Now that we’re far and away from complaining about how hot it is, we can get to whingeing about how cold it is. Because winter is finally coming. And you know what that means…
We start cooking more hot dishes, more comforting meals to keep us warm. It’s a nice intro for our bodies: a bit richer, but not quite as heavy as what we cook in the dead of winter (aka January through March). And a shift in food choice means a change in wine to pair with it. Some of my food favourites for when the air gets cold:
- Herbed chicken
- Cream-sauced anything
- Spicy noodles
- Homemade soup
- Warm grain salads
- Fish pie
- Roasted vegetables
- All of the cheese
And if you (like the rest of us) spent the summer guzzling crisp whites or doing “rosé all day” to beat the heat, you might need a little reminder which wines go with the heavier dishes we enjoy when debating whether to cave and turn the heating on for “maybe just one hour longer…”.
We’ll start with the whites, as those seem to be a little trickier this time of year. Here are some top picks from our range to help you ignore the dropping temperatures:
Villavieja, 2017 - Mendoza, Argentina
This white moves us away from citrus and tropical fruit, towards richer stone fruits — think apricots and pears. Viognier has a richer texture than the whites we loved all summer, making it the perfect partner to some curried chicken, or a Thai takeaway when you just can’t be bothered to cook anything because it’s too cold and you’re too tired and you deserve it. It’ll coat your mouth, soothing any chili (or worries) like a blanket.
Ottavio Rube Bianco, 2016 - Piedmont, Italy
This indigenous unfiltered and unfined white blend has a medium body and a little cloudiness to it. It carries a lovely balance of big plummy flavours with some herbal qualities, making this rustic wine an excellent pair for a wide range of food. Anything from a cheese board to a complex or flavoursome seafood dish to a lighter roast would complement this bottle.
Baglio Bianco, 2017 - Sicily, Italy
Okay, so this is technically an orange wine. Keep this in mind before purchasing, as orange wine can be a fairly polarising beverage (meaning, maybe don’t pick one up to bring to a dinner party unless the guest list includes some wine nerds). With that in mind, this Catarratto has a lovely golden colour, and minimal sediment. It’s very flavourful, with the skin-contact bringing out some cider and pear flavours. For anything made with pork or dark meat poultry, this one’s a winner.
Jackhammer, 2014 - Monterey County, California, USA*
Okay, for you Chardonnay haters: hear me out. This ain’t your nan’s buttery, oaky Chardonnay from the early 90s. This is an unoaked Chardonnay, with loads going for it. Smells fruity and bright, with some nice nutty clove flavours to balance the lovely acidity in this white wine. So when you’re feeling like something creamy for dinner, or getting your omegas in with some roasted fish, this is the one for you.
*Disclaimer: just found out that the supplier is discontinuing this as of next year’s vintage for the time being, so if we’re sold out by the time you read this, another stellar choice would be this fresh, fruity, Italian Chardonnay as a backup!
Vadiaperti, 2016 - Campania, Italy
This Italian white has flavour for days. It smells a bit nutty at the start, with a bit of bright citrus zest and smokiness among its complex notes. With a lingering, almost honeyed finish, this minerally white has a lot going on. It can easily go toe to toe with your richer pork, veal, or game bird dish that you spent so much time on perfecting. That tasty, nutritious meal deserves a wine that can match the effort (and love) you put into it.
And there you have it. We can’t quit white wine cold turkey, nor should we, just because the days are looking as short as your lunch break feels. Hopefully this will get you started as we approach the holidays.