Surviving a long, cold winter is all about mastering the art of getting cozy, starting with a hot meal and glass of wine. When the temperature drops, nothing beats the smell of something delicious simmering on the stove all afternoon while you enjoy a drink by the fireplace. But if you think meat stew and a bottle of red is your only option, you’re happily mistaken.
White wines, especially those from northern Italy’s Alto Adige, are the true underdogs of winter. They pair perfectly with many seasonal dishes and hearty ingredients. Ingredients like roast chicken and pork, rich seafoods, and root vegetables, plus creamy bisques and spicy curries, go hand in hand with the citrus and floral notes in certain white varietals from this Alpine region.
Start with Müller-Thurgau to keep on your radar this winter. Fresh and fragrant with hints of white mountain flowers, honeydew melon, and pungent citrus blossom, the wine’s dry palate features ripe pear and Fuji apple flavors on a solid backbone of acidity. Its clean, crisp finish makes it a great wine to pair with hard-to-match dishes and several Asian cuisines.
You’ll also find Pinot Bianco, which hails from the cool, pre-Alps part of the Alto Adige, where long, sunny days create the ideal environment for this lovely, refreshing white. A Pinot Bianco leads with white floral, green apple, and citrusy aromas, followed by a dry palate bright with stone fruit, lime peel, and herbal notes. Bright acidity and a mineral-driven finish make it pair beautifully with an array of dishes, especially those involving seafood and shellfish.
Pinot Grigio is another to have elegant floral, citrus, and peach notes followed by a dry, crisp finish. Golden in color, a pinot grigio from this area will have a refreshing nose with pear and apple aromas. It’s perfect for pairing with full flavors. It’s a classic example of everything an Alto Adige wine should be.