White Weather, White Wines: Pair Wintry Dishes with Something Unexpected

It’s such a convention that it’s almost a cliche: Serve white wines with light, bright, summery dishes, and red wines with rich, savory, cold-weather favorites. It’s time to break out of that box and sip on something as cold and clear as the icicles outside your window.

White wines actually pair terrifically with many wintry dishes — their citrusy notes can cut through the intense umami of braised pork or mushrooms, while a buttery white can balance the flavors of herbaceous roasted chicken or creamy seafood pasta. We’ve put together a list of white wine pairings that will shake up your winter table.


This crisp, dry white is originally from a coastal region in Northern Spain, making it a traditional sidekick for mussels, shellfish, and oysters. Its high acidity is also delightful paired with the powerful pop of heavily-spiced dishes.

Try pairing Albariño with: 

  • Mussels in White Wine Sauce
  • Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp
  • Chicken Tikka Masala

Grüner Veltliner

This white wine’s calling card is its versatility. Clean and bright, it pairs especially well with aromatic vegetables, tofu, and Japanese flavors.

Try pairing Grüner Veltliner with:

  • Chicken Piccata
  • Maple-Ginger Roasted Pork Tenderloin
  • Tofu Stir Fry

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

Wines made from this grape often exude flavors of lemon and green apple, making them a great counterpoint to the sweet salinity of light, flaky fish dishes or crab, the creaminess of softer cow’s milk cheeses, and the earthy richness of Cantonese cuisine.

Try pairing Pinot Grigio/Gris with: 

  • Pan-Fried Scallops and Winter Greens
  • Shrimp and Broccoli Lo Mein
  • Baked Triple-Cream Brie


This iconic white grape is a chameleon depending on where it’s grown and how it’s fermented. But whether you encounter a buttery iteration or a crisp take, it will still pair well with roast chicken or turkey, finfish, or shellfish.

Try pairing Chardonnay with: 

  • Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
  • Herb Roasted Turkey
  • Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy


Most wines made from this varietal retain some residual sweetness along with major aromas of lychee, honey, and spice. An off-dry style will complement spicy foods, creamy blue cheese, dim sum, Vietnamese food, potstickers, and dumpling soup.

Try pairing Gewürtzrtraminer with:

  • Pork Dim Sum Dumplings
  • Mushroom and Blue Cheese Risotto
  • Shrimp Pot Stickers


This white wine grape is famous for its high acidity, a characteristic that can really make the right dish sing. It will brighten up spice-driven dishes and underline the richness of cured meats.

Try pairing Riesling with: 

  • Shrimp Gumbo
  • Chicken Pad Thai
  • Bacon Wrapped Scallops