Winter Wine Guide: What To Drink And Pair!

Sometimes I get stuck “seasonally sipping” and tend to always choose reds in the winter. Partly because of my boyfriend, who enjoys red wine more than anything else, and partly because I too enjoy red wine. I don’t want to just be a seasonal drinker though, so you’ll always find a bottle of bubbly in my fridge and a wintery rosé. The beauty of this is no matter what the weather, or whos coming over, I always have a wine ready for anyone… and isn’t that the first step to entertaining?

Regardless if you want to add more wines to your winter drinking, or you simply want more awesome wines to try, here’s a great list to get you through the next few months of chilly weather and winter food pairings.

Whites

2018 Cooper & Thief Cellarmasters, Sauvignon Blanc: This SB is aged in Tequila Barrels and is perfect for a chilly winter day. This wine is very versatile, and you can even enjoy it as a brunch cocktail, and use it to make a white wine Paloma! It’s an easy to drink wine that goes well with eggs benedict, shrimp tacos, and carnitas! $30

2017 Clif Family Winery Gewurztraminer:  A beautiful wine for winter that expresses flowers, lime, and honeysuckle! It’s such a fun wine to drink during the day, on a Sunday, sitting by a fire. It’s also the perfect brunch wine, so make sure if you have any brunch plans and the place is BYOB, be sure to brunch this! It has a beautiful texture, nice acidity, easily pairs well with stuffed french toast, seafood towers, and cheese plates. $30

2018 Smoke Tree Chardonnay: For your friend who buys based on the labels, but also loves Chardonnay, this is the wine for them! Made by Anne Dempsey, a female winemaker, who’s killing it with all three Smoke Tree labels! It’s a beautiful wine with pear, white nectarine, and minerality. Pair this wine with ceviche or ahi tuna tartare! $20

Wölffer Estate Antonov Sauvignon Blanc 2018: ” the most sophisticated and deft expression of Sauvignon Blanc on the East Coast.”- Wölffer Estate. It’s one of the finest expressions of the terroir, expressing complex floral aromas, ripe gooseberry, and lime zest. It has nice grassy notes to it, as sauvignon blanc does, but with a new world feel. Pair with oysters or clams, as well as flavorful salads! (Updated: currently sold out)

 

Rosé

Erse Rosato 2018: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are the varietals in this complex, fresh, rosé with balanced acidity. It is structured and broad, rich and mineral-driven, with a long and tenacious finish. It’s a beautiful pink color, with brightness and great acidity. On the palate, it’s wonderful to sip as an aperitif but is also lovely with Japanese cuisines such as sushi, edamame, and teriyaki. $24.95

Reds

Amancaya 2017 Reserve Red Blend: Made from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, this gorgeous blend is perfect for your pal who can’t decide between two popular grapes. It’s a big fruit-forward wine that sees 20% new oak for 12 months, and pairs beautifully with slow cooker short ribs on a snowy winter evening! $20

2017 Weed Cellars Pinot Noir: From the Central Coast, comes this Pinot that will impress your friends and family who only drink Pinot Noir. We all know the types, and luckily this is a great Pinot I would love to share with them! Don’t let the name of the wine fool you, there is no CBD or Cannabis in this wine, I promise! $20

Aruma Malbec 2017:  “ARUMA” means “night” in the language of the Quechua, the native Indian population of the Mendoza region. The name suggests the deep darkness of the nights in the Andes and the very pure mountain air: the wines have the same rich, authentic character as their terroir.”– Lafite.com. This wine is deep ruby with nice berry notes and a lot of red fruit. It has a nice spice to it as well, which makes it a very palate friendly wine that easily pairs with Skirt Steak or Barbecue Chilean Sea Bass! $15

2016 Bonterra Pinot Noir: A perfect weeknight pinot noir with black fruit-forward notes, bright cherry, and sweet baking spice. On the palate, it has a great body with a long finish. It’s sourced from Mendocino County and gently pressed before being aged in French Oak, which creates the malo notes you will get on the nose and palate; it’s quite beautiful. This wine is perfect for the pinot noir lovers and pairs nicely with chicken parmesan, shrimp Diavolo, and Chinese food! $18

2016 Clif Family BICI Red Blend:  Gary and Kit’s love of Rhone wines began with their cycling adventures through Europe. The Bici Red Rhone blend was crafted to reflect the wines of this region with grapes grown in the Napa Valley. – Cliffamily.com. This is a beautiful Rhone-style blend with nice wet stone notes, berries, and spice-driven fruit. On the palate its bright with great acidity and pairs well with winter dishes such as roasted root vegetables, stews, and turkey chili! $42

2018 Böen Pinot Noir:  This Pinot is from Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. It’s quite a delicious wine that goes well with the up and down winter weather we have been having. It expresses dried fruit, vanilla, and herbs. On the palate, it’s smooth and vibrant. It’s a great lunchtime sipper, however, it’s also perfect to pair along with a nice dinner at home. I love this wine with Korean style short ribs and a side of sautéed bok choy! $24 

Intrinsic Wine Company 2017 Red Blend: From WA state in the Columbia Valley, this is a complex and big-bodied wine that is quite perfect for winter. On the nose, fresh mint, lavender, and white tea followed by layered dark chocolate, plums, and blackberry flavors. It’s also a wine you will buy just for the pretty label, but it’s also a delicious wine! The finish is long and beautiful with intriguing spice notes, making it a great pairing for steak tacos or lasagna; dishes with a lot of flavors. $25

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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