They tell you dark beer is for winter and citrusy beer is for summer. They tell you to stick with red wine when it’s cold and leave the white wine for warmer weather — but what haven’t they told you?
We’re here to say, emphatically, that you can and should drink white wine in the winter, especially Gewürztraminer.
Ge-what’s it? Yes, it’s a mouthful, but this superb white wine — most known in Germany, France, and Austria — is one you shouldn’t overlook, even if the forecast still has freezing temperatures and snow.
Sure, some white wines are light, simple, and better suited to hot, breezy summer days lounging in the sun. But let’s explore a few different Gewürztraminers and learn why they make a fine fit for snowy afternoons and cozy evenings protected from winter’s worst.
Start Your Tasting Gewürz-tour-miner in Alsace, France
Right across the river from Western Germany is the Alsace region of France, a beautiful and productive area when you’re talking about wine. This Trimbach Gewürztraminer from Alsace provides low acidity and high alcohol to make for an interesting dry white wine.
Move into Sweeter Territory at the Chateau
Not so much for the dry white wines? That’s OK — most Gewürztraminers will be on the sweet side, like this Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer hailing from the Columbia River region in Washington state. Bright, affordable, and complex in its aromas, it will please a variety of guests at your next dinner party or your quiet winter night in.
Trust Germany to Produce Great Shining Gewürztraminer
We have to pay homage to the Germans with such a great name as Gewürztraminer, so consider this one from Germany’s most prominent wine-producing region called Rheinhessen. Riesling, the sweet white wine, comes from the same region. This Heinz Eifel Shine Gewürztraminer is high in natural sugars, so it’s sweet, with an aroma similar to lychee.
Wines and Villas Just Go Together
Not quite as big as Rheinhessen is the wine region Pfalz, what some call “the Tuscany of Germany.” Though a small area, it’s known for mostly Dornfelder and Pinot Noir grapes, but some vintners produce Gewürztraminer like this one from Villa Wolf. Its classic sweetness is countered by a delicate earthiness and acidity.
What Foods Pair with Gewürztraminer and Other White Wines?
With low temperatures outdoors, bring up the temp inside.
- Cook spicy meat dishes and hot Asian cuisine.
- Lean into the big, fatty flavors of creamy sauces and rich meats with salted and peppered potatoes.
- Make an antipasti board with green olives, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and savory cheeses.
Gewürztraminer and other white wines will provide relaxed, refreshing brightness with these heavy, comforting foods.
What Other White Wines Are Good in Winter?
A general hint as you explore white wines for winter: cooler weather wine regions will more often provide the grapes — and therefore the wine — that best suits cold weather. Check out a few other options:
- Viognier — Lots of bright and juicy fruit in this medium-bodied, acidic French white wine.
- Riesling — A renown sweet white. Get a bottle from Germany or California for the sweetest ones. For a little more dryness, find a bottle from France, Austria, or Washington state.
- Verdelho — A lesser-known white wine from Portugal and Australia, this one is super fruity with potential for tropical juiciness.
See, winter’s not so bad when you’re prepared for it. Here’s to enjoying the winter white.