Yesterday I posted about rich slow cooked winter foods and hearty red wines to pair, so I only thought it fair to talk about some light white wines I’ve had lately to even the scale. I know it also seems counterintuitive to be talking about white wines when most of the country is in a deep winter freeze, suffering from temps below zero (brrr). But I like to think, “if you drink it, it [warmer weather] will come.” So perhaps if we all put our heads (or glasses) together and drink some summery white wines, we can end this cold spell!
That, or y’all can just come to Portland where the temps are quite lovely right now, by winter standards that is. Don’t mean to rub it in, but I rarely get to brag about the weather here, so I’m taking full advantage.
Without further adieu, some white wines I’ve had recently that might help take your mind off of the polar vortex and focus on warm weather to come.
Helioterra Pinot Blanc 2013 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) ~ $15
We’ve been drinking a lot of the Helioterra 2012 Pinot Noir around here lately, thanks to a friend who introduced us to it at the Southeast Wine Collective. I saw the Pinot Blanc at a local market and picked up a bottle, and glad I did! It had a bright nose with lots of crisp pear with a mild and pleasant tartness to it. It had vibrant flavors with a crisp and fruity mouthfeel, and overall lively and fresh. Will definitely be picking up this one again. Think spring, people. Spring! This is the wine to drink to invite warmer weather. Recommend! ($15 purchased at New Seasons Market). Also find on the Helioterra website.
A Duo of Verdejos from Rueda, Spain
Avelino Vegas ‘Montespina’ Verdejo 2013 (Rueda, Spain) ~ $10
Verdejo is the name of the grape behind the fresh and aromatic white wines from the Rueda region of Spain. Fresh and bright on the nose with lemon, crisp apple, and juicy pineapple. The wine then explodes on the mouth with a tropical burst of pineapple and mango with some melon thrown in for kicks. It almost reminded me of fruit cocktail without the artificially sweetened taste. Dry and crisp finish, I paired it with grilled chicken and some greens and it held up quite well. This reminds me of a summer patio sipper (those days are coming, my friends!). Good value.
Finca Montepedroso Verdejo 2013 (Rueda, Spain) ~ $18
Similar characteristics to the wine above, but with more sophistication. This also had some fresh lemon aromas and luscious sweet pineapple and apricot, but also had some additional Meyer lemon, pink grapefruit, herbs and some mineral notes. Very vibrant on the mouth, this wine had some lovely savory characteristics and bright acidity allowing it to linger on long after swallowed. While the first wine (above) is a fun entry level Verdejo, this one shows more excitement and depth. This one would be great with seafood, light savory dishes, or while chanting for warm weather. Really enjoyed!
A trio of Wairau River wines from Marlborough, New Zealand
I explored three different wines from Wairau River this week — their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Chardonnay, and 2012 Pinot Gris.
Sauvignon Blanc is what typically comes to mind when you think of New Zealand, and this one is a typical NZ SB with loads of grassiness, white grapefruit, and tropical notes. If you’re a fan of the NZ style of Sauv Blanc (think Kim Crawford) then you’ll like this one ($15).
It was the Pinot Gris and Chardonnay that really caught my attention – two grapes you don’t see a whole lot of from this area. The Chardonnay ($14) was clean with mild lemon and pear aromas with a hint of toasty oak and spice. Creamy in the mouth with some buttery undertones. Nice example if you like the oak without it dominating the overall wine. The Pinot Gris ($15) was my favorite of the lineup. Very apple dominant, but crisp! It reminded me of apple juice without the sweetness. Also had some pear and juicy peach undertones. Clean and fresh, yet had some weight and richness making it quite interesting.
Anna de Codorníu Brut Cava NV (Penedès, Spain) ~ $14
Moving onto bubbles, I wrote about this wines sister rosé last month, and enjoyed that one as much as this brut. Made from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Parellada, this bubbly is crisp, fruity, and vibrant, with juicy sweet apples and lemon aromas and flavors. The bubbles are spirited and long lasting, and the acidity is clean. It finishes dry, making it a good choice for mimosas or other sparkling wine cocktails (I’ve got my eye on this one made with beet and apple juice!). You can find it for as low as $10, making it a good bulk wine purchase for a party (brunch season is coming up soon, folks!).
Dumont & Fils Brut NV (Champagne, France) ~ $35
And we finish off with some Champagne. Why not?! We enjoyed this one on New Year’s Day while the tots were peacefully napping in their room (hallelujah), and it was the perfect way to enjoy a quiet afternoon with the hubs. I really enjoyed the super fine bubbles on this wine creating a creamy mouthfeel and highlighting the fresh, bright, and floral aromas. It also had a slight tartness to it, which I loved. And by Champagne standards, this is a good value at $35 (purchased at my local New Seasons Market). And my thought is, if you’re surviving the polar temperatures right now then you deserve some Champagne! Cheers to you.
Now please tell me, who else is drinking white wines during this cold spell? Be brave and raise your hands!
If not, do share what you’re drinking to stay warm!