While red wines are a classic winter staple, white wine shouldn’t be forgotten during the cold season. Many white wines are especially suited to winter. This is thanks to their aromas, creaminess, spicy tones and versatility.
One of the best white wines for winter is Chardonnay, owing to its characteristic butteriness combined with the perfect amount of acidity. Acidity is an important factor when enjoying white wine food pairings during winter, as it helps to cut through the richness of heavier, fatty foods that are typically enjoyed in colder months.
The six locally produced white wines below, recommended by Wine of the Month Club, rival reds in depth, body and complexity, making them perfect to pair with a winter meal (think creamy pastas, roast chicken or pork, fish and seafood in creamy white sauces) or to be enjoyed next to a roaring fire.
Over the years, Glen Carlou has honed their Chardonnay production technique to perfection. The Quartz Stone Chardonnay has notes of citrus, green apple and stone fruits on the nose and is a creamy, buttery delight on the palate. A rich, spicy and powerful wine to enjoy during winter.
Spier is well known for producing quality wines from the Stellenbosch area. With this Chenin Blanc, look forward to aromas of apricots and tropical fruit, combined with delicate undertones of oak and vanilla. This wine has good acidity on the palate, offering a rich, rounded flavour with hints of white peaches and almond paste.
Rustenberg’s Chardonnay offering is a full-bodied wine with fantastic ageing potential. This complex wine has a creamy finish with good acidity, as well as hints of ripe citrus, melon and peach.
Groot Constantia Chardonnay
Groot Constantia is renowned as Cape Town’s oldest wine estate. The Groot Constantia Chardonnay is intense and long on the palate, which is perfect for hearty meals and warming up on cold evenings. Expect citrus aromas complemented by hints of vanilla and butterscotch.
Thelema Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc
Sutherland has a unique climate, offering a great flavour profile. Thelema’s Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc offers notes of fresh citrus and passion fruit on the nose. On the palate, look forward to a long, mineral finish. This fruity wine has a fragrant, dry and zesty finish, which offers a refreshing kick on a cool, winter evening.
Leopard’s Leap Culinara Chenin Blanc is a white wine with a full body. This Chenin Blanc is fresh and fruity with a delicate oak finish. Look for aromas of apples and tropical fruit, combined with sweet spices and a tart finish.
Tips to take note of: Keep in mind that the spices and flavour profiles in your glass of white should be reflective of the texture, creaminess and spiciness of the meal served. Be careful to serve white wine at the right temperature in winter. Over-chilling white wine has the potential to mask the flavours, so make sure to serve it between 10°C – 12°C. Take the wine out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving and the aromas will truly shine.