Food for Thought

Winter Whites: These great wines are winners — at Christmas or any time of the year

Winter Whites: These great wines are big winners any time of the year

Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs Semillon-Vermentino, Cote du Provence, France 2010 bottle of white wine
Brennan's of Houston's wine guy, John Ramos, suggests Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs Semillon-Vermentino, Cote du Provence, France 2010. Infinivin.com
2012 Philosophy Sauvignon Blanc bottle of white wine
I like the 2012 Philosophy Sauvignon Blanc, an organic California wine with a hint of citrus and lemongrass. PopSugar.com
Trimbach Vineyards’ Gewurztraminer bottle of wine with glass of wine
Shawn Virene at Brasserie 19 recommends Trimbach Vineyards’ Gewurztraminer. ThatPerfectBottle.Wordpress.com
Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve bottle of champagne
And let’s not forget the whites with bubbles, like Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve, priced at Spec’s for less than $70. Mezzanotte.tv
Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs Semillon-Vermentino, Cote du Provence, France 2010 bottle of white wine
2012 Philosophy Sauvignon Blanc bottle of white wine
Trimbach Vineyards’ Gewurztraminer bottle of wine with glass of wine
Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve bottle of champagne

Luckily, no one ever said not to drink whites after Labor Day.

Unlike wearing white, drinking white wines in the winter is perfectly respectable. Even the adage of drinking white with fish and fowl and red with meat is no longer true. Whites go with everything, at any time of the year.

 Even the adage of drinking white with fish and fowl and red with meat is no longer true. Whites go with everything, at any time of the year. 

Which is good for people who are sensitive to the tannins in red wines, own white shag carpet or who just don’t care for the taste of reds.

Sure, when temperatures drop you crave a heartier wine, something a little more heavy than a light and fruity Vinho Verde. Maybe the weather and the dinner calls for a switch to an oaky Chardonnay from California or an imported white Burgundy that has both depth and complexity and pairs perfectly with a roasted chicken and root vegetables.

Or try the 2012 Philosophy Sauvignon Blanc, an organic California wine with a hint of citrus and lemongrass that I like with a nice grilled salmon or a simple cheese plate enjoyed in front of a roaring fire or the glow from the TV while watching hokey Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Want some more ideas? Brennan’s of Houston’s wine guy John Ramos suggests the following white wines for winter:

Bouza Albarino, Montevideo, Uruguay 2012
This wine has a tropical fruit aroma and white flower, star fruit and orange rind with hints of guava. It has a nice lively acidity on the mid-palate that carries into the finish.

Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs Semillon/Vermentino, Cote du Provence, France 2010
Soft and well balanced with stone fruits such as white peach and nectarine. An elegant and refined finish.

Scala Dei Les Brugueres, Priorat, Spain 2011
Bright spicy aromas of pear, Meyer lemon, and honeyed green apple pops out of the rim with a perfect rounded finish.

“Each of these wines are perfect with the traditional and modern winter fare such that they are drinkable throughout the fall and winter seasons while other white grape varietals drink better in the spring and summer months,” Ramos says.

Restaurateur Shepard Ross likes the 9.19 Deux Blancs from Ramian winemaker Brian Graham.

“We pour it by the glass at Glass Wall!,” he says. “Intense tropical fruit, great density and enough acid on the back to compliment food. Love this juice from El Dorado! It's only 350 case production.”

Shawn Virene at Brasserie 19 recommends Trimach Vineyards’ Gewurztraminer served with oven roasted chicken over their kale salad  made with baby kale, cranberry, crouton, seasonal seeds, pine nuts, lime, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Gewurztraminer also pairs well with turkey.

And let’s not forget the whites with bubbles, everyone likes a little sparkling wine during the holidays and there are plenty that are reasonably priced. One to try is Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve, a full-bodied Champagne with hints of cherry plums and honey. Priced at Spec’s for under $70, it’s a good bottle for holiday parties and perfect for that New Year’s Eve toast.

So don’t forget to buy white this winter, you’ll brighten any dinner table or holiday party with selections such as the ones above. And many more.