Winter wines are different from your summer wines when you are matching wine and food. Winter dishes are heartier so you need a winter wine that is bold enough next to these dishes.
Winter wines are also great for using leftover wine since they tend to have a more earthy and spicy note. This does not mean that you cannot use the lighter wines on your wall-mounted wine racks. It just depends on the dish that you are cooking.
The Best Winter Wines You’ll Love This Holiday Season
Take a look at these wonderful winter wines that will keep you warm this winter. These winter wines give you something to look forward to as the leaves and temperatures drop.
Bold Red Winter Wine
A full-bodied red wine is great for the winter season. Temperatures affect the flavor profile in a wine so begin stocking up on the medium-bodied and full-bodied red wines as the temperatures start to drop.
Try these red wines full of flavor layers to accompany your hearty meal or to sip by the fireplace.
1. New World Syrah – Australian Shiraz
Australia may not be the coldest regions in the world but they produce amazing Shiraz wine that is perfect for winter. Shiraz from the New World are full of ripe dark fruit with notes of earthy spices like black pepper.
Pair this winter wine with grilled meats and smoked sausages to bring out more spice and smokiness. This is a bold red wine so it is best served with hearty meat dishes.
2. The Red Sparkling Italian – Lambrusco
Lambrusco is the underdog on this winter wine list but it made the list for a reason. Lambrusco is a semi-sparkling Italian red wine that is either secco or semi secco, in other words, dry or semi-sweet.
Find a renowned top shelf Lambrusco and you will enjoy notes of berries and cherries against soft tannins and a medium body. Sip Lambrusco for winter celebrations like Christmas drinks or a fruity alternative to New Year’s Champagne.
3. The Strong North – Nebbiolo
Many North Italian wines make great winter wines but the star example is definitely Nebbiolo. The color of Nebbiolo is probably the lightest of the red wines but this winter wine stands its ground in high acidity and sharp tannins.
Pairing wine with dishes from the same region is always a good idea to try a Nebbiolo with risotto and mushroom or truffle dishes. The acidity and tannins is a beautiful balance with umami flavors.
Wild White Winter Wines
Though red wine is the more common choice for a winter wine, there are also white wines that are powerful enough for a winter meal. Let these full-bodied white wines surprise you.
White winter wines are good for pasta dishes and winter dishes with a lot of cream or cheese. A red winter wine would be too overpowering for a creamy soup or potato dish, for example.
1. The White Velvet – Oak-Aged Chardonnay
The natural choice for a white winter wine is Chardonnay aged in oak barrels. This aging process adds a note of musk and earthiness to the creamy round flavor profile of Chardonnay.
Pair a velvety Chardonnay with shelled seafood like lobster and king prawns. Chardonnay is also great with chicken breast, turkey stuffing, and pesto.
2. New World Chardonnay Alternative – South-African Chenin Blanc
In a blind taste test, you might mistake a full-bodied South-African Chenin Blanc for an oak-aged Chardonnay. Look for a South-African Chenin Blanc that is aged in wood barrels for the most body.
This new style of Chenin Blanc gives you notes of vanilla, toasted spices and sweet juicy white fruit. Pair with dishes that have a lot of fresh herbs like ginger and coriander.
3. The Boozy White Winter Wine – American Viognier
The traditional French Viognier is a versatile medium-bodied white wine but the American style Viognier is the better winter wine. American Viognier has a higher ABV with a fuller body.
Viognier wine has a strong fruity nose with hints of chalky earth. Tannins and acidity are low which gives this wine a smoother flavor profile that pairs well with roasted chicken and salmon.
There is something about winter that loves bold full-bodied wines. A winter wine is something that you savor to experience its complex flavor profile with each sip.
Get cozy on the couch with any of these great red winter wines or white winter wines. Drink slow and try to discover a new scent or tasting note with each sip.