Lodi, California Winter White Wines

As we breeze into the depths of winter, there is a propensity to seek out wines with a bit more oomph, rib-sticking fruit, and warming alcohol.  We drink more red wine.  That’s because they seem to warm us from the inside out.  But what if you prefer white wine? Or looking for a wine to pair with your favorite chicken, pork, or vegetarian fare and a red wine wouldn’t be a good match?  Or maybe, you just want a change of pace?

Sipping on a chilled glass of white wine might seem counter-intuitive when it’s cold outside, but many white (and rosé) wines are well suited to winter.  

Look for fuller bodied wines, aromatic wines with vibrant acidity that can cut through the richer, fattier foods that tend to be served in colder months.

Here are five wines from Lodi to consider for your winter table:

2015 Bokisch Vineyards Terra Alta Vineyard Albariño – Albariño is Spain’s most popular white wine, but it is well suited to Lodi, where it has found a home away from home.  The Bokisch Albariño bursts with citrus and floral aromas and shows medium weight on the palate with alluring orange rind, kiwi, and key lime pie flavors.  Pair with Cracked Dungeness crab, Crab Cakes or Split Pea Soup.

2014 Borra Vineyards Markus Nimmo – An intriguing and exotic blend of Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Bacchus grape varieties. It has a rich, creamy texture with vibrant acidity and a green apple, lychee, green melon and mixed citrus character with a lingering wet stone accented finish.  Pair with Gumbo, Roast Duck or Chinese Stir Fry.

2015 Fields Family Wines Grenache Blanc, Vista Luna Vineyard  – Grenache Blanc is a full bodied white wine with origins in Spain where it is loved for its intense flavors, higher alcohol content, and plush style.  The Field Family Grenache Blanc has a captivating lush, white peach, tropical fruit, yellow melon character with vibrant acidity and a very giving finish.  Pair with 40 Cloves and a Chicken, Roasted Pork Shoulder or Moroccan Tagine.

2015 Heritage Oak Chenin Blanc – Chenin Blanc is a versatile grape variety that can be produced into dry crisp, dry table wines, light sparkling wines,  or long-lived, unctuous, nectar-like dessert wines. The ‘Heritage Oak Chenin Blanc is raised in stainless steel yielding a crisp refreshing wine with a green apple, pear character with hint of citrus.  Pair with braised short rib, Goat cheese stuffed chicken or shrimp masala.

2014 McCay Viognier – Viognier (pronounced VEE-ohn-yay) is the most-planted white Rhone grape variety in the United States.  It produces wines with intense peach, apricot, and floral aromatics, as well as viscosity and lushness on the palate. The McCay Viognier shows peach, pear, and violet aromas with a hint of minerality. On the palate, it is full-bodied, dry, and lush with enticing peach and pear flavors and a satisfying finish.  Pair with Roasted Garlic Crab, Grilled Scallops or spicy Asian fare featuring fish or chicken

As you enjoy winter white wines, remember that white wine isn’t supposed to be served refrigerator cold.  Since most refrigerators are about 40°F,  and the optimal serving temperature for white wines is somewhere between 49-55°F  take your white wine out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 20 or so minutes.  At this slightly warmer temperature, the wine’s aromas really shine, and it’s no longer too cold to drink when it’s cold outside. 

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