Food & Drink

6 food-friendly white wines to chill out with

White wines are a winner in winter, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Spend the colder season indoors with one of these refreshing whites
White wine and seafood on dinner table Spend the colder season indoors with one of these refreshing whites (Darya Petrenko / Alamy Stock Pho/Alamy Stock Photo)

Tired of drinking the same old, same old? Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a wine rut and keep reaching for a red during winter… forgetting how refreshing a bright white can be.

Especially if you’re looking for something versatile that complements a variety of foods – think lively and expressive, fruity and round, or crisp and herbaceous.

In fact, there are plenty of white varietals to polish up your palate while we wait for the weather to warm up.

Here are some top picks to pull from the fridge…

1. M&S Expressions Feteasca Regala 2022, Romania, £8, Ocado

M&S Feteasca Regala 2022, Romania, Ocado

An off-the-beaten-track grape, but one which should be on your radar. Beautifully fresh and fragrant, it won’t take much convincing to realise how this rose-scented local variety charms with its peachy fruits and hints of honeysuckle. Dry and delicious on its own, it works like a dream with mild spicy dishes – sometimes tricky to pair with wine.

2. Morrisons The Best Chardonnay 2022, South Africa, £8

Morrisons The Best Chardonnay 2022 South Africa, Morrisons

An IWC (International Wine Challenge) Silver medal winner, this is an unoaked chardonnay with fresh acidity that lifts and supports the tropical fruits to a tee. With a combination of white fruit flavours enriched with hints of melon drops, citrus and a streak of minerality, it’s vibrant and bright as a button. A brilliant match with sushi and shellfish.

3. Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Central Coast Californian Chardonnay 2021, USA, £9 (was £11)

Sainsbury’s TTD Central Coast Californian Chardonnay 2021, USA, Morrisons

If only more supermarkets produced an own-label Californian that tasted this good. Utterly delicious and deftly blended, it’s chardonnay-dominant with a splash of viognier, grenache blanc and picpoul. A wowza white if you like a richer style of chardonnay with rounded, creamy flavours of tropical fruits backed by balanced acidity. Excellent with rich seafood such as monkfish.

4. Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2023, Marlborough, New Zealand, £10, Tesco

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2023, Marlborough, New Zealand, Tesco

A snappy sauvignon blanc that’s vivacious and full of verve, think grassy, herbaceous aromatics, layers of tangy green flavours overlaid with passion fruit, pineapple, juicy lime and a zesty, citrusy finish. A wine with structure, sheer drinkability and lovely balance. Bring on a warm goats’ cheese salad with a spicy dressing.

5. Barón de Barbón Blanco 2022, Rioja, Spain, £13.99 (£10.99 when you mix 6), Laithwaites

5 Baron de Barbon Blanco 2022, Rioja, Spain, Laithwaites

Super fresh with hints of lemon groves and white pepper on the nose, flavours of grapefruit, lemon and apples are enlivened by flecks of limey acidity, making this a really lively Rioja with a mouth-watering finish. A natural with saffron-infused seafood paella, or spicy prawns to make the flavours shine.

6. Banfi La Pettegola Vermentino 2021, Italy, £17, Ocado

Banfi La Pettegola Vermentino 2021, Italy, Ocado

A natural bedfellow with seafood linguine, vermentino loves creamy crab meat and shrimps with its citrusy aromas, bright acidity, herbal notes and hints of green apple. This wine shows a wonderful purity running through, with enticing aromatics and wisp of Mediterranean scrub coming into play on the minerally, stylish finish.