The last few weeks of winter are arguably the worst. The days are still short, the nights are cold, and spring is frustratingly just out of reach. Fortunately, there are still ways to keep one’s spirits up during these last few cold weeks. One of the best ways to make the most of the chilly season is with rich and hearty meals. And as we all know, there is no better way to enjoy a flavourful stew or a perfect roast than with a punchy bottle of red wine. Here are five of our favorite reds to take the chill out of winter.
This quintessential Tuscan varietal is the perfect complement to hearty comfort food. This Italian favorite is well regarded and takes on the properties of the regions in which it is grown. As a result, this wine has a wonderfully variable palate depending on its origin. Certain characteristics, however, are present in pretty much every bottle of Sangiovese. For example, tart cherry and tomato are often present and the wine has a pronounced savory taste that goes well with a wide range of dishes. Regardless of the region, this wine is the ideal companion to all kinds of seasonal fare.
I’ve always been particularly partial to pairing a good bottle of South African shiraz with a healthy dose of grilled meats. However, far from being exclusively a summer beverage, the robust spicy notes of shiraz make it a perfect warming wine for winter.
Full-bodied and flavourful, that’s pretty much the best way to describe Nebbiolo wine. Another Italian wine to feature on this list, Nebbiolo is known for its delicate aroma that contrasts dramatically with its heavy body and intense tannins. As we tend to gravitate towards fattier foods in the colder months, Nebbiolo is an ideal wine pairing for winter fare. Fatty meats like roast pork or lamb will cut through the tannins and bring up the delicate flavors.
Possibly the most obscure item on this list, Mourvèdre is a hidden gem of the wine world and worth seeking out. Produced predominately in Spain, this wine is intense and muscular with a powerful gamey flavor. The meaty notes of this wine may be off-putting to some, but they pair wonderfully with robust stews, roasts, and rich red meat.
It would hardly be a list of winter wines without the most chilly tipple around: ice wine! Produced from crushed frozen grapes harvested in the dead of winter, this sweet dessert wine is the perfect complement to long snowy evenings in front of a roaring fire.