Photo: Arielle DeSoucey
Despite the frigid February temperatures outside, I find no greater joy than cozying up with one of my favorite white wines – Pinot Blanc. Offering a medium to full body, backed by subtle acidity, these wines are perfect for those adventurous drinkers who prefer a bolder style of white wine.
I like to think of them as white wines for red wine drinkers. Known in Czech as ‘Rulandské Bílé,’ Pinot Blanc is originally from France, where the grape has been cultivated for centuries, particularly in the regions of Burgundy and Alsace. Exhibiting softer acidity and luscious flavors of hazelnuts, ripe green pears and stone fruits, these wines have quickly become my go-to winter white. An early budding, early ripening grape variety, Pinot Blanc is, in fact, a centuries old mutation of Pinot Noir. With a notably good tolerance to colder growing temperatures, Pinot Blanc plantings provide an obvious viticultural advantage in this cooler, continental climate. Here in the Czech Republic, you can find a large share of plantings in the Litoměřice and Slovácko subregions, while the grape also flourishes in Znojmo, Pavlov, and Valtice. Often revealing an opulent texture, particularly when fermented and/or matured in oak barrels, Pinot Blanc is the perfect accompaniment to braised or roast pork dishes, or cream based pastas. Seek out these top producers – Václav, Kamil Prokeš, Čačík, Baláž, & Ilias.