“RED WINE IN WINTER IS SO NORMATIVE.”
Eating seasonally is one thing. Treating wine seasonally is quite another. It’s not hard to see why folks gravitate towards reds in the winter: higher in alcohol, bracing tannins, and often richer in body, red wines easily warm you up from the inside out. But the truth is, there is no red wine season, just as there’s no beer season or no chocolate season. So the first step to drinking whites in winter: Open your mind.
“THIS STEW NEEDS A CRISP WHITE”
If ever there was a white wine that seemed appropriate for winter, it’s a big, oaky Chardonnay. But more acidic wines may work better with winter dishes. “Many people assume they should order a full-bodied white wine when it comes to winter time drinking,” says Tim Farrell, wine buyer at Brooklyn Wine Exchange, a wine shop in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. “But those are the sort of full-bodied wines that can often lack acidity. You actually need wine with serious acidity to cut through the richer, fattier foods that tend to be served in colder months.” So while it may seem counterintuitive, pop open a bottle of crisp white Chenin Blanc with your braised short ribs—it will balance the hearty meal.
“LET’S WARM THIS WHITE UP”
Temperature is an important factor when deciding what to drink in winter—who wants an icy drink when it’s three below? Despite some common misconceptions, white wine isn’t supposed to be consumed refrigerator-cold—not in the winter, and not in the summer, either. Whereas most home fridges are about 40°F, the optimal serving temperature for white wine is somewhere between 49-55°F. 30 minutes or so on the counter will get it there. At this slightly warmer temperature, the wine’s aromas really shine, and it’s no longer too cold to drink in a snowstorm.
“WINTER WHITES CAN REALLY TAKE YOU PLACES.”
“Some of the best meals I’ve had this season started with the idea that wine can provide a transportive experience,” says Andrew Chen, manager of Flatiron Wines & Spirits in New York, NY. “That is, ‘It’s super cold out, but remember when we traveled to the south of France and sipped sun-kissed Mediterranean whites?'” You may not be able to hop on a plane and escape to somewhere warm, but close your eyes, take a sip of that crisp white, and you’re practically there.
may not be able to hop on a plane and escape to somewhere warm, but close your eyes, take a sip of that crisp white, and you’re practically there.