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Warming Winter Whites

It’s cold and raining on a Sunday morning, coffee’s on, the heater is blasting and you have no intention of getting out of your PJs until after midday. Planning the all important dining menu for the day, you decide it’s the perfect day to have a casserole cooking slowing (who’s in a hurry?) allowing those developing aromas to fill the house as you binge-watch a new series.

Now onto the even more important wine accompaniment for your indulgent winters day. Most of us will instinctively reach for a bottle of a warming red but if you have a thirst for loungeroom wine adventures perhaps it’s time to consider some winter white alternatives.

White Wine in Winter?

Absolutely. Rich, luscious, textural and weighty whites that perfectly match with heartier dishes such as your slow-cooked casserole. Winter whites get better with swirling time between sips. Flavours that peak with time in the glass – aka ‘sip and savor’ styles.

Our Winter White pro tips:

  • Must have balanced acidity – full flavoured and richer wine styles require balanced acidity to cut through the fat of heartier dishes.
  • No need to put in freezer to chill – ½ hr in fridge will do the job. Drink at a slightly warmer temperature than normal of around 12 Celsius and enjoy the rich and luscious aromas and flavours.
  • Skin contact styles – the new red-drinkers-white. Otherwise known as Orange wines, this style of wine offers complex and textural styles perfect for flavoursome and heartier dishes.

Our Top 5 Indulgent Winter Whites:

  1. Pinot Gris

Also known as Pinot Grigio is actually a pink grape of Pinot Noir heritage. The varietal produces a wide range of styles from neutral and lean to oily and luscious. The fuller styles pair particularly well with dishes that have fruit elements. Lamb Tagine anyone?

Try: 2016 Greystone Sand Dollar Pinot Gris North Canterbury, NZ

Light golden and viscous in the glass with flavours of pears, peaches and spice with a long creamy textured finish and balanced acidity.

  1. Viognier 

Originating from the Northern Rhone where yields were small and now widely grown in Australia, California and New Zealand. It’s a rich, oily and full-flavoured style. The variety is dominated by white aromatic flowers and apricot characters. Usually aged in oak to create further complexity. More powerful than delicate.  

Try: 2014 Churton Viognier, Marlborough, NZ

Honeysuckle aromatics with fresh apricot-like fruit and citrus characters with a creamy texture.

  1. Chardonnay

A go-to winter white wine, a must in this list. An all season varietal. Versatile Chardonnay produces broad range of styles from unoaked to creamy oaked, crisp apples to stone fruits to tropical fruits. Beat the winter blues than with a richly flavoured, creamy and well-balanced chardy.

Please, never say you don’t like chardonnay. You just need to find one that suits your palate. If in doubt we can source for you – just ask!

Try: 2016 Arimia Chardonnay, Margaret River, WA

A beautifully balanced wine, with ripe stone fruit and fig are framed by a mealy texture and driven by fine limey acidity.

  1. Rhone Blends

A blend of Rhone’s rare varieties includes Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. This style is a great alternative to Chardonnay, and a wonderful food wine. Expect broad peachy flavours, complex and full-bodied.

Try: 2017 Lark Hill Mr V, Canberra District, ACT

40% Marsanne, 30% Roussanne , 30% Viognier. The 3 components were harvested separately and vinified differently.  The Marsanne was skin-fermented, the Viognier tank fermented and the Roussanne fermented in 5-10 year old French oak. This blend gives structure, complexity and a rich palate.

  1. Skin Contact Styles

To complete your loungeroom wine adventure try a skin contact wine otherwise known as the ‘red drinkers white’.  The juice and skin of white grapes are kept in contact for different periods of time  and this occurs during the fermentation and/or ageing process.  The resultant wine has extra colour, flavour, and texture. Unique and delicious! 

Try: 2018 Smallfry Tangerine Dream

40% Semillon, 40% Pedro Ximénez, 17.5% Riesling, 2% Roussanne, .05% Muscat

Cloudy and yellow, full and dry, grainy tannins. A good alternative to Chardonnay. This is not a quaffer, best to sip, savor and be surprised.








Find more similar styles in our Winning Whites and Commanding Oranges selections