During the heat of summer, wine glasses are filled with light and refreshing whites. When temperatures hover around 100 degrees, it's no surprise that New Age poured over ice with a splash of lime is all the rage. But when the chill of frost greets you in the morning, and the afternoon mercury struggles to push past 60, a glass full of ice is the last thing I want. Cool weather doesn't mean giving up white wine, it just requires looking for something a little richer. Something that will help brace against that chill in the air. And I'm thinking ahead to wines that work well with holiday meals. Here are three whites that should help ease the transition to autumn:
2007 Cono Sur Gewurztraminer, Vision, $12.99
Gewurztraminer is a good choice for fall and a great white wine to pair with all the complex flavors that make up the Turkey Day feast, but its overt spiciness can be a bit off-putting to some. Not so for this wine from Chile, which, with its dry finish and light spiciness, pays homage to the grape's Alsatian roots in a fresh and fruity manner that should appeal to most everyone. The wine offers floral litchi and peach aromas on the nose. In the mouth, it's a rich combination of crisp peach, sweet lemon and lime. Con Sur seems to do everything right—this is another great wine at a great price.
2006 Fuedo Principi di Butera Insolia, $12.99
Insolia is a Sicilian grape variety. Ten years back, I was not all that enamored with wines from this region. The hot-climate grapes typically produced overwrought, raisiny wines that tended to be a little oxidized. But things have changed. This enticing wine has become one of my favorite cool-weather whites, richly textured but with impeccable balance. It shows remarkably fresh aromas of ripe melon and clover with a soft touch of white pepper. Silky smooth on the palate, the flavors are highlighted by creamy peach that's laced with fig and orange accents. A lovely bit of almond and good acidity come through on the finish in this exceptional wine.
Sokol Blosser Evolution, 12th Edition, $17.99
A non-vintage blend of nine different grapes, you might say that this wine has something for everyone. If you are a fan of Caymus Conundrum, you will love the Sokol Blosser Evolution, and you'll like the slightly lower price. It opens with spicy floral aromas that are soft but persistent. Crisp apple and honeyed melon dominate the palate with tropical undertones in this refreshing and versatile white. The unctuous flavors bring a bit of summer warmth to a cool fall day. Great on its own before or after a meal, this wine has both the fruity sweetness and bright acidity to go with a variety of foods. Try it with everything from crab cakes to curried chicken.