Snowy weather, cold windchill and long gloomy days always call for a big glass of red wine. Sort of! Although there is always a good reason to snuggle up by the fire with a classic Cab, we’re here to tell you that white wines have a place in the winter season too!

Bottle of Chardonnay next to a bowl of popcorn and truffle salt.
Quails Gate 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay.

Full-bodied and creamy white wines can be just as comforting in the winter as any red wine. They are also a lot easier to pair with traditional winter fare, like holiday ham, roasted root vegetables, pumpkin soup or mac ‘n’ cheese. 

White wines with more body and some oak ageing are also served at slightly warmer temperatures than lighter body whites like Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. We recommend serving them at 10-13 degrees celsius, which also makes them more approachable on a winter night. 

Our favourite winter varietals to get us through the cooler nights are Chardonnay, Viognier and Chenin Blanc. Here are a few of our go to Okanagan bottles. If you can’t find them locally don’t hesitate to order directly from the wineries – most will ship as little as 2 bottles at a time. 

Woman pulling a bottle of Viognier out of a box.
Terravista Vineyards 2019 Viognier. Photo by Jon Adrian.

In the Okanagan, if you’re not up at the ski hill in winter, you’re typically enjoying a night in with the fireplace on and a big bowl of popcorn in hand. There’s no better pairing than an oaky Chardonnay. On the high end we pick up, Quails Gate 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay ($49.99) on the everyday bottle side we’re loving the Peak Cellars 2017 Chardonnay ($28)

Viognier naturally has a little more body and an oily mouthfeel. The weight and texture are why we love this wine year-round, but especially in the winter. Our top tier choice comes from Cedar Creek Estate Winery, 2019 Haynes Creek Viognier ($34.99) and the weekday favourite is Terravista Vineyards 2019 Viognier ($23).

Hands holding a bottle of Road 13 over a set of empty glasses.
Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc.

Chenin Blanc isn’t widely produced in the Okanagan, which means it’s a real treat when we find one to enjoy. This varietal is versatile in winemaking styles. We love the still version  Crown & Thieves 2017 Chenin Blanc ($29.99) or the bubbly kind Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc ($40). Remember when in doubt go with Sparkling wine. It goes with just about everything. We recommend enjoying it alongside your charcuterie and cheese platter, Asian fare, or deep-fried foods.