Winter Wine Pairings

After a long day dealing with the bone-numbing freezing weather in winter, you probably want to rush home and cover yourself in heavy blankets for the night before facing the bitter cold once again in the morning. Such weather makes you crave warmly roasted and stewed meals and hot chili. Besides that, enjoying a glass of wine is something that most people want at this time of the year, and what can beat getting through the dreadful cold weather than with your loved ones, delicious wine, and warm, scrumptious meals? Instead of counting days until winter comes to an end, why not spend this time exploring and enjoying different wines that complement this season? At RayLen Vineyards, we produce European varietals designed to suit various wine drinker’s palates.

Picking the best wines for winter

Full, deep-bodied, and fortified wines are quite popular during winter. People tend to go for wines with higher alcoholic content to complement winter meals and keep them warm. Various factors make certain wines better suited for winter than others. Some factors include how it tastes, feels, and looks when paired with individual meals, surrounding temperatures, and the serving temperature.

The best winter wines are typically:

Richer and Heavier

Since winter meals usually have more fat and meat and are heartier, the accompanying wine should be rich and strong enough to cut through and stand up to the savory and bold flavors. Due to this, winter wines are more flavorful, full-bodied, and more decadent.

Served with Warm Temperatures

Unlike summer wines that are commonly chilled, winter wines are usually served warmer, except for champagne. Serving wine warm during winter brings out the flavors and aromas and more comfortable to drink when the temperatures are very low. Additionally, some wines are more delicious when warm.

Less Fruity and Deeper in Color

Winter wines contain more tannins derived from the grapes’ stems, seeds, and skin, making them have a deeper color. The higher tannin concentration gives them a dry and sharp taste. Although all wines have fruity notes, winter wines are less sweet and earthier.

Choosing the winter wine you like most should take priority. Consider the wines you enjoy in other seasons. Every wine has its unique qualities and flavors like dry, acidic, oaky, or crisp. Finding the flavor you want and learning various qualities helps during selection.

Holiday get-togethers offer excellent opportunities to experiment with various wines and food. You can even try unfamiliar combinations. Although most wine drinkers pick red wine during winter, no season is officially considered red wine period. The reason they are popular during winter is because of their high alcohol content and higher tannin concentration.

White Wine for Winter

Although white wine is mostly associated with warmer seasons, it can also be great for winter. It pairs well with several winter meals and can even be an excellent ingredient for your slow-cooker or braised meal and favorite fondue.

The high acidity levels in white wine help cut through the heavy and rich winter foods. It is best to decant to bring out the aroma and serve at about 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

2018 Pinot Grigio

Our 2018 Pinot Grigio is a white wine that exhibits a reddish-bronze color and pear and ripe melon aroma, offering a smooth, pleasant, crisp finish and an earthy feel. The aroma preambles the baked honey, mango fruit, and apple’s creamy, filling flavors and textures. It pairs great with your favorite roast chicken and a loaf of crusty bread.

2019 Reserve Barrel Chardonnay

At RayLen Vineyards, we strive to make the best wines. Our 2019 Reserve Barrel Chardonnay is powerfully and bodacious structured with juicy, intense flavors of orange zest, baked apple, butter, almond, vanillin, and toasted almond. The creamy textures produce a silky, delectable finish. This white wine is an excellent companion to thick, creamy chowders, mashed potatoes, and creamy pasta sauces.

2018 White Carolinius

This delectable white consists of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling to develop this refreshing and distinctive bottle. A hint of Vidal and Muscat finish the blend’s aromatics.

The flavors feature kiwi and tropical mango headliners with a hint of pear note that advance to a mature, rich, and savory honey accent. It has an off-dry overall appeal. Try pairing with mild creamy curries and sweet root vegetables (carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes and spicy butternut squash).

Red Wines for Winter

Having red wine during winter is like getting rosé wine in summer. The higher alcoholic content in red wine makes it ideal for keeping you warm during winter. Additionally, the fact it pairs well with most winter foods makes it a top choice for many.

2019 Reserve Petit Verdot

Our Yadkin Valley winery offers a Reserve Petit Verdot that features dark cherry, cassis/black currant, and violet nuances. The current oak barrels used for aging are Premier Canton American which provides a silky mid-palate and a tannic velvet-like finish. It makes a natural fit for rich, meat dishes, grilled steak, spicy pork, veal, lamb, and all types of game and sausage.

2018 BB Select

Our 2018 BB Select is a Cabernet Sauvignon vint which is aged using Bourbon Barrels. It gives off an oak and vanilla, baking spice hints, and black fruit flavors. It is a bold red wine that goes well with game and hearty beef meals.

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

French oak is used to age this wine for nine months to produce a rich body and flavor. This RayLen favorite offers a delightful experience, particularly if paired with a lamb rack dipped in Chimichurri sauce.

You do not have to look far to find rich, delicious wines to help you through the cold winters. RayLen Vineyards offers a wide variety of red and white wines ideal for people of different ages, tastes, and preferences.