Cold nights and warm dishes call for flavorful wines. It may not be super cold where I’m at the moment (San Francisco) but all these winter dishes scream for some of my favorite ‘winter’ wines.
You may be asking yourself what is a winter wine? During winter we crave dishes that are warm and rich with bold flavors that warm you from the inside out. For dishes like that, you need some wines that can hold up against those flavors.
These wine tend to be bold, dark, meaty, and full-bodied. Fruit tends to be on the darker side such a plum, blueberry and blackberry with notes of violet, pepper, smoke, and MEAT. This wine is screaming to be paired with a rich pot roast with braised carrots and onions.
Wine recommendation: Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge, France
Another big, bold and rustic red wine! Ripe blackberry and boysenberry dominate the nose with savory notes such as olives, pepper, herbs, tobacco, and cured meat. It’s basically like a whole meal, in a glass. One of my favorite pairings with Syrah is grilled lamb chops.
Wine recommendation: Arnot-Roberts (if you can get your hands on the Clary Ranch), Sonoma Coast, CA
For the biggest red wine of them all, we are looking at the grape Sagrantino from the Umbria region. This wine has super thick skins which create a really tannic and full-bodied wine. Once again, for fruit, you get more of the darker fruit such as overripe plum, black olive and a little bit of licorice. Some meaty, cheesy lasagna should do the trick going against a wine like this.
Wine recommendation: Paolo Bea, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy
I absolutely love Chenin Blanc because it can be made into so many different styles. It can be a dry mineral-driven wine, off-dry, sweet, and even sparkling! When made off-dry, Chenin Blanc becomes a rich white wine with notes of ginger, honey, and ripe golden apple. This is kind of wine with my local Thai delivery is the ideal pairing for a rainy San Francisco night.
Wine recommendation: Domaine Huet, Vouvray Haut Lieu Demi-Sec, France
While some may think of it as a cooking wine, there are a variety of styles of Sherry! From saline and dry to nutty and rich, Sherry is an incredibly diverse fortified wine from the Andalucia region in Southern Spain. If you have not had a good sherry, and have an open mind, treat yourself to a nice bottle next time you are at the wine shop. One of my favorite styles of Sherry is Amontillado. This specific style is nutty, oxidative, salty and perfect drink to end the day or even throughout a meal. One surprising dish that pairs well is wine is some roasted chicken, simple yet a staple in the kitchen.
Wine recommendation: La Cigarra Amontillado
Winter wines should be bold, flavorful and so should your wine pairings. So curl up on that couch and start to explore some new varietals and wine pairings to warm up your evening.