The new year, and the winter, have only just begun, so it might seem like it’s not the right time to begin thinking about white wine. But the fact of the matter is that you can drink Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and even Riesling all year long, even during the coldest months of the year.
There are many vintages from wine regions around the world to try this year, from the tried and true to something you may have never considered before. The flavor profile of white wine can vary from bright and crisp to something a bit more velvety and rich, making it ideal to pair with different foods throughout the year. Here are ten white wines we recommend drinking in 2020, including a dry California sparkling wine, a New Zealand take on Sauvignon Blanc, and several examples of the ever popular Chardonnay.
2017 Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay
Back in 1973, Chardonnay was the first wine released by Cakebread Cellars. This 2017 vintage keeps the tradition alive while also expanding upon it. This is a very clean wine with notes of citrus, pear, and ripe apple that you can pair with fish, cheese, or seafood.
To buy: $43, grapeswine.com
Contino Blanco 2017
Viñedos del Contino broke ground as being the first Rioja chateau concept when it opened in 1973, with a cellar dating back hundreds of years. This Spanish white wine is full of spice and vanilla, along with a splash of oak after two years in barrels. Pair this with some fresh seafood or roasted chicken.
2015 Inman Sisters Cuveé
This bright and dry sparkling wine from Inman Family Wines is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with zero dosage and a palate full of crisp summer fruit. This would be an excellent brunch of lunch wine, but can also be enjoyed with a late dinner or simply on its own.
To buy: $78, inmanfamilywines.com
2016 Gamble Heart Block Sauvignon Blanc
Heart Block is named for the center block of vines at California’s Gamble Family Vineyards. This wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months and bottled unfiltered. Look for citrus and stone fruit on the nose and palate.
Stony Hill Chardonnay 2017
Stony Hill’s 2017 growing season was one of extremes in temperature and rainfall, but the resulting vintage did not disappoint. Almond, green apple, and a hint of spice come into play on the palate. Reps for the winery say that the emphasis is more on consistency than vintages, but each does tend to have its own subtle character.
Chateau Montelena 2017 Potter Valley Riesling
According to Chateau Montelena winemaker Matt Crafton, even people who don’t generally like sweet wine will enjoy this Riesling. He calls it “slightly off-dry,” with bold flavors of honey, tropical fruit, and a soft mineral finish. Give this one a try and you just might be converted.
To buy: $29, wine.com
2017 JONATA Flor “Flower” Sauvignon Blanc, Ballard Canyon
According to JONATA winemaker Matt Dees, you’ll find notes of lime pith and grapefruit on the palate of this well-balanced vintage. Though the majority of wine released by this winery is red, this is a good example of the carefully composed whites it produces as well.
2018 Stags' Leap Viognier Napa Valley
Napa Valley’s Stags’ Leap released this 2018 vintage Viognier at an affordable price point. The grapes came from three cooler vineyards in southern Napa, giving the wine notes of acid, lemongrass, almond, and a long floral finish, according to the tasting notes.
To buy: $25, wine.com
Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2015
New Zealand winery Cloudy Bay does its own style of Sauvignon Blanc with its Te Koko label. The winery uses wild fermentation and ages in French oak. The results in the 2015 vintage are citrus on the nose and nectarine on the palate, according to the tasting notes.
To buy: $56, grapeswine.com
The Roost Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
Bonterra released this biodynamic, single-vineyard wine from the Blue Heron Vineyard in Mendocino. The Roost is a “Burgundian-style Chardonnay” that was barreled for 18 months. Strong notes of apricot and spice lead the palate, with ripe apple and toasted caramel following quickly behind.