When it comes to cold weather drinking, folks usually think of hot beverages spiked with alcohol. When it comes to winter, however, it is wine’s time to shine. Unless you’re struggling to survive in a desolate tundra, a hot beverage may not be the best route for enjoying the evening. Curled up by a roaring fire, the last thing one