By Gina Trippi
I know what you’re thinking. Even though spring is on the way, it’s still cold. You’ve got a fire going. All you need is a glass of bold, comforting red wine. You might also be thinking that only red wines pair with heavier dishes and fires. But, think again. Heavier white wines—some are almost creamy—can also tame the cold, partnering with a fire and speaking to the coming spring at the same time.
March presents an interesting challenge for seasonal drinkers. A little tweak here and there can bridge the gap. For example, most summer wines are served at 45 degrees, but chardonnay is best at about 55 degrees, the warmer temperature allowing aromas to open in the glass.
Winter whites provide an adventurous break from the usual winter wines. Serving white in winter gives your guests a new experience. No doubt they will be impressed with the way heavier white wines pair with winter dishes. Think macaroni and cheese, white pizza and buttered root vegetables and potato soup.
Selected by our wine buyer, Brett Watson, our 2021 winter whites are Virgilio Vignato Garganega 2016 and Do Ferreiro Albariño. “Both are perfect and textural winter whites,” says Brett, “but the floral aromas also forecast spring.”
Virgilio Vignato Garganega is 100 percent garganega from Vincenza, Italy. Fifty-year-old vines are grown in volcanic soil. This wine is straw yellow color with golden reflections. With aromas of apple, cedar, white melon and white acacia flowers on the nose, the palate is rich and intense with minerality and characteristic notes of flints.
“Mountainside vineyard sites farmed organically showcase the textural floral notes of the region,” Brett says, “and the 2016 bottle age adds a touch of roundness to the wine while also highlighting the cold climate aromatics.”
But it is the volcanic soils that define the wine, providing a depth and fullness. “With a century-long history, the family passion is the desire to enclose the truest soul of the volcanic territory of Gambellara in the bottle,” the winemaker says.
With citrus peach, almond and honey to almond honeysuckle flavors and a texture approaching creamy, Albariño presents a unique palate profile. Do Ferreiro is the standard bearer for Albariño. “No better bottle,” says Brett.
Located in Rías Baixas, Do Ferreiro farms Albariño by hand. The proximity of land to the ocean and the ideal climate provided by the protection of mountain ranges makes it literally perfect for Albariño. Do Ferreiro is one of the original group of 14 growers who made the region and the grape the star that it is today.
“Classical, nutty and Old World grip all balanced by the freshness coming from the proximity to the ocean in the seaside Salnés Valley of northern Spain in Rías Baixas,” Brett says.
Other winter-to-spring white varietals to consider are an oaked chardonnay, viognier, chenin blanc and riesling. Let us help you pick a winter-waiting-spring white. Light the fire!
Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big shop selection with small shop service. Gina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.575.9525.