Winter Wine Guide!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, for those who love winter as much as I do! I am a fan of the cold weather, but I am an even bigger fan of curling up under a blanket, with a good movie and a great wine! I have compiled a list of “winter wines” that go great with comfort food, snowy nights indoors, and the cold winter weather.

Sparkling- There’s nothing like sparkling in the winter time. I think sipping something bubbly can elevate your mood and make any occasion a celebration!

I Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco, NV: This bright Lambrusco has attractive violet notes with fresh and fruity characters. Its effervescence is lively with a long finish and elegance that will easily pair with Mortadella, Charcuterie, and Cheese. Made from Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco grapes, this wine is something fun and unique to bring to your very best holiday gatherings! $13.99

Solo Reggiano Rosso 2016: A bigger Lambrusco that can pair with a variety of pasta dishes such as tortellini, tagliatelle with meat sauce, or tortellini stuffed with seasonal vegetables and spices. It’s a wine with vivid, brilliant ruby red colors, with fruit forward aromas and nice dryness. $19.99

Concerto Reggiano Lambrusco 2016: This is Medici Ermete’s flagship wine and Concerto is the worlds first single vineyard Lambrusco. These dry sparkling red wines grapes add a nice complexity to the wine, along with its bubbles, which happen naturally during fermentation. $22.99

I Quercioli Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco, NV: A great after dinner Lambrusco! This one easily pairs with cookies, salted caramels, and holiday pie. It’s bright ruby red with persistent bubbles, and delicate floral aromas. On the palate, it’s attractive and playfully sweet. It’s a great wine to bring to any celebration this holiday season! $13.99

Domaine du Moulin Brut: This sparkling wine from Gaillac comes from Southwest France. It’s produced Methode Ancestrale which is the “Pet-Nat” way of producing wine. This is one of France’s oldest wine regions and the Moulin family uses 100% Mauzac grapes in this wine. $17

Whites- White wines aren’t just for sipping in the summer. White wine can pair with a large number of winter dishes as well as quiet nights by the fireplace.

Barton “Holiday” Clairette Blanche- Beauty in passion, strength in craftsmanship, tradition in family”  Barton Family Wines in Paso Robles, CA produces this stunning bone dry and lively white wine. It’s crisp and due to it’s positioning on the steep hills of the Willow Creek District, this wine is acidic and concentrated. It’s a gorgeous wine with creamy cheeses, baked brie, and scalloped potatoes! $32

2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Vom Grauen Schiefer: German wines are wonderful all year round, but there’s nothing like breaking these out during the holidays too! I find the complexity in these wines, as well as the terroir, really pairs beautifully with all my favorite holiday foods. This Riesling is bright and full of citrus, stone fruits, and minerality. It’s playful and has just the right amount of acid that will easily pair with seafood, baked clams, and chicken dishes. $15

2017 Early Mountain Chardonnay: A wine from Virginia is a fun wine to break out this time of year. It’s a wine comprised of 99% Chardonnay with a 1% addition of Pinot Gris, which rounds this wine out. It’s barrel fermented and aged in older French oak, which gives the wine complexity and nice aging lees flavors. Pear, apple, and citrus are noticeable on the nose and palate. Overall this is a delicious wine that can be enjoyed with many winter foods such as risotto or creamy seafood pasta. $30

2016 Paul Anheuser Blanc de Noir: From the Nahe region of Germany, this wine is a white from pinot noir grapes. On the nose, you notice strawberry and caramel with subtle off-dry notes. It’s made like a white wine, so the palate is soft and has balanced acidity. It’s a lovely wine that is unique and different to break out with friends and a romantic comedy! $13

2016 Herzog Late Harvest White Riesling:  From Monterey County in California, this late harvest white Riesling is a great winter wine. It pairs great with spicy Thai or Indian cuisine, as well as fruit-based desserts. This wine is Kosher but don’t let that fool you, because it’s a beautiful sweet wine that should be enjoyed with comforting savory foods. $24

