Winter is the time to spoil yourself with hearty food and warm drinks. After all, what better way to usher in the year end holiday spirit than by enjoying a nice drink-n-dine with your loved ones? While we are sure you may know plenty of delicious food recipes, when it comes to pairing the right kind of drink with it, things can get tricky. If wine is your poison of choice, then you’ve got some help. Whether you like Red, White or Sparkling, we’ve got you a list of winter wines that will warm the cockles of your heart in this extreme weather.
1. Red Wine
When we are talking about winters, can red wines be far behind? The rich, full-bodied flavour is just right for this season. Pair the delicious reds with those hearty meat recipes to cut through the heaviness. Try Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz for the cool autumn nights. Cabernet has a slightly heavy fruity flavour with a hint of spice that will warm you up well. For the chilly December and January months, go for heartier ones like Barossa, Heathcote Shiraz and Mclaren Vale.
Foods to Pair With It: Pair Shiraz with authentic French food. If Italian is on your mind, Zinfandel is your thing. With low alcohol content and a sweet taste, it goes well with red sauce dishes. Pasta or anything with marinara sauce complements Zinfandel.
2. White Wine
So what if it’s winter? You can still soak yourself in the succulent flavours of white wines. Contrary to belief, these wines can be enjoyed all year round. The first one that comes to mind is Chardonnay. A nice rounded Chardonnay aged in oak barrels will have zesty flavours – perfect for chilly evenings.
Foods to Pair With It: Chicken in creamy mustard sauce, mashed potatoes or warm chowders work well Chardonney. Marsanne or Viognier go well with roasted pork.
3. Mulled Wine
If it is Christmas and you are wondering what to have, mulled wine is the easy answer. This traditional drink from Europe is best enjoyed outdoors. It is made by heating up red wine with various spices or citrus fruits. Served warm or hot, it can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic too. The usual spices added are cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds, cardamom and orange slices. If you are having guests over, and the red wine you have at your place is not of a very good quality, convert it into mulled wine. For those severely cold nights, add a dash of brandy to make it extra jazzy. Try Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine recipe here.
Foods to Pair With It: This is best enjoyed with savoury snacks or a simple cheese and bread platter.
4. Fortified Wine
Fortified wine is mixed with a distilled spirit and is best had after a meal or in a cocktail. The sweet, dry taste wins over everybody. Sherry, Topaque, Muscat or Tawny are some of the varieties you can serve. Since they have less alcohol, they are good for afternoons too. Curl up on your couch with a glass on a lazy Sunday and watch a movie you love. Couldn’t be a better way to spend the weekend.
Foods to Pair With It: It goes well with meaty flavours of stew, casserole, and also Spanish rice dishes and mushrooms.
There are wines and then there is Champagne. Celebrate anything at any time of the day or the year with a glass of bubbly and feel regal. If there is no occasion, just pop a bottle and turn a boring evening into an event. You deserve it.
Foods to Pair With It: Seafood with cream sauce, grilled fish and light entrees such as fresh salad and scallops.
Cheers to the good times!