5 Winter Wines You’ll Love
5 wines that are perfect for holiday celebrations, rich cuisine, and evenings in with Netflix.
Break out your ugly sweaters, digital Yule logs, and low-hanging Game of Thrones references… winter is coming. Here’s what we’re hot for when the temperature drops.
5 Winter Wines
First things first, the classics:
Whoever came up with the phrase “appearances can be deceiving,” must have had Nebbiolo in mind. Yes, it looks pale and pleasant like Pinot Noir, but this Piedmontese beast has high acidity and grippy tannins that will make for an experience you won’t soon forget. Decant for 45 minutes and watch it rain complex rose, cherry, and leather flavors all over your palate. You won’t know what hit you.
- Classic Regions: Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Valtellina, and Gattinara
- Food Pairings: risotto, charcuterie, winter squash, mushrooms, truffles, fancy silverware, and food cooked in quenelles
We promise to keep high-acid and high-tannin Italian wines to a minimum on this list. (OK, we can’t promise that.) But can we gush about traditional Sangiovese for a minute? Earthy and rustic, it goes with all kinds of winter eats and even vegetarian fare. Added bonus: Its complex nose is perfect for sitting, sniffing, and contemplating New Year’s resolutions. BTW, resolve to drink a Vino Nobile this winter. You’ll thank us later.
- Classic Regions: Tuscany, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico
- Food Pairings: tomato sauce, roasted winter veggies, sausage, pizza, hard cheeses, and cigars
Tell us, friend: are you a person who drinks Prosecco year-round? If so, come in for a fistbump. We’re not really sure why so many relegate their Prosecco drinking just to New Year’s Eve. It’s light, refreshing, and insanely versatile. Plus, we can’t think of a better way to cure winter blues than with a bit of the bubbly.
- Classic Regions: Veneto, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Asolo
- Food Pairings: New Year’s Eve, fries, bacon, Christmas ham, potato chips, popcorn, latkes, cheese, and nuts
The definitive guide to Prosecco
Pair your red meat, mushrooms, and dark umami flavors with a full-bodied Superiore Ripasso, one of Italy’s better values. If you can spring for Amarone, make it happen, Captain.
Valpolicella: the land of Amarone
5. Orange Wine
It’s hard to get going when it’s cold and dark. Reach for one of these when smelling salts are in short supply. (Kidding – kind of.) If you like to warm up with more exotic dishes (Korean, Middle Eastern, African), think orange from Friuli- Venezia Giulia (where it was originally born).
Image credits: Yann Allegre