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Savoring the white wines of winter

Winter whites are ready to refresh, even when the forecast calls for snow.

The 2007 Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay ($40) arrives from the Russian River Valley full-bodied, creamy, sparked by pear and lemon. There's more than a hint of oak in this rich white.

Citrus and lemon notes accent the 2007 Girard Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($23), a bright and versatile wine that comes across with fine acidity, clean and crisp. And the Russian River Valley is the source for the aromatic, inviting 2008 J Vineyards Pinot Gris ($16), which has suggestions of tropical fruit and melon.

You'll enjoy the minerally, peachy 2008 Etude Pinot Gris Carneros ($24), which has a trace of spice and flowers. It's a food-friendly, supple wine.

Ripe citrus and floral notes contribute to the very appealing 2008 V. Sattui Anderson Valley White Riesling ($24), where mineral and pear add to the appeal. Try it with ham, roast pork, even sushi.

Napa Valley contributes the fruity, fragrant, balanced 2008 Trefethen Family Vineyards Dry Riesling ($22). Sample this immediately pleasing wine with spicy dishes, especially when shellfish is the star.

The 2007 Trefethen Family Vineyards Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay ($30) offers an herbaceous accent that works with its lemon, pear and vanilla qualities. It goes with risotto, cream-sauced pasta, scallops and shrimp dishes.


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