It’s February in Colorado. Have I mentioned that I am a summer girl? Although it’s been quite balmy for this time of year, it’s nonetheless wintertime, which means layers upon layers of clothes and red wine to ease the discomfort…or does it?
My go-to beverage on chilly winter nights tends to be red wine. However, I do think there is also a place for white wines in the winter. That place is called Après-Ski!
My friends and I have a mandatory post activity recap which generally consists of beer and potato chips on the tailgate after a mountain bike ride or back-country ski. I love those moments. You feel a sense of accomplishment and a lingering endorphin high from the activity. It prolongs our time outside with each other and everyone is chatty and happy. Also, chips and beer never tasted so good! We joke that recap is the very reason we do these activities.
The post-activity recap/Après-ski beverage tends to be beer, however lately I’ve been experimenting with wine. I found that red wine is NOT a good replacement. Even on a cold winter day, it just doesn’t hit the spot to drink a glass of red wine after a workout, while everyone else is quenching their thirst with sudsy beers. Instead I crave something more refreshing and cold (which is why beer works so well).
Sparkling wine is a solid choice; It’s refreshing in every way and the bubbles add a fun and festive element that match the celebratory nature of recap. A $10-$15 Prosecco or Cava are perfect and it feels like a special occasion as soon as you pop the cork.
Not everyone wants sparkling wine though (which is weird), so opening a bottle can seem a bit wasteful if you won’t be drinking the whole thing right then and there. Next best option? A wintertime white!
Best Après-Ski White Wine?
My pick, hands down is Viognier! It’s an extremely aromatic and powerful wine, balanced by zesty acidity that is absolutely delicious on a cold winter day, especially after a day of skiing.
I like to save the light and zippy whites like Sauvignon Blanc for warm summer days. The winter months call for something heavier. Viognier is full bodied like a Chardonnay, but it has a much different flavor profile (think honey drenched apricots, peaches and white flowers!)
We opened a Viognier the other day after skiing and it was absolutely delightful! I’ve never enjoyed white wine so much on a cold day! We bundled up and set up our camping table and chairs next to a beautiful iced over lake outside of Pagosa Springs. I brought out the wine glasses and my husband put together a pear and blue cheese plate to go with it. Together with the wine, it was absolutely heavenly! The scene was beautiful with only a small flock of birds as company.
Taste Viognier With Me!
If you’d like to taste along with me, get yourself a Viognier and play the video below! We’ll do a step-by-step tasting to get the most from our wine. This is the same format as the Guided Wine Tasting Meditation that I recently posted. This time, however, it’s in video format and we’ll be tasting the same wine together in a beautiful setting.
Note: the Viognier that I tasted is from Domaine de Vedilhan in southern France. You can probably find this or something similar for around $15. The Rhône valley in France is famous for Condrieu: These are the finest wines made of 100% Viognier and they run between $50 and $150 (maybe save that one for a special occasion!) Australia, New Zealand, California, Washington and Chile also produce Viognier. It is also the official state grape of Virginia! (Let me know if you are lucky enough to find one of these; I hear they are delicious but I haven’t yet tried it).
Since Viognier is a powerful and rich white wine, it can stand up to equally rich food. I found it to pair beautifully with pears and creamy blue cheese! It would also pair well with lobster, scallops, pork and creamy sauces. Are you drooling yet?
What are you waiting for? Go get yourself some Viognier while it’s still winter and let’s taste!
I should probably mention that this wine tasting is meant for adult audiences (21 and older). I should probably also apologize for our amateur film-making. We are just getting into this and haven’t smoothed out the kinks with audio, stabilization, transitions, etc…
Thanks for watching!