In my humble opinion, white wine this time of year is just as important as red wine. We have this mythological belief in the U.S. that white wine in the colder months doesn’t make sense. I mean, I feel you — a crisp white wine on a warm day that washes down summer fare is definitely a moment of bliss. But even though white wine may not have the structure of red wine, it can certainly have depth.
White wine can be a great conversation starter as well as a match for a variety of cold weather dishes. Pair it with a soul-warming dish like milk-poached cod with bits of bacon, or just sip it while chilling on the casual at an ugly sweater hang — virtual or otherwise. Plus, there’s something about a nice, chilled white wine next to a roaring fire in the fireplace that feels balanced and relaxing. Is that just me? I say, give it a try and let me know.
I guess what I’m saying is, no white wine is alike. As the nip in the air increases, there are some great, affordable white wines that pair with cold weather — from light and casual bottles, to ones with good enough depth to pair with a meal. Here are six white wines under $20 I have tasted recently that have a nice range of character and are great to share or pair.
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This wine has such a nice weight due to its low-ish acidity. The result is a golden-hued wine with nice depth and a salty palate. This bottle, with hot and steaming fish and chips, would be perfect. It could even hang on a cozy evening with a simple meat and cheese plate.
This wine is a workhorse. It has nice, refreshing acidity for casual virtual hangs, but also enough depth to drink as a lunch companion. It smells like pears and a whiff of lemon drizzled with honey, and is broad on the palate.
I am including this wine because it’s tough out there. There are so many options on the market, and it’s not easy to find one that really hits. This one hits. It has the crisp, refreshing acidity we all love in this style of wine, but there is a unique balance between that and the fruit. There’s a slight grip on the palate that is quenching.
This is your wherever, whatever, whenever white wine. It is lemony-bright and minerally-refreshing. If you get a case and have it on hand for the pod in your life, it’ll be easy-drinking and please all the palates.
Frothy and smooth hints of bubbles swim through a subtle, sugary tinge just kissing the fruit. The key to a great Moscato is that balance between sweet and fruity. If one gets out of control, the result is either too saccharine or too neutral. This one works so well. It is a joy to sip and would be awesome with salty-sweet soft cheese, cured meats, and nuts (maybe by a firepla … OK, I’ll stop).
Here’s another weighty white wine. It has great oak on it, adding a slight depth to the palate, but just enough acidity to lift it up a bit and not be too heavy. This is a great wine for a heavier winter dish, such as fish stew with spicy andouille sausage or a swordfish steak rubbed with curry spices.