The El Niño breezes remind us that winter isn’t solely the province of vin rouge. Rich gratins like those featured this month by Chef Guillaume Hazaël-Massieux, cheese boards, cream sauces and cold weather soups and curries are often better served with white wine.

Riesling is a reliable companion to winter cuisine, but Northern Michigan pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot blanc and hybrid/vinifera blends all offer dynamic fruit characters and bright acidities to deliciously jive and joust with the rich fats and deep flavors found in cold season eating.

Traverse food and drink editor Tim Tebeau suggests these Northern Michigan white wines for winter, originally published in the February 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

45 North 45 White 2014

Flashy, flowery and tropical on the nose, this slightly off-dry blend from 45 North is uncomplicated and eminently chuggable.

Brengman Brothers Block 65 Blend 2013

The Brengmans mix it up with estate grown sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and viognier in this citrusy and aromatic proprietary blend.

Chateau Grand Traverse Grüner Veltliner Laika 2013

Light and cerebral with white pepper and sweet herb tones, this noble Austrian transplant is perfect for roasted fish or soft cheeses.

Left Foot Charley Missing Spire Riesling 2014

Bryan Ulbrich teases a masterful interplay of sweetness and acidity from his 2014 late harvest riesling. Plays nicely with southeast Asian flavors.

Blustone Riesling 2014

With customary elegance, Blustone proffers a dry riesling from the scarce 2014 harvest ripe with orchard fruits and appropriately zippy.

Black Star Farms Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay 2013

A stint sur lie gives good body to the pineapple and citrus notes found in this unoaked chardonnay from Black Star Farms.

Verterra Pinot Blanc 2013

Culled from a prolific harvest at Verterra’s Swede Road vineyard, this dry, bright expression of pinot blanc offers enthusiastic lemon and apple fruit.

Aurora Pinot Gris 2013

Styled in a richer, Alsatian aesthetic, Aurora’s pinot gris picks up a supple roundness from lees contact that carries its core of pear and floral notes.

More Northern Michigan Wine

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner