For those of us in the Great North (and in our case, Toronto), this winter has been slightly lacklustre with temperatures that have yet to drop well-past zero, limited snow days, and a not-so-white Christmas. While great news for our summertime sisters (yay), it’s not-so-great news for those who find joy in the colder months of the year.
Those who identify with the former are nonetheless bracing themselves (ourselves included) for the classic Canadian winter– mountains of snow, the frigid cold, and maybe even an ice storm or two. So how will we be warming up this year? By having a glass of wine or two, of course! Nothing completes our endless days of staying indoors underneath warm blankets watching Netflix marathons than a glass (or three) of our favourite wines of the season.
For many, the changing season comes with changing wine preferences, but we don’t necessarily agree with the abundance of red wines to take us through the winter months. For this very reason, we’re turning to our trusty white and rosé wines to cleanse our palates, brighten up our spirits, and to evoke the oh-so-good vibes of the summer time until it’s warm enough to come out of hibernation.
Luckily for us, some winemakers decided to age their rosés for slightly longer after the height of the summer season, which means that we get a whole new batch that we can devour all winter long! Wintertime rosés are usually slightly darker and fuller-bodied than the pale pink rosés that characterize summer, but this isn’t a bad thing! Not only will they taste better paired with your food, they tend to have more complex flavours and can age into some really delicious wine. Some leftover summer rosés can even taste better now than they did a few months back.
When it comes to winter wine classification, the go-to is often a full-bodied, oaked white, such as a Chardonnay. However, for those who fancy unoaked or lighter-bodied wines, you can rest assured that there are endless options for you. In a winter white, we want to place importance on acidity. This is because food we tend to indulge in come winter time tend to be on the heavier side, and acid helps brighten things up and cut through the richness. With this being said, full-bodied wines that are unoaked but have bright acidity, or even light-bodied wines with lots of texture is an excellent place to start.
Are you ready to celebrate the new winter wine movement? Here are some of our favourite picks for the season’s rosés and whites available now at your local Wine Shop store.
Trius Brut Rosé: $32.95 from The Wine Shop
A delicate Salmon pink colour with wild strawberry, blood orange and yeast notes that gently rise from the glass. Refreshing flavours of white currants and white cranberry flavours dance on the elegant framework with cherry, white currant, wild strawberry and yeast notes lingering on the finish. Best serve at a cool 8 to 10°C.
Pair with oven roasted tomatoes with goat cheese on toasted baguette; Gruyere and Emmenthal cheese fondue with light rye bread; creamy cheeses with baguette; roasted beet risotto; simply prepared seafood and shell fish; roast chicken.
Peller Estates Signature Series Ice Couvée Rosé: $35.75 from The Wine Shop
A traditional ‘méthode’ sparkling wine made with hand-picked Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (26.5%) grapes, and the addition of Gamay Noir (3.5%), are all aged in stainless steel just before tirage. After 12 to 14 months on lees the wine is disgorged, and a 100 ml dosage of Vidal Icewine is added. Enhanced by the burst of flavour from Icewine and the bright berry character of the Gamay Noir, a sparkling wine of unique style and finesse is created.
Very fine bubbles rise gently against a delicate pink backdrop. A lovely, clean, fresh bouquet of apricot, wild raspberry, melon and Rainier cherry. This dry sparkling wine has an up-front creamy mouthfeel with an elegant mousse, and flavours of raspberry and juicy white peach. The refreshingly crisp finish shows exciting notes of cranberry and white currant.
Serve at a cool 8 to 10ºC in sparkling wine glasses. Enjoy as a casual sipping wine, during festive celebrations, or as a companion to wonderful meals. Serve with young creamy cheeses and crusty baguettes; bruschetta; calamari; sushi; steamed mussels; fish cakes; roasted salmon; roast of pork; lightly spiced pork tenderloin; roast chicken or turkey. Best enjoyed within 2 to 3 years of purchase.
The Diplomat Sauvignon Blanc: $16.95 from The Wine Shop
The Sauvignon Blanc perfectly balances intense tropical fruit notes of pineapple, guava and lychee with equally dominant vegetal characteristics of fresh cut grass and bell peppers. This crisp and refreshing wine pairs perfectly with tapas, fish, chicken and goat cheese.
Although conventional wisdom holds that on Wednesdays we wear pink and switch out our rosé for red when winter rolls around, hopefully these picks show you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Cheers to enjoying rosé and white wines all year long!