WA: This wine is like a frosted windowpane, with Jack Frost nipping at your nose. It’s as bright as the Northern star, shining brilliantly with its unmatched acidity and intense citrus flavors, including tangerine and lime, followed by starfruit and crisp Asian pears. The minerally core gives it incredible focus, and the hint of white pepper adds an excitement level that is hard to find in a wine at this price point. Classy classic and brilliant!! Get some today. www.cadaretta.com. $23
2010 Poetic Cellars “Masquerade”Livermore Valley: Simply fabulous and classy Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Viognier. Opens with a good punch of citrus with lime, tangerine and mandarin, bright pineapple and ends with a clean, refreshingly persistent finish. This could be one of the best white blends out there, for those who prefer something as delicate as snowflakes on the tongue, but with the poise of a good white Bordeaux. Tasting room open weekends in Soquel, or www.poeticcellars.com. $26
2010 La Rochelle Chardonnay, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley: This taut, svelte figure skater of a wine carves crisp circles on a frozen pond, effortlessly doing Figure 8’s. Ravishing acidity combined with lush lemon cheesecake flavors and profound minerality. One of the most memorable Chardonnays of the entire year. Tasting room in Livermore, open daily, or www.lrwine.com. $65
BY: LAURA NESS, WINE JUDGE & WINE WRITER
Laura Ness, aka “Her VineNess,” is an accomplished wine journalist and wine critic whose passion for wine was ignited by a visit to France, where she had the unmatched pleasure of tasting Sancerre in the medieval town of Sancerre – splendid!— and then a Saumur, after visiting the Chateau de Saumur in Chinon. The concept of terroir came alive in those incandescent moments. She regularly judges wine competitions and serves on the tasting panels of the Pinot, Cabernet and Chardonnay Shootouts. She was instrumental in helping define the unique sub-regions of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in concert with Appellation America. You can usually find her sipping and smiling in Mendocino, Livermore, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Laura writes extensively for many industry and consumer publications, and has weekly wine columns in several Bay Area newspapers. She blogs, irreverently and sporadically, at myvinespace.com.