- Written by Ewan Lacey Ewan Lacey
- Published: 26 October 2006 26 October 2006
Then, at the end of September, I turn my back on those wines and barely encounter them for the next six months. Cold wet days; long dark nights; frost in the morning; ice in the evening. I need something to restore morale; and I go for the biggest wines I can find. There’s a scientific basis for this. Galileo, one of the fathers of modern science said, ‘Wine is sunlight held together by water,’ he may well have been speaking metaphorically (in fact there’s no doubt that he was) but I don’t let that stop me when it comes to pegging out a theory.
What about whites? In winter I like them to be delicious full of flavour – a good weight of fruit and judiciously oaked if from a cooler climate. White burgundy is the finest wine for sitting in winter sunshine sitting with your coat on. Viognier can provide the most vivid flecks of colour on the drabbest of days – look for south Australian; Southern French or Californian ones. My favourite winter whites, though, come from grapes which have been harvested late in the year. So late that a touch of botrytis has affected the fruit. This produces a wine which has a round, rich, ripe concentrated fruit flavour. Look out for wines from Northern Italy – Gavi; Lugana and Verdicchio di Matelica.
The exception to this ‘sunny wines’ theory is Champagne. Throughout the winter, despite that region’s marginal climate, I love to drink it for the obvious reason that nothing can so quickly make the world seem like such a brighter place.
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