Baby It’s Cold Outside! Tasting Light White Wines

9 Jan

Sometimes when I browse a wine store I make mental notes of wines I want to try. Even though we have sub-zero temperatures outside, I’m jonesing for chilled white wines at the moment and know how my readers love wines in the $12 and under range! My cellar is full of reds and pricier whites, so it was time to hit the stores!

J. Lohr has been on my list to taste since a reader pointed it out to me here. I found two from Monterey and thought it was about time to try them! I spied a nearby Columbia Valley riesling for under $10 and thought I’d give it a taste as well. Here are my findings. What do YOU like in $12 and under? Enjoy!


J. Lohr “Riverstone” Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay 2013. San Jose, CA. $12/bottle from Empire Liquor, 13.5% ABV.

Light straw color; the nose shows tropical fruit, vanilla, and toasted oak. Very soft fruit on the palate: bosc pear, golden delicious apple, lychee. Creamy finish with a touch of flint and stone. A savory, oaky wine that shows best with food, wood dominates the fruit in this instance. Paired well with both a turkey cutlet and poached sea bass over two evenings.


Lohr Chardonnay



Columbia Winery, 2011 Cellarmaster’s Riesling, Columbia Valley WA. Empire Liquor, $8/bottle. 10% ABV.

Pale yellow in color with an aromatic nose of apricot and honeysuckle. Gentle sweetness blends with acidity; paired together with ripe white stone fruit makes for a smooth, straightforward and easygoing wine. Possibly best served as an aperitif or après-meal, perfect on a sunny afternoon/evening. With the forward sweetness, I enjoyed this most as a dessert wine but it also paired beautifully with light and medium strength cheeses.

Cellarmasters Riesling



J. Lohr “Bay Mist” Monterey County White Riesling 2012. San Jose, CA. Empire Liquor, $10/bottle. 12% ABV.

The color is pale straw with a green tinge, the nose shows clementine, lemon, lavender and steel. On the palate, effervescent stone fruit and young apple match medium acidity, medium dryness and a touch sweetness. A hint of metal and some limestone show on the finish, this wine would pair best with spicy dishes, middle-eastern dishes or seafood.

Lohr Riesling


Any of these is a solid buy in $12 and under range, and useful for your meal pairing.

à votre santé!


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