Wade Cothran | Oct 23, 2020
Six Winter Wines To Start Stocking Up
Isn’t it interesting how our tastes change with the seasons? As the summer heat starts to fade away, and the cold winds and thick clouds start to blow across the land, our taste buds start craving a wholly different set of wines. In the summer, we always want the chilled, crisp, dry, and mineral zestiness of quality white wine. The winter calls out for full-bodied, rich, and deeply spiced numbers - perfect for settling down with in front of a roaring fire and a big feast!
Wintertime might not be here yet, but just like the holidays, it has a habit of sneaking up on you. What could be a better way to prepare for the coming of the colder months, then, than by stocking up on some seriously delicious and flavorful winter-style wines? Stave away the winter blues with a well-stocked wine rack, and spend the cold period exploring new taste sensations and wine characteristics. Not sure which bottles suit the season best? We’ve done the hard work for you!
1. Nebbiolo Red Wine
Often, when we think of full-bodied and complex red wines, we immediately turn our mind towards Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Shiraz - all grape varietals thoroughly associated with New World wine regions and all of which are varietals that make it quite hard to find the hidden gems among the average and disappointing bottles. If you know how it feels to crave a big and boisterous red wine, but not want to be let down in the glass, then it’s high time you explored Nebbiolo. This stunning Italian grape varietal is the glowing star of Piedmont, which is widely regarded as one of the finest wine regions in the world… and it’s guaranteed to put a big, warming smile on your face!
Dark, exciting, sultry, and seductive, Nebbiolo wines pack in mountains of rich and sumptuous fruit flavor, alongside plenty of spice and unusual and intense aromatics. All in all, they’re the perfect wine for a cold and wintry day! For a real treat (albeit often an expensive one), check out the top Nebbiolo wines of Barolo; these rare and aged bottles are just astonishing when it comes to flavor and texture, and pair amazingly well with roast meats and wild mushrooms.
2. Viognier White Wine
We tend to ignore white wines - or, at least, not enjoy them nearly as much - during the winter months, but this need not be the case. There are, after all, quite a few delicious white wine styles that perfectly suit the colder season, thanks to their more full-bodied character and array of warming flavors and delicious autumnal aromas.
Make no mistake, a good Chardo definitely has what it takes to hit the spot once winter rolls around. However, even the best Chardonnay in the shop cannot, in our opinion, top a quality bottle of Viognier. This white wine style is one of our all-time favorites, and packs in an elegance and luxuriance that simply cannot be beaten. When it comes to Viognier, expect intense floral aromatics, big notes of peach and honeysuckle, and a range of rich fruit and honey flavors that work amazingly well with cream and butter sources, lobster, roast chicken, and other hearty dinners.
3. Portuguese Port Wine
It’s been so exciting to see the Portuguese wine scene once again rise to the top of the charts, as this small country’s phenomenal produce has long been overlooked in favor of its larger neighbor, Spain. Portugal has brought us many gifts over the centuries; it’s a country of incredible artistry and ambition, after all. The best of Portugal’s creations? That would be Port - the world’s favorite and most iconic fortified wine.
Port became fairly unfashionable towards the end of the 20th century, as a result of the market being flooded with cheap and unsatisfying bottles. However, the Port scene (and the Portuguese wine scene as a whole) has been absolutely reinvigorated over the past ten years, and Port wine is back with a vengeance. There are some superb examples of this historic fortified wine style out there at the moment, aged for twenty, thirty, and even forty years in the barrel to achieve a stunning smoothness and expression. Pick up a bottle for this winter, and you’ll have a warming treat that simply won’t let you down!
4. Dark Monastrell Wine
Our favorite thing about winter? It’s got to be the food - big, bold, hearty dinners, roasted meats piled high with all the trimmings, and shared among friends and family. It’s always been mankind’s way of getting through the cold and harsh season… and it’s always been accompanied by some seriously flavourful wine. These kinds of winter feasts call out for a full-bodied and spicy red, and we reckon Monastrell - the Spanish twin of France’s Mourvedre - is the one to go for.
Monastrell is in the same ballpark as Cabernet Sauvignon, yet a little more savory, a little spicier, and a little more ‘meaty’ - if you get what we mean. It’s the ideal wine for those big meals and relaxed evenings, and pairs so well with savory sauces, red meats, and strong cheeses.
5. A Red Shiraz
Everybody has their favorite wines for casual drinking with your friends. Shiraz, Australia’s signature wine style, has to be one of the most popular in the world when it comes to this particular category. The nice thing about Shiraz is that it’s been cultivated to reflect that kind of laid-back, easy-going type of wine culture that Australia does so well. On the one hand, it’s highly flavourful and with its fair share of complexity. On the other, it’s an easy-drinking classic, packed full of flavor yet with a balanced body that just slips down!
Aussie Shiraz just keeps on getting better, year on year. With a wine scene boosted by an influx of bright young vintners and a reinvigorated audience of increasingly adventurous wine drinkers, the industry is in a good place right now. Get yourself some Barossa Valley Shiraz for winter, and set yourself up for some good times.
6. Bold Nero d’Avola
If you’ve had your finger on the pulse of the wine industry over the past few years, it’s likely you’ve seen the meteoric rise in popularity of Nero d’Avola. This big and bold red wine from Sicily has a history which stretches back well over a thousand years, and it’s taken off in a big way in the 21st century, thanks to its incredible depth of flavor and delightful juiciness. It’s the ideal winter wine: huge flavors of red fruit, aromas of leather and tobacco, and a body that warms the belly perfectly.
With global sales of Nero d’Avola rocketing, it’s easier than ever to find bottles of this stunning Sicilian wine in your bottle shop. The best bottles come from the volcanic regions, where they pick up an intense minerality from the soil, but even the cheaper bottles have plenty to offer in the cold season!
That’s it - you’re all set for winter! These six wine styles are sure to get you through the cold and have you satisfied no matter the weather. All you need now is some stylish and beautiful glassware to enjoy with your wine… and that’s where Brumate steps in. Check out our stunning stemless wine glasses and accessories today!