Winter is a time for long, dark winter nights and holiday festivities with friends and family. For many people, the winter season wouldn’t be complete without a glass of wine on a gray winter day or for snuggling up by the warmth of the fireplace. If you’re looking for new wines to try this season, we’ve got the perfect list!
What makes a great winter wine?
There are a few factors that make a wine perfect for winter drinking. Winter wines are often richer and full bodied compared to summer whites or reds, with flavors that can include nuts, chocolate, and caramel. Winter wines are also often sweeter than their summer counterparts, so they pair well with hearty holiday foods.
Why is winter the perfect time to try a new varietal?
Winter is a wonderful time to experiment with a new variety. Why? You may be turning to your favorite recipes for comfort this time of year, and nothing can elevate an old favorite like a new bottle of wine!
If you’re looking for a wine to pair with your holiday feast, or just looking for a good wine to cozy up with at the end of a long day, we’ve got you covered! Here are eight winter wines that are sure to please.
Chardonnay is a classic winter wine that pairs well with all sorts of dishes. Look for rich, buttery Chardonnays for the best results this winter.
Pairing suggestion: Try Chardonnay with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted turkey.
If you prefer to drink red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, full bodied wine that goes well with hearty winter dishes. It also pairs nicely with cheese and chocolate.
Pairing suggestion: Serve Cabernet Sauvignon with a ribeye or sirloin steak and portabello mushrooms or at your next holiday party alongside rich dark chocolate desserts like molten lava cake or fudge brownies!
Viognier is a white wine with flavors of apple and peach that pairs well with grilled fish, veal, and pork. Viognier is a great wine because it can cut through rich holiday dishes without making you feel weighed down after a glass or two!
Pairing suggestion: Hosting family or friends for the holidays? Try pairing Viognier alongside a shrimp dish or seafood dish with a hint of spice, cream or fatty sauce.
RayLen Vineyards had a very limited 2020 Viognier release – it sold out very quickly but we hope you were able to pick up a bottle!
Riesling is a versatile white wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes. It’s perfect for winter because it often has notes of honey, peach, and apricot that pair well with sweet and savory foods alike.
Pairing suggestion: Serve Riesling for a special weeknight dinner. Try it with pepper steak, a blue cheese appetizer, or even spicy noodles.
Cabernet Franc is a medium-bodied red wine with flavors of dark plum and cherry. It is a great red wine for pairing with roasted meats like beef short ribs or pork chops.
Pairing suggestion: Cabernet Franc pairs best with red meat like tender cuts of beef like filet mignon and beef tenderloin.
Petit Verdot is a medium-bodied red wine with bold flavors of wild raspberry, cranberry, and black currant. It is the perfect wine for winter because it pairs well with rich, savory dishes like braised short ribs or beef stew!
Pairing suggestion: Serve this wine alongside slow-cooked pot roast or baked macaroni and cheese.
Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine that pairs well with seafood and light salads. It’s perfect for winter because it has flavors of citrus, grapefruit, and lemon that pair well with cold-weather dishes.
Pairing suggestion: Try Sauvignon Blanc at your next dinner party alongside shrimp cocktail or Caesar salad.
Dessert wines are a winter staple – they’re perfect for sipping while you cozy up by the fire! This category of sweet wine includes port, sherry, sauternes and madeiras. Dessert wines typically have deep ruby red colors and aromas of blackberries and dark cherry.
Pairing suggestion: Try dessert wine with nutty or chocolatey desserts like fudge brownies or baklava to complement their flavors
Warming Winter Wines
These are just a few of the many hearty wines to warm you up during the winter months. Whether you want a wine for Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve, or something to drink when you curl up by the fire with a good book, there are plenty of wines that will chase away the winter chill.
Whether you prefer red wine or white wine, beat the winter blues with award-winning wines produced in the heart of North Carolina.
What’s your favorite winter wine? Are you planning to try any new wines for winter? No matter your preference, we hope you found some new options to consider this winter! Don’t forget to check out our online store for more great wines to try.