As much as we would all love to avert our eyes so that we can imagine we’re in some utopian world without all of the political distress, November is here folks. Daylight savings has cut our days shorter, our next president has been elected, and our beloved holiday season is upon us. Long story short, there is no shortage of reasons to drink this month.
But if it just doesn’t feel right to go team red just yet, there are plenty of fabulous white wines that you can continue to sip on as we hold our breath for what’s to come this January. And not only will these international beauties hold up to the savory richness of whatever you’re eating this season, they are also lovely reminders of what beautiful things there are to discover in other countries. You know, just in case you end up fleeing from ours.
Famille Hugel – Pinot Blanc 2014
From a family with an incredibly long history of delicious winemaking, the Hugels are at it again with this refreshing and dynamic Alsatian Pinot Blanc. Perfumes of white peach and orange blossom radiate from the glass while on the palate its plush texture is gorgeously met with uplifting acidity, distinct minerality, and a nice layer of baby fat that will hold up to any savory vegetable or poultry dish. In my opinion, this underdog varietal is still one of the best kept secrets of Alsace.
Schloss Johannisberg – 50° Riesling 2015
A celebration of latitude, this entry-level Riesling is their way of paying homage to the estate’s unique location directly along the 50th parallel north – otherwise known as the northernmost border for traditional winemaking. It presents aromas of nectarine, jasmine, lime blossom and undeniable hints of the region’s minerality. Medium bodied with zippy acidity, flavors of green apple and white pepper keep up the zesty qualities while its easy drinking structure will keep you sipping more.
Domaine Orenga de Gaffory – Rosé 2015
From the illustrious northeast corner of Corsica, this blend of 80% Nielluccio and 20% Grenache comes from a rather historic estate. Nielluccio is a variety that is theorized to be related to Sangiovese, but nevertheless it represents its true Corsican rusticity. This rosé is made in the saignée method and has a lovely hue of rose gold. It expresses flirtatious aromas of raspberry, white grapefruit and lavender. Aside from being a highly drinkable wine, its fresh acidity and peppery undertones play nicely with the chalky minerality and long floral finish.
Peter Yealands – Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Marlborough, New Zealand
Like a freshly squeezed lemon, this Sauvignon Blanc is vibrant and citrusy with notes of ripe pear, honeysuckle and lanolin. A far cry from the overbearing cut grass and elderflower that you’d expect, this wine is both crisp and clean with juicy characters and a smooth texture. While it’s not the most intense wine you’ll drink this season, it sure makes for a perfect aperitif before dinner or pairing with your roasted butternut squash and kale salad.
Castello Banfi – San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana IGT 2015
A straightforward and well-balanced Pinot Grigio from the hills of Tuscany, it offers ripe notes of Meyer lemon, apricot and mustard flower on the nose. There is a gentle weight to it on the palate that is harnessed with some acidity along with its silky texture and hints of tangerine peel. This no-frills wine is an easy crowd-pleaser that’s perfect if you need to open up a bottle with a group of friends.