It’s very easy to get into seasonal wine drinking: red for winter, white for summer, pink scattered in between. But actually wine, and Spanish wine in particular, is far more complex and diverse than it’s generally given credit for. The rich, unctuous whites of regions better known for hefty reds like the Priorat, for example, fall into what I would call "winter whites”. They are big-bodied, multi-faceted whites that go brilliantly with even the heaviest Catalan dishes like creamy canelones, gelatinous trotters, and slow-cooked beef stews. Often times they seem to go better with this kind of food than fruit-forward reds, probably because they have a well-defined acidity capable of cutting through most things. A Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey for example, would do far better with any one of these exuberant, elegant whites. The following all cost under €10, or thereabouts.
Bodegas Ostatu Blanco Rioja Alavesa 2008 (90 percent Viura, 10 percent Malvasia) is a good autumn wine since it reflects orchard fruits: pears, apples, quinces and, more unusually for a white, damsons and sloes. The snappy acidity and defined structure come into their own with cheese and charcuterie. Great for drinks parties.
Martin Codox Burgáns Rias Baixas 2008 (100 percent Albariño) is brimming with creamy textured fruits like ripe papaya with refreshing hints of lemon zest and a splash of minerality. Perfect with poultry, seafood and a good general all-rounder
Mas d'en Compte Priorat 2006 (50 percent old vine Garnacha Blanca, 20 percent Picapoll, 15 percent Pansal and 15 percent Macabeo) looks like liquid gold, tastes how you imagine it might: toasted nuts, herbs, spices and bold tropical fruits that feel like honey in the mouth. This is serious, special-occasion wine that will hold its own against most festive feasts.