Sipping a crisp, vibrant wine outside at a summer BBQ is lovely. However, taking shelter from the cold beside a cozy fire with a glass of a bold red or full-body white is equally as enjoyable. Below, we will look at the top grape varietals to try during the colder months. 

Winter Warmers: Why This Season is the Perfect Time to Enjoy Wine

As a wine enthusiast, you’ll know that wine can be enjoyed at any time of the year. However, there is something extra special about the combination of winter and wine. Perhaps it is the warm fires and hearty food, or the flannel blankets and fuzzy slippers that make the season wine friendly. 

Some may think that full-bodied reds are the only appropriate option for this time of year but that is far from the case. Below, we share our top picks to keep in mind when choosing wine during the winter season. 

Best Wines for Wintertime 

Many wines pair perfectly with the winter months. From a fruity Argentine Malbec to an aged oaked Chardonnay, these wines can be the ideal transition wines from summer to winter. However, there is a good rule of thumb to follow when trying to find the ideal winter wine. 

As the weather turns colder, we automatically reach for dishes that have rich, savoury textures and flavours. Make sure that you choose wines that have the structure and character to complement hearty winter dishes well. 

The grape varietals listed below are a few of our go-to recommendations for winter. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

A fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon with its mouth-hugging tannins is an ideal choice for those colder evenings when you just want to relax beside a roaring fire. With complex flavors of blackcurrant (cassis), black cherry, blackberry, vanilla, spice and tobacco, Cab is one of the most beloved red wines for colder months.

Pair with a hearty lentil stew, steak, and mashed potatoes, or a selection of aged, hard cheeses. The Luigi Righetti Sognum Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a delightful Italian expression that offers a full to medium body Cab and silky tannins and robust notes. 


Whether you choose a Malbec that is true to its French origins or a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, this red grape varietal’s rich fruit flavor profile and intense aromas make it a great pairing option during winter. 

Ideal for pairing with beef or lamb, tomato-based dishes such as pasta al Pomodoro, and a side of roasted root vegetables, the Septima Malbec 2019 offers the iconic dark purple hue with notes of black cherry, blackberry, and violet.


Both a French Syrah or an Australian Shiraz can hold their own when it comes to winter wines. Perfectly balanced notes of dark fruit and spice mean that this grape varietal will make a great staple at any person’s dining table. 

Known for being beautifully expressive, Syrah (Shiraz) ranges from medium-bodied to full-bodied, allowing you to enjoy it at hearty lunch or dinner. This red wine is extremely versatile and can be paired with various dishes including lightly-spiced curries, stews, grilled lamb, and dark chocolate. 

We recommend trying the Sandhill Syrah 2018 from Canada’s renowned Okanagan Valley, Displaying notes of black cherry, oak, spice box, and leather this red is perfect for festive dinner parties or relaxing with your favorite book. 


Chardonnay can be one of the more robust white wines available. This grape varietal can produce wines that are refreshing and crisp while also being rich and warming. Oaked Chardonnay in particular is a popular choice as a winter white wine due to its lush and creamy characteristics. 

Due to its versatility, this white wine can be paired with various dishes once the weather gets colder. Oaked Chardonnay pairs particularly well with roasted pork served in a cream sauce. Whereas an unoaked Chardonnay would be better suited to a lighter dish such as white fish. 

This vibrant Californian Coastal Vines Chardonnay 2019 offers the best of both worlds. With notes of ripe citrus, orange blossom, and smoked oak this wine can be enjoyed with plenty of lighter dishes or as an accompaniment to a cheese course during winter festivities. 

Other Full-Bodied Whites

Gravitating towards Chardonnay as your only winter white wine can prevent you from discovering other whites worthy or warming the belly.. Many sommeliers are bringing awareness to the fact that other varietals such as Viognier are just as enjoyable at this time of the year. 

For example, this Domaine de la Bastide Les Figures Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2020 is a great Chardonnay alternative. This white wine offers lively aromatics and a flavor profile consisting of honey, mango, apricot, and beeswax. Ideal with dishes such as seafood stew, scallops or a warm goat cheese salad.

Similarly, this Zanatta Vermentino di Gallura DOCG Renadoro 2020 from Sardinia makes for a perfect companion to any creamy chicken or pasta sauces that you’ll be serving this winter. Offering a crisp yet full palate, exotic ripe fruit aromas, and notes of lemon verbena, this is a great wine for wintertime. 

Last but not least is the humble Venica & Venica Pinot Grigio 2020. Although Pinot Grigio is a summer staple for many, this wine expertly transitions through the seasons. This premium, well-balanced wine offers high acidity and offers robust notes of quince and pear syrup on the palate. Pair this Pinot Grigio with risotto or gnocchi. 

Sparkling Wine

Who can forget a bottle of bubbly or sparkling wine? As you know, the holidays fall right at the start of winter. This means social events with friends, family and work colleagues. Prosecco is particularly popular around this time of the year. It is refreshing, versatile and ideal for those that prefer a simpler wine. However, the Fattoria Conca d’Oro Prosecco Millesimato Conegliano Extra Dry 2020 is a premium Peosecco and is elegant yet richer than most Proseccos. With notes of banana, grapefruit and apple this Prosecco leaves you with a long, velvety finish on the palate. Great on its own or paired with fried calamari, fried chicken and mac and cheese. 

Replenish Your Cellar With These Wines This Winter Season

Looking to stock up your cellar with wine for the winter season? You aren’t alone. The beginning of winter marks the time that many wine enthusiasts take stock of their wine inventory. If you’re looking to try something new, take a chance on one of the winter wines we mentioned above.

At The Small Winemakers Collection, you can see our full portfolio and explore what wines can be good for you during these colder months. 

For more information about our wine selection, get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to answer any question you may have. 


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