When we think of winter, a glass of big red wine often comes to mind for a cosy and comfortable night. Their bold structure, high alcohol content, and rich flavours make them a natural choice for cold winter evenings. But does it mean we’re limited to full-bodied reds throughout the season? Not at all! Let’s break free from the norm and explore a world of wines perfectly suited for those chilly winter nights.
On many winter nights, our cravings for hearty, warm meals naturally lead us to wine. Food and wine go hand in hand, and your choice can often be driven by what is on your plate. For instance, if you are indulging in a rich, comforting stew, a bold and juicy Syrah would be an ideal companion. On the other hand, when opting for a warm bowl of salad instead of grilled seafood, a Chianti Classico could be just the right fit.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Barbera…
A juicy and succulent steak is a quintessential winter comfort food. To enhance this experience, pair your steak with a wine that is framed with firm tannins and great acidity to cut through the richness and fattiness of the meat. Bordeaux blend, Barbera and Barolo are excellent choices. They often carry bold flavours of dark and red berries, with notes of dried fruit, cedar, liquorice, and racy acidity that can keep you refreshing when enjoying the steak.
Our Pick: Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon. A must-try Cabernet with enticing array of ripe red and black plums, blackberries and fresh red cherries. The addition of Syrah and small amounts of other grapes provide a richer texture that compliments a chunky piece of juicy steak.
Syrah, Grenache, Merlot…
Nothing beats a hearty stew on a cold winter night. Whether it is cooked tomato-based or beer-based, these dishes often have a subtle sweetness along with the meat or beans. To complement this, go for Syrah, Grenache, or Merlot-based wines. Their fruit-driven character, rich mouthfeel texture and well-balanced acidity will harmonise with the stew and keep you warm from the inside out.
Our Pick: Bekkers Syrah Grenache 2015. Two heroes of McLaren Vale in one bottle. It combines the strengths of both Grenache and Syrah, the fragrance of Grenache and the tension and generosity of Syrah, showing a powerful and rich palate with a soft and silky texture.
Sangiovese and Dolcetto
Returning home on a chilly winter night, sometimes all you need is a warm bowl of pasta. Sangiovese and Dolcetto are your best companions for this simple yet satisfying dish. Remember the age-old saying: “What grows together, pairs well together.” These Italian red wines are perfect with pasta, making your evening complete.
Our pick: Musso Dolcetto. Dolcetto is the Piedmontese stable.The nose is a fruit bomb! Cherry, plum, strawberries and other red fruits make this perfect to drink. The best for tomato-based pasta and Lasagna.
Oxidised-style White Wines
Who doesn’t crave a cheesy dish like mac and cheese, lasagna, or a baked Camembert on a cold night? Surprisingly, an oxidised-style white wine is an excellent choice. These white wines offer layers of umami, nutty flavours, and an oily texture that pairs perfectly with gooey and savoury cheese dishes. The secret of these white wines lies in their vibrant acidity, which cuts through the fattiness of the cheese and complements the savoury notes.
Our pick: Panoramico “O” Blanco. With notes of roasted nuts and umami on the palate, the nut oil texture is supported by the lengthy nectar-like acidity. The perfect wine for the cheese course, not to mention this oxidised style is rare from the region, Rioja.
Winter is the season for indulging in sweet treats like sticky toffee pudding, warm chocolate fondant, and baked cheesecake. It is the perfect time to sip on Port wine. Port’s depth of flavour and acidity make it an ideal pairing for warm, decadent desserts. Plus, there’s something magical about sipping Port in front of a crackling fireplace on a winter night.
Our pick: Explore our range of Niepoort. From 2018 to 1934, they produced a range of fresh styles of port with elegant structure, sweet notes and a long finish.
Two Key Considerations for Choosing Your Winter Wine
As you explore the world of wines to warm your winter, keep these two important factors in mind.
- Consider what food you will be enjoying. Don’t let the big bold red stuck in your mind. Let your meal guide your wine choice, enhancing the overall experience.
- Pick a wine with a good level of acidity. This acidity will help to cut through the fattiness of your meal, ensuring a satisfying journey from start to finish.
This winter, embrace the diversity of wine and elevate your cold nights with choices that perfectly complement your food and keep you cosy. Whether it is a hearty stew, a cheesy delight, or a sweet indulgence, there are wines just right for your winter night.
This Blog post is written by Sharon Wong
Consumer Sales and Marketing Manager of Wanderlust Wine
Sharon is the the driving force behind our website, wine club, marketing activities, and Wanderlust Wine events.