I enjoy this time of the year. Harvest season is here and the beauty of nature is a picture right outside our windows. The cool, brisk air feels refreshing and makes us want something warm to drink when we come home -- hot chocolate, warm cup of tea, or a wine to enjoy with our comfort foods.
A rich, medium to full bodied wine is what we look for this time of year. When winemakers age their wines in oak they add flavors and textures of vanilla, spice, and creaminess which compliment the fruit flavors of the grape varieties. These rich, lush wines take out the chill and are the perfect pairings with our hearty seasonal menus.
This week I've selected a few white wines that are medium to full bodied, food-friendly and just right for the season.
Richland Chardonnay 2008, Australia ($11) -- Aged in oak, this is a full-bodied chardonnay with pear, mango and peach flavors with a hint of lemon that are not overpowered with the hint of vanilla and white chocolate flavors from the oak.
This Chardonnay will pair well with a Shrimp Corn Chowder. You can also pair with chicken, pork, scallops, and poached lobster.
Potter's Hill Chardonnay 2007, California ($15) -- Also aged in oak, this medium-bodied chardonnay is well balanced with aromas of pear and fig with hints of honey, toast and almond. This is a refreshing and crisp chardonnay that is not overpowered by the oak.
Serve this with a potato and onion fritatta; or rich fish such as monk fish and salmon; also with chicken or pasta with vegetables.
Snowy River Semillon Chardonnay 2008, Australia ($14) -- This is a medium-bodied smooth white wine and is refreshing and crisp. This blend gives both the semillon characteristic grassy and honey notes and the chardonnay characteristic notes of pear and peach. A crowd pleasing, easy drinking white wine to serve at any holiday gathering.
Serve with shrimp and crabcakes; or light chicken dishes, and light pasta dishes with vegetables.