With the seasons shifting gear from late autumn light to early evening chills, one tends to get a little sad. Or maybe even SAD – as in seasonal affective disorder. Shorter days and perpetually frozen fingers mean seeking out comfort and well-being are first on our to-do list. Which is where wine and hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) come in. If you’re yet to hear of ‘hygge’, it is a Danish term defined as “taking pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things” like pruning your balcony garden, putting on your ultra-soft night gown after a hot shower or drinking in a glass of vino. Last week, a few of us seeking solace and a healthy dose of hedonism collected together to indulge in a carb overload hygge-inspired evening and to talk about life, love and everything in between (read: wine).
The pairing for the evening was Flagstone Tributary Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2016. We know, we know. A white wine for a winter evening? Don’t knock it till you try it! As we head towards the colder weather, if you pick carefully, you can ease into a white quite comfortably. Despite the young vintage, Flagstone’s 45-year-old Perdeberg vines that were used for this wine provide beautiful character, and 30% of the Chenin was aged in barrel, giving it a roundness that balances out the variety’s acidity. Flagstone’s Chenin Blanc surprised us, being full from first to last taste, with aromas of apricot and dried pear and ending off with a whiff of vanilla. It was even a masterful pairing to our butternut risotto. The best part was that it didn’t break the bank, and was a welcome addition to our evening – easy drinking, which made for easy talking. If you’re looking to be brave and break the red stereotype of the season, we recommend trying something like a wooded Chenin Blanc, oaked Chardonnay or silky Sémillon. If you pick right, a proper ‘Winter White’ can be like a hug to your throat. So who doesn’t want some glou glou with your hoo-guh, huh? We sure do.