Winter wines are different from your summer wines when you are matching wine and food. Winter dishes are heartier so you need a variety that is bold enough next to these dishes. Here we will show how winter and wine can go together better along with some of the most popular red wines as well as some winter white wine.
The best wine for winter can also be 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 options on your wall-mounted 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 choices that will keep you warm this season. These winter wines will give you something to look forward to as the leaves and temperatures drop.
A full-bodied red wine is great for the season. Temperatures affect the flavor profile in wine so begin stocking up on the medium-bodied and full-bodied red varieties 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, truly putting wine and winter together in the best way.
1. New World Syrah – Australian Shiraz
Australia may not be the coldest region in the world but they produce amazing Shiraz wine that is perfect for the colder temperatures. Shiraz from the New World is full of ripe dark fruit with notes of earthy spices like black pepper.
Pair this wonderful 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 list of winter reds 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 seasonal celebrations like Christmas drinks or a fruity alternative to New Year’s Champagne.
3. The Strong North – Nebbiolo
Many North Italian wines make great, but the star example is definitely Nebbiolo. The color of Nebbiolo is probably the lightest of the reds but this option stands its ground in high acidity and sharp tannins.
Pairing winter wine drinks 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 are a beautiful balance with umami flavors.
Wild White Varieties
Though red wine is the more common choice for this season, there are also white options that are powerful enough for a hearty warm meal. Let these full-bodied whites surprise you.
White varieties are good for pasta dishes and dishes with a lot of cream or cheese. A red 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 winter white 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 – American Viognier
The traditional French Viognier is a versatile medium-bodied white wine but the American style Viognier is the better choice. 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. These wines are something that you savor to experience its complex flavor profile with each sip.
Get cozy on the couch with any of these great red or white wines. Drink, savor and try to discover a new scent or tasting note with each sip.