The effect that winter weather has on us all is unmistakable, from our morning fashion choices to our willingness to brave long lines outside of New York City's trendiest bars and night clubs.
It goes deeper than that though, changing our dietary disposition as well. Refreshing salads are replaced by roasts with root vegetables and hearty soups that function as much like a down comforter as they do a simple culinary craving. The same, too, can be said for our wine buying habits.
Rosé and beach pounding Sauvignon Blanc--or even delicate, easy going Pinot Noir--are often passed over in favor of dense, rich, and full bodied reds that make the perfect accompaniment to our food or fireplace. But what about those of us who lean towards white wine more often than its blush counterpart?
Contrary to popular opinion, there are a wide variety of whites that shine within the confines that these months try to establish upon us.
What you might consider going for are wines that pack a bit more punch than you may be used to. Whites coming out of Spain, Germany, Hungary, and even the U.S. can have the weight to stand up next to your meal pairing needs, while also hitting on the classic points of reference (with regards to finish and fruit profile) that white wine drinkers look for in their purchases.
Right off the bat, my mind goes to Verdejo of the old vine variety, coming out of Spain's famed Rueda region. A select few of the best vines from this region are nearly 100 years old, resulting in wines that are so eclectically deep in both concentration and character--meaning that these wines aren't just summer sippers, but something you can throw alongside your more savory winter dinners or simply drink alone after a long commute. The best part? They're almost always awesomely affordable.
A personal favorite, I find white Burgundy to hit the spot no matter the weather conditions, food pairing options, or even mood. Whether or not California-style Chardonnay is your jam, I highly encourage you to give the varietal another shot from its native region. Burgundy is producing crisp, clean, yet complex Chardonnay that has inspired generations of wine drinkers to rethink the way they view one of the most controversial varietals in the market. If you're trying to keep things within budget, consider Chablis or even non-1er Cru village level offerings.
There is so much more than just Verdejo and Chardonnay, obviously. Winter classics like Riesling, Vermentino, or more earthy natural-style wines will bring the kind of body, aromatics, and mouthfeel to keep things interesting while you're snowed in.
Of course, more important than my recommendations, is that you keep drinking what you want, when you want, and that you do it shamelessly. There's nothing wrong with someone drinking Sancerre when it's zero-degrees outside, or Grüner Veltliner when the wind chill is obscene. Drinking to your tastes is more imperative than drinking to an occasion or meal pairing.
If you're ready to try something new, though, stop on by the shop and it would be our pleasure to lend a helping hand.