White wine in winter is a wonderful thing.
Here are five winter whites that are ideal for holiday sipping, and they’ll transition us into 2024, too.
Wine: Solvero Wines 2022 Pinot Gris
Winery: Solvero Wines
Why drink it? Talented winemaker Alison Moyes (Osoyoos Larose, Liquidity) is leading the charge at Solvero Wines, with chic, delicious wines such as this Pinot Gris. Thanks to minimal intervention and neutral French oak, a rich fruit bowl of flavours shines through: peach, pear, apricot, pink grapefruit, honey. Serve chilled.
Pair with: Roast turkey, chicken, mildly seasoned salmon, sushi, spaghetti carbonara or pasta with white sauce
Wine: Upper Bench Estate Winery 2022 Riesling
Winery: Upper Bench Estate Winery
Why drink it? Because Riesling is one of the world’s greatest wine styles, and Upper Bench’s version is awesome. That’s why. Winemaker Gavin Miller’s 2022 Riesling is fabulously racy, balanced and dry, with notes of lime, green apple and honey. It’s also a wine that beautifully transitions all seasons; it’s as delicious and appropriate on a hot summer day as it is at Christmas dinner. Serve chilled.
Pair with: Roast pork, charcuterie, Thai green curry, sushi, smoked salmon.
Wine: Hillside Winery 2022 Heritage Series Viognier
Winery: Hillside Winery
Why drink it? Viognier is an ancient wine grape associated with France’s Rhone Valley, where it likely ended up after the Romans went through in the third century. Flash forward to now, and it’s found in wine regions around the world, including the Okanagan Valley. This excellent example from Hillside is aromatic, with notes of white flowers and baking spices. Serve chilled.
Pair with: Roast or grilled chicken, turkey or salmon, or cheeses such as Brie or Comte. The wine’s natural spiciness help it stand up to dishes such as pad thai or butter chicken, too.
Wine: Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2022 Pinot Blanc
Winery: Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
Why drink it? This medium-full-bodied white wine has pretty floral and wet rock aromas combined with stone fruit flavours: think peaches and nectarines. The grapes are hand harvested and the wine spends five months in neutral oak and stainless steel before bottling. Genetically related to Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is an often under-appreciated white wine grape in Canada but it really deserves to be in our glasses more often.
The Mavety family, which owns Blue Mountain, makes other beautiful wines, too, including one of the Okanagan’s best Gamays which, similar to this white wine, would be a brilliant addition to your Christmas table.
Pair with: Turkey, roast chicken.
Wine: Phantom Creek Estates 2021 Viognier
Winery: Phantom Creek Estates
Why drink it? The sixth most planted white variety in British Columbia, Viognier makes a wine that is stylish and food-friendly. From vineyards located on the Golden Mile Bench, this example has notes of honeydew melon, mandarin orange peel and pineapple. Time in French and Austrian oak gives it some spice, but there’s a touch of mineral sass to keep things balanced. Serve chilled.
Pair with: Roast chicken, hard and soft cheeses, salmon, maybe a creamy dip with seedy homemade crackers.
This is part two of a four-part series spotlighting great wines for the holidays, featuring selections of red, white, sparkling and sweet wines.