What to drink: Three bold and full-bodied white wines for winter

Many popular white wines can feel at odds with the Canadian winter. Not these three bottles

I think it’s safe to say we’ve collectively moved beyond arbitrary rules about drinking white wine in warmer seasons and red wine in colder seasons. Drink what you want, whenever you want. But it’s also true that many popular white wines are crisp, acidic, lean and light, which can feel at odds with the blistering cold winter in Canada.

To solve this, look for something buttery and creamy like a California Chardonnay; or with a full-bodied, voluptuous mouth-feel like a Riesling or Gewürztraminer from France’s Alsace region. 

Toasted Head Chardonnay

Chardonnays from California are richer and creamier than their French counterparts because of a process called malolactic fermentation, which lessens the natural acidity of the grapes. This affordable option is smoky, buttery and a touch fruity with flavours of caramelized peach and custard. Pair with cream sauces or rich pork and poultry dishes.

California, U.S. $19.45/750 ml. Get it at the LCBO (lcbo.com). 

Les Equilibristes Hirsute Blanc 2019

Another way of finding great winter whites is looking for a blend of grape varieties, including marsanne-roussanne, sémillon, and chenin blanc. This wine is a blend of sémillon, sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc. It’s a light skin-contact (or orange) wine with a deep gold hue, with notes of orange pith and melon.

Loire Valley, France. $33.99/750 ml. Get it at Grape Crush (1166 Dundas West, grapecrush.wine). Ontario-wide shipping available. 

Les Vins Pirouettes Gewürztraminer de Stéphane

This wine from Alsace, a region in France near the German border, pairs well with the food of the region: sausages, sauerkraut and other pickled foods and cheese. Known as one of the fullest-bodied wines, Gewürztraminer has a golden colour and a silky viscosity. Try it with something spicy to balance its headiness. 

Alsace, France. $67/750 ml. Get it at Paris Paris (1161 Dundas West, parisparis.ca). Ontario-wide shipping available. 

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