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As the seasons change so do our palates. Perhaps it's pre-conditioning that dictates that a rainy, grey day means soup must be brewed and salad relegated to the “if we have to” menu. Possibly it's just excitement for a change that we can control in an ever-changing restricted word count world. Whatever it is, head to your favourite Supermarket late on a chilly day and attempt to buy a ready-made soup at your peril – for you are sure to be disappointed at the empty shelves. “It’s absolutely ridiculous”, you’ll bemoan, but in fact, it isn’t ridiculous, it is just that many, many others had the same thought as you – earlier than you. So you head home for the comfort of a glass of wine and therein begins our conversation.
For many, Autumn is heaven on earth with the changing colours, falling leaves, crisp air, and, of course, comforting food. There’s something for everyone to fall in love with when autumn rolls around and wine is one of them. As temperatures drop many of us are mistaken in our belief that only robust reds can provide the sense of comfort we seek on cold days and with hearty meals. A generous white, such as a Viognier or oak-fermented Chardonnay, are perfect autumnal wines and the ideal pairing companions to the season’s game and root vegetable dishes. Why? Because a Wooded Chardonnay offers us the perfect balance of comforting butteriness and acidity. Acidity is important when enjoying white wine food pairings during winter, as it helps to cut through the richness of the heavier, fatty foods that we love so much. For this reason, an oak-aged Chenin Blanc is another autumn wine you’ll be glad we didn’t forget. Then there is Sémillon to add to your cart. This French-born grape is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to excite the lush wine with a perfect zippiness and our Glenwood Grand Duc Sémillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018 offers you an example of this with a Yellow-gold colour and a blend that is elegant, rich and layered. Lastly, a white blend can offer complexity and a robust flavour profile, which is delicious all year round. With a white blend, you typically get a lively, medium-bodied wine that has layers of bright fruit and our Leenders Baviaan 2020 is a typical Rhône white blend that… lends itself perfectly to this brief. Pair it with your stew or just as a sipper while you’re under the blankets and in front of the fire.
Critical to your enjoyment of a white “Winter Warmer” wine is the serving temperature of said wine. Over-chilling white wine has the potential to mask the flavours, so make sure to serve it between 10°C – 12°C. Our recommendation is to take the wine out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving as this will allow the aromas to truly shine.
Our White Wine Winter Warmer suggestions have been touched on above but to make it easier for you here's our shortlist for you to shop:
Longridge Chardonnay 2018 – R190/bottle
This wine offers distinct notes of minerality, combined beautifully with citrus and lime aromas on the nose are complemented by shortbread and dessert peaches on the palate, ending in a refreshing, lingering and perfectly balanced finish.
Quest Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2020 – R180/bottle
The grapes selected for this award-winning Chenin Blanc are handpicked from a 35-year-old single vineyard in the heart of the Breedekloof Valley. This leads to quality grapes filled with intense fruit flavours. Distinctive floral notes and aromas of dried peach, citrus and lime with firm crisp acidity.
GlenWood Grand Duc Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – R299/bottle
Discover asparagus and canned peas on the nose with some hints of green apple. The palate is medium-to-full with herbaceous notes following. Gooseberries and pineapple on the mid-palate. Elegant, rich and layered.
Leenders Baviaan 2020 – R125/bottle
A blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, this white blend is a South African take on a typical Rhône white blend. Complex, rich and finessed. The Chenin Blanc lends a crisp acidity and fruit-forward note to the wine, while Roussanne and Grenache Blanc bring a typical aromatic note, waxy complexity and finesse to the blend.
Whether you go for a white, red, or rosé for your Winter Warmer, you’re in the perfect hands here at Susan Stanleys. We have numerous styles of wine to match your every need during this transitional season so browse here and find whatever your heart desires.