2016 Clos Dalian Garnacha Blanca: From the Monstant area of Spain, comes this beautiful Grenache Blanc that’s full of tropical fruit and balance. It’s bright with aromas of white flowers, stone fruit, and minerality. Overall this wine is a great aperitif with seafood cocktail or a nice light winter salad with seasonal veggies, quinoa, and grilled chicken. $10

2017 Attems Sauvignon Blanc: A very complex bouquet comes with this Italian wine. It’s crisp and tangy with plenty of attractive fruit flavors. It pairs nicely with creamy chicken dishes, fish, asparagus, and potatoes, making it a match for many winter foods. I enjoy this wine as an aperitif while greeting guests, with this wine and some cheeses, you really can’t go wrong! $19.99

 

Reds- Reds are a must-have all year round, but are certainly consumed more during the chilly months.

2015 Domaine Le Couroulu Vacqueyras: This gorgeous red is made from hand-harvested grapes before being placed in concrete vats for fermentation. It’s deep ruby in color with a lot of nice aromas, deep black, and purple fruit, along with nice acidity and balance. The tannins are elegant, making this a great wine with the Christmas Prime Rib or Roast Beef! $24

2015 Famille Perrin La Gille Gigondas: This Gigondas is from a mild climate with limestone soils and a mix of barrel and stainless steel aging. This wine is strong yet elegant with aromas of cherry, spice, and flowers. On the palate, it’s long and luxurious making it a great pairing with red meats, puff pastry, and vegetable dishes. $38

2016 Benziger Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon This Sonoma Cabernet is elegant and juicy with berry cobbler, spice, mocha, and wood aromas that follow through to the palate. This winery is certified sustainable and is the perfect winter wine. It pairs beautifully with red meat, stewed vegetables, and rich tomato sauces. The 16-month oak again gives it a nice complexity, and overall is a wine that will be enjoyed by all. $20

2016 Early Mountain Foothills Red Blend:  This wine is a blend from Virginia that is made from 31% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 17% Syrah, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Petit Manseng, and 1% Tannat. This wine is different than most, and is one of the favorites of Early Mountain Vineyards because it defies what red wine is told: “it should be”. It’s a deep and ripe wine with a lot of complexity, fresh fruit, and spice. $27

2015 Quinta Do Vesuvio, Pombal Do Vesuvio: Symington Family Estates is a fifth-generation leading port producer. They also set the bar for the future of dry Portuguese table wine, especially this Pombal do Vesuvio from the Douro Valley. This wine is a blend of three unique grapes including Touriga Nacional and Tinta Amarela, which provide backbone and richness to the wine. The other lends acidity and bright fruit to the wine, making this a pleasing winter choice for movie nights in with delicious meats and cheeses. $28

2016 Vale Do Bomfim: Another beauty from the Douro Valley in Portugal! This wine was made simply to enjoy with family and friends, and the grapes that go into this wine come from the vineyards that make Dow’s acclaimed vintage ports. This wine has compelling floral aromas that show off red and black fruit along with a nice lingering peppery spice. $13

The Owl & The Dust Devil: This distinct red blend from one of Argentina’s top producers not only offers a fragrant and flavorful blend of Cabernet, Malbec, and Petit Verdot grapes to pair with holiday meals but also offers an AR-enabled app that brings the Mendoza vineyards to life. This app captures the property’s watchful owls as they survey the estate, standing guard as dust devils or “remolinos” make their way through the vines. Overall this wine will be a hit at the holiday table due to its alluring aromas, long finish, and fruit forward palate. $33

2016 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Recently Faust released a bottle that I think is perfect for any winter celebration. The 2016 Faust Graffiti Magnum Limited Edition. This big bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is bold and complex with a ton of ripe fruit on the nose and palate. The tannins are soft and seductive, which makes this wine go down way too easily. It’s intense and fruity with a lingering finish, that’s ideal for steak and warm winter comfort foods. If you’re seeking the Graffiti Magnum bottle, only 884 cases were produced! $99

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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