Winter is coming, but there’s no need to be cold and gloomy about it! Brighten up your winter season with some full-bodied reds and spiced whites. From robust Cabernet Sauvignon to fragrant Gewürztraminer, this guide will provide you with all you need to know about the best winter wines to warm you up!
Full-Bodied Red Wines
Classic Varietals Ideal for Winter
Full-Bodied Red Wines – Classic Varietals Ideal for Winter
It’s the wintertime and, let’s face it, it’s just plain cold. One of the best ways to stay cozy and warm is by savoring a special glass of full-bodied red wine. The world of red vinos is vast and varied, and it can be daunting to choose the type that will hit all the right notes. Fear not – we’ll be your guide! Here, we’ll introduce you to some classic varietals of red wine that are guaranteed to warm your soul this winter.
Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich, robust and deeply flavorful, this famous stone-fruit-forward varietal is well known and beloved around the world. Not only is Cabernet Sauvignon a delight to taste, but it also has therapeutic benefits – thanks to its high levels of antioxidants, it’s said to reduce the risk of heart disease and can help improve overall skin health.
Pinot Noir. A classic red wine that’s perfect for the winter months, Pinot Noir is smooth, medium-bodied and enticingly aromatic. Flavors of ripe red fruits dance around its light tannins, while notes of earthy earth and spice bring complexity to its flavor. Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with comfort foods like roasted root vegetables, mushrooms and creamy cheese dishes.
Merlot. An incredibly adaptable varietal with a range of flavors and aromas, Merlot offers something for everyone. Its mouthwatering dark berry flavors mingle with notes of cocoa, leather, tobacco and mocha, giving it an invitingly complex taste. Its medium body means it pairs nicely with grilled meats or hearty stews.
Zinfandel. A classicly American style of red wine known for its big, bold flavors and full body, Zinfandel is the perfect choice for winter Wine drinkers. On the nose, expect hints of goji berry, black pepper and tobacco, while on the palate zesty berry fruit flavors dance with spice and sweet vanilla notes. Its robust character is just what you need when chilly weather hits.
Malbec. A charming Argentinean favorite with a deep purple hue, Malbec impresses both visually and in taste. Flavors of ripe blackberry and spicy black pepper are complemented by a soft finish and delicate tannins, making this an incredibly versatile wine for winter sipping. Malbec pairs exceptionally well with BBQ ribs or a juicy burger.
From robust Cabernet Sauvignon to versatile Malbec, there’s no shortage of full-bodied red wines to keep you warm throughout these chilly winter months! Whether you’re looking for something to pair with a special occasion meal or just want to curl up with a nice glass on the couch, these classic varietals are sure to hit all the right notes. So get cozy and savor every sip!
Best Food Pairings for Winter Reds
Full-Bodied Red Wines – Best Food Pairings for Winter Reds
Did you know that red wines can be a perfect accompaniment to a winter meal? Although white and sparkling wines reign this season, full-bodied reds can certainly hold their own when it comes time to add a little je ne sais quoi to your holiday table.This guide provides you with everything you need to know about the best red wines for winter. From full-bodied, hearty reds to light, spiced whites, there’s something for everyone! Read on for all the info and tips on food pairings for winter reds.
The Best Food Pairings for Full-Bodied Red Wines
When looking for a delicious winter red to pair with your holiday meal or cozy winter comfort dishes, there are few rules to keep in mind.
- Aim for full-bodied wines with high tannin and acidity levels.
- Look for wines that have a good balance of fruit, earth and spice components.
- Pair with foods that have high fat content and a bit of acidity.
- For very hearty winter dishes, look for full-bodied wines with medium tannin levels.
Full-bodied reds with bold characteristics and plenty of tannins are great for many winter dishes. Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Malbec are some of the most popular grape varietals for full-bodied reds. These styles of wines pair exceptionally well with savory dishes such as beef stew, roasted chicken with herbs, pork chops with cranberry sauce, or braised short ribs.
For lighter reds that still pack a punch, look for wines that have been aged in oak barrels. Pinot Noir and some of the Rhône Valley blends are perfect choices for those looking for something with a bit more complexity. They pair best with dishes such as creamy risotto, roasted vegetables, or grilled tuna with citrus salad.
Pairing Red Wine and Cheese
Cheese is a great accompaniment to almost any type of wine, and full-bodied reds are no exception! For this pairing, look for cheeses that are sharp, creamy and often aged. Cheddar, Gouda, Brie and Camembert are some of the best choices. Here’s a handy table to help you make the perfect winter cheese pairing.
|Wine Selection||Cheese Pairings|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||Cheddar, Gouda, Brie, Camembert|
These pairings add a delightful depth of flavour to any winter meal or gathering. You can easily find the perfect bottle of winter red wine to warm up your festivities!
Spiced White Wines
Popular Varietals and Their Characteristics
Spiced White Wines – Popular Varietals and Their Characteristics
Whether you’re looking for a wintery alternative to a full-bodied red or seeking to try something new, spiced white wines can offer a unique and delicious experience. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular varietals, to help you find the perfect spiced white for your palate.
Riesling is one of the most well-known white wine varietals, and works particularly well for spiced versions. Its light body and low alcohol content (typically hovering around 10 – 12%) provides the perfect foundation for adding spices, while its flavors of yellow apple, peach and honey provide a nice counterbalance. For a more intense spiced Riesling experience, look for those labeled “Late Harvest,” as these will have the added complexity of fruitier, more concentrated flavors.
Gewürztraminer literally translates to “spicy Traminer,” and is one of the most interesting varieties out there. It has a distinctive peppery note due to its high levels of phenolic compounds, and is often produced in varietals with a light body that taste of lychee and rose petal with a hint of ginger. Ideal for adding spices and aromatics, Gewürztraminer offers drinkers a unique combination of spice and fruit that can’t be replicated with other varietals.
Sémillon is an old world varietal that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. It’s light body and aromas of lemon-honey make it an excellent choice for spicing up. Typically blended with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon’s ability to take on other flavors makes it a great option for creating spiced wines that balance floral, herbal and zesty notes.
The Muscat family is composed of more than 200 grape varieties, all of which have one thing in common – a signature “grapey” aroma that can range from sweet and floral to musky and herbal. While they’re often used to make fortified dessert wines, they also stand up well to spice additions, producing a unique and delicious combination of aromas and flavors. Muscat can be produced in many styles, including dry wines, sparkling wines, and those with a slightly higher sugar content.
|Riesling||10 – 12%||Light||Yellow apple, peach and honey|
|Gewürztraminer||12 – 14%||Medium||Peppery, Lychee, Rose petal and ginger|
|Sémillon||10 – 15%||Light-Medium||Lemon-Honey|
|Muscat||11 – 14%||Light-Medium||“Grapey” aroma- sweet and floral to musky and herbal|
Delicious Winter White Matches and Cocktail Recipes
If you’re looking for a wine that will warm your insides, spiced whites are the way to go. While many people associate winter wines with the full-bodied robust reds, lightly spiced white wines can bring a delicious level of seasonal warmth to any evening. From full-bodied whites and orange wines to wintery blends, there are many ways to enjoy a spiced white this season.
If you’re looking for a new spiced white to try, here’s a handy guide to the season’s best. A few words of advice – these wines are best served either slightly chilled or at room temperature so use your judgement and enjoy their delicious nuances.
Citrus White Blends
White blends with citrus notes make for excellent winter wines. Try a light honeycomb and lemon zest Chardonnay from South Africa, like Ntsiki Na Tinta. The combining of cool climate grapes gives this white a coconut creaminess that lingers on the tongue.
For a light and fruity spiced white, look no further than a good sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. The bubbles add an extra level of refreshment while the citrus hints of elderberry and apricot provide a sweet contrast. The perfect accompaniment to any winter evening.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try an orange wine? These wines are made in a similar fashion to white wines but they’re left on the skins for a longer period. The result is a unique colour with strong tannins, aromas of dried apricot and dried figs and a full-bodied texture. Orange wines pair well with richer dishes so consider cracking one open for your next indulgent evening in.
Blends can bring together a variety of characters to yield surprisingly delightful results. To learn more about the range of blended wines available, check out Wine Folly’s blending guide. Our top winter recommendation is the gorgeously spiced Viognier and Roussanne blend from Zotovich Family Wines. This Californian beauty displays aromas of holiday spice and light winter fruits.
No matter which type of spiced white you decide on, it’s sure to provide some winter warmth while you’re curled up on the sofa. So, why not try one out tonight?
Now you know all about spiced whites, let’s take a quick look at the perfect matching recipes!
Delicious Matches & Cocktail Recipes
- A peppery Gewurztraminer pairs beautifully with Szechuan stir-fries.
- Orange Muscat is an excellent match for Chinese dumplings and steamed fish dishes.
- For a classic pairing, crack open a bottle of fruity Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy with crispy fish tacos.
- An orange wine makes a great accompaniment to smoked cheese or pulled pork sliders.
If you fancy something a little more creative, here are three tantalising cocktail recipes to try:
|Winter Citrus Punch||Gewürztraminer||1 cup Gewurztraminer, freshly squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice, blackberries, sugar & lime wedges|
|Winter Fizz||Chenin Blanc||6 oz Chenin Blanc, 2 tsp sugar, 3 tsp lemon juice and sparkling water or club soda.|
|Winter Sunset||Orange Muscat||1/2 cup Orange Muscat, 2 oz cranberry juice, 2 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz Cointreau & fresh oranges for garnish.|
Spiced whites make an excellent choice during the colder winter months. So, why not try one out tonight? Whether you’re after a warming meal or an indulgent cocktail, these winter wines are sure to provide an extra level of seasonal warmth.
Time to Sip and Warm Up: Our Guide to the Best Winter Wines
Winter is the perfect time of year to sink into your snuggliest chair and try out some delightful full-bodied reds and spiced whites. Whether you’re plopping down in front of a fire or sharing a bottle with friends, you’re sure to find the perfect drink to make your winter that much more enjoyable.
From Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to Alsatian Pinot Gris, there are a plethora of comforting, winter-friendly wines out there just waiting to be explored. So why not channel your inner oenophile and sample some of the best winter wines around?
With our guide to the best winter wines, you’ll be sure to find something that warms the heart and soul. So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite glass and enjoy the season with a bottle (or two!).