Winter Food And Wine Pairing: Why Hearty Reds Will Steal The Show
The winter season brings with it not only colder weather but also delectable wine and food pairing options. As the temperatures begin to drop and comforting objects such as sweaters and slippers become prominent once more, we begin to crave soul-comforting meals.
Evenings spent by the fireside and annual family gatherings are often accented by hearty stews, creamy cheese selections and decadent dark chocolate. With our food preferences shifting towards more rich and full-flavoured textures during the winter months so must our wine choices.
For many, hearty reds always steal the show. Their ability to perfectly complement a wide variety of comforting meal options such as lamb, beef and winter vegetables makes it a fool-proof wine option this winter.
Best Wines To Pair With Winter Food:
Have a holiday party coming up? Want to plan a special winter meal for you and your family? If you are unsure which wines to choose when pairing with winter food, take some inspiration for our list of the best wine styles to try this season.
If you are looking for a food and wine pairing that is more robust and flavourful then choosing a Malbec will never guide you in the wrong direction. This is a medium to full-bodied wine that offers ripe flavours of black cherry, plum, cocoa, sweet tobacco and blackberry.
A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, Malbec has great cold-weather appeal. Consider pairing this robust structured red wine with meat-driven dishes such as roasted pork or mushroom stuffed peppers. To ramp up the intensity, serve your guests this wine with a mellow blue cheese such as Stilton or Barkham Blue.
Shiraz is a sublime choice during the winter months. This wine offers a beautifully rich and complex profile and is notable for its blackberry, dried currant, mocha and earthy aromas. With big fruit flavours on the palate and grippy tannins, this wine is a pairing delight for your winter feast.
A warm, fruity Shiraz should be paired with beefy stews such as a braised oxtail or seared lamb chops with a rosemary balsamic reduction. If pairing with cheese, choose a strong cheese such as cheddar to compliment the boldness of the wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon is known as being one of the classic red wines to enjoy during the winter season. It’s rich, smooth taste and elevated tannins make this wine ooze with charm. Offering notes of cedar, blackcurrant, plum and chocolate this wine is perfect for the festive season.
Pair this wine with both meat-focused and comforting vegetarian dishes. When serving with meat, choose meat with a heavier texture such as steak or venison. For vegetarian dishes, consider pairing with a warming mushroom risotto or a pinto bean BBQ burger with roasted red peppers.
A lighter red wine than the options mentioned above, Pinot Noir is a beautifully versatile wine for the winter season. A classic served at many festive holiday parties. Due to its light-bodied nature, it is perfect for your lighter winter lunches.
Its flavour profile is the epitome of the winter season featuring notes of cherry, raspberry, cranberry and earthy undertones of cloves and herbs. A Pinot Noir’s profile blends flawlessly with dishes such as butternut squash ravioli or prosciutto-wrapped salmon.
While reds certainly steal the show, aged whites are also a great food and wine pairing option during winter. Aged white wines pair well with winter comfort foods. The cold weather is the perfect opportunity to sip on full-bodied white wines such as Oaked Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
The buttery, rich qualities of an oaked Chardonnay is great for pairing with filling winter foods. It’s dry, fruity taste and flavours of caramel and vanilla complement dishes such as creamy pasta sauces, sea bass and warm, dense bread.
Pinot Gris is also a beautiful winter wine pairing. It’s refreshing while also offering earthy and sweet tones. With a flavour profile of lemon, white nectarines, clove and ginger it should be paired with flaky white fish and smoked meat dishes.
Top Winter Wines To Try When The Weather Gets Cold
The winter months are made for curling up inside with a great book beside a roaring while sipping on a delicious winter wine. When pairing food and wine this winter season, look for hearty reds and carefully aged white wines.
Our favourites include:
- Septima – Malbec 2017 from the Mendoza region in Argentina
- Carmenet – Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 from California, USA
- Alta Maria – Pinot Noir 2014 from Santa Barbara, USA
- Kingston Estate – Chardonnay 2018 from South Australia
At Small Winemakers, we partner with unique winemakers all over the globe to bring our clients the best wine to try. If you are looking for an ideal winter wine for pairing this season, speak with our wine experts today.