When we contemplate the cold weather, our wine thoughts typically turn to rich reds in front of a cozy fire or paired with a hearty meal. But winter whites and rosé have a place too.
White wine and rosé pair with seafood, shellfish, smoked salmon, salads, pasta and Asian dishes. They also are very drinkable at a crowded holiday party, or a too-warm restaurant, when a refreshing chilled white or rosé is perfect.
Here are two excellent winter whites and a rosé from France that we recently tasted. And check out some of those price points!
Château Peyrassol Rosé 2018 (SRP $26)
What a beautiful rosé from Provence! This crisp, fresh blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Ugni Blanc and Rolle is somehow both dense and delicate at the same time. Pale in color, typical of the region, this rosé offers citrus, peach, apricot and pear notes. It pairs well with lemon halibut, a cheese board by the fire, or red-berry desserts. This bottle was a sample from Château Peyrassol, and we plan to purchase additional bottles for our holiday festivities and gifts.
Southwest France is said to have a wine for every palate, sourced from grapes ranging from Sauvignon Blanc to Tannat. The region accounts for 30% of the French grape diversity with 130 native grapes, largely due to its combination of oceans and mountains.
We received several samples from Wines of Southwest France and while the reds were bright, easy-drinking wines, it was the aromatic whites that captured our attention.
Horgelus Gros Manseng & Sauvignon Blanc Côtes de Gascogne 2018 (SRP $8)
Sauvignon Blanc is our favorite white wine, but we had never tasted Gros Manseng before. Domaine Horgelus Famille Le Menn combines this grape duo into a refreshing blend that exudes citrus notes and a flinty minerality. And look at the price point! This is an exceptional value wine to pour for guests at home or to take with you to holiday parties. Of course, it will also pair with white fish such as cod or halibut, or shellfish.
Château Le Payral Bergerac Blanc Sec 2017 (SRP $13)
Certified organic, Château Le Payral Bergerac Blanc Sec 2017 is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, and 20% Muscadelle. The base of Sauv Blanc features intense notes of citrus and tangy green apples. The steel-tank fermentation brings flinty minerality and a crispness that begs to be paired with crab or lobster. Yes, this will be a lovely summer sipper, but this food-friendly blend will shine for holiday gatherings as well.
As 2019 winds down, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season, full of wonderful wine. (And don’t forget a designated driver!) These wines from France are worth adding to your gift selections or party pours.
Margot and Dave