Warming Winter Whites

A contradiction in terms “ a warming winter white ” may be, except I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe it’s the time of year, the chill in the air or the change of menu. It’s just not cutting it for me. It could it be boredom with the linear taste profile; the firm acidity or the gooseberry tartness but there is just nothing that appeals in the flavour anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I have drunk Sauvignon Blanc in all its guises this summer and enjoyed every mouthful.

Give me something soft and rich with a generous mouth feel and even the soft kiss of light oak. I want to be seduced by Semillon; charmed by Chardonnay driven crazy by Gewürztraminer. I’d even accept a slightly woolly or oily Chenin Blanc from the Loire; or perhaps even a charming Voignier or Marsanne/Roussanne from the Southern Rhone.

If ever there was a time for winemakers to re-invent the ubiquitous Chardonnay now is it. Truely unfashionable for the last decade it must be time for a renaissance. It can tick all the boxes and after all it is the most widely planted and cultivated white grape in the world. In the right hands and given favourable climatic conditions it can be made into a warm, soft and voluptuous character, dramatic with Thanksgiving dinners and the myriad of flavours that make up the Christmas party scene.

Weight does matter. Something smooth and agreeable to pair with food and Chardonnay comes out on top. I may be tempted by the lick of perfectly balanced oak with main savoury dishes, or carefully crafted and perfectly balanced Blanc de Blanc Champagne as a splendid aperitif.

Because it’s a jolly good excuse to bring out the bubbly this season.