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Soul-soothing white wines

White wines can be soothing

White wines can be soothing Credit: Tony Jerome

It's time to do the winter whites.

Although the calendar moves you to the realm of syrah, nebbiolo and cabernet sauvignon, there are plenty of soulful whites to keep your mind off the snow, too.

The 2009 WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris ($21) delivers a mouth-filling, rich, very satisfying white from Oregon's Willamette Valley. It's a domestic taste of Alsace, right with sole, trout, pasta with seafood.

The 2009 Swanson Pinot Grigio ($21) arrives with citrus and peach notes. It's a balanced choice, ideal with seafood or as an aperitif.

For a dollar more, there's the 2009 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, a crisp and straightforward winner; a dollar less, the spirited 2009 Charles Krug Chardonnay, a versatile wine defined by pear and lemon.

Fuller, concentrated and fresh: the 2008 Patz & Hall Hudson Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay ($55), a big wine that calls for lobster, grilled salmon, monkfish, roast veal, pasta in a lush cream sauce.

You'll find a suggestion of Burgundy in the creamy 2008 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Arcadia Vineyard Chardonnay ($50), a vivid varietal with a mineral accent and hints of vanilla and pear.

Recall the famous Paris tasting of 1973, where California wines topped French, with the gilded 2008 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay ($50), a substantial white with citrus and tropical fruit.

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