Winter has arrived but that doesn’t mean that its time to pack away the white wines just yet!
While red wines are a classic winter staple, white wine shouldn’t be forgotten during the cold season. Red wines generally provide a warm rich feeling that is appreciated as the weather grows colder. But pick the right white and you will be set to enjoy that richness with the added plus of the nuanced notes of a great white.
Many white wines are especially suited for winter. This is thanks to their aromas, creaminess, spicy tones and versatility. Classic winter flavours such as roasted nits, dry fruit, vanilla, cream, butter and baked goods pair well with white wines.
One of the best white wines for winter is chardonnay owing to its characteristic butteriness combined with the perfect amount of acidity. Acidity is an important factor when enjoying white wine food pairings during winter as it helps to cut through the richness of heavier, fatty foods that are typically enjoyed in colder months.
Here are six South African wines to help you find the perfect white wine for winter
These wines rival red wines in depth, body and complexity making them perfect to pair with a winter meal or to be enjoyed next to a roaring fire:
Glen Carlou Stone Quartz Chardonnay: Over the years, Glen Carlou has honed their chardonnay production technique done to perfection. The Quartz Stone chardonnay has notes of citrus, green apple and stone fruits on the nose and is a creamy, buttery delight on the palate. A rich, spicy and powerful wine to enjoy during winter.
Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc: Spier is well known for producing quality wines from the Stellenbosch area. With this Chenin Blanc, look forward to aromas of apricots and tropical fruit combined with delicate undertones on oak and vanilla. This wine has good acidity on the palate offering a rich rounded flavour with hints of white peaches and almond paste.
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay: Rustenberg’s Chardonnay offering is a full-bodied wine with fantastic ageing potential. This wine offers up complexity; look forward to a long, creamy finish with good acidity as well as hints of ripe citrus, melon, peach and minerals are completed by great oaky tastes.
Groot Constantia Chardonnay: Groot Constantia is renowned as Cape Town’s oldest wine estate. The Groot Constantia chardonnay is intense and long on the palette which is perfect for hearty meals and warming up on cold evenings. Expect citrus aromas complemented by hints of vanilla and butterscotch.
Thelema Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch: Sutherland has a unique climate offering a great flavour profile. Thelema’s Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc offers notes of fresh citrus and passion fruit on the nose. On the palette, look forward to a long, mineral finish. This fruity wine has a fragrant, dry and zesty finish which offers a refreshing kick on a cool, winter evening.
Leopard’s Leap Culinara Chenin Blanc: Leopard’s Leap Culinara Chenin Blanc is a white wine with a full body. This chenin blanc is fresh and fruity with a delicate oak finish. Look for aromas of apples and topical fruit combined with sweet spices and a tart finish. A great wine to round off a rich dinner on a cold night.
The acidity of these white wines makes them perfect for typically rich and fatty winter meals such as creamy pastas, roast chicken or pork, fish and seafood in creamy white sauces. Choose anything hearty and you can’t go wrong! Keep in mind that the spices and flavour profiles in your glass of white should be reflective of the texture, creaminess and spiciness of the meal served.
One last note before enjoying your white wine during winter – be careful to serve it at the right temperature. Over chilling white wine has the potential to mask the flavours so make sure to serve it between 10-12C. Take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving and the aromas will truly shine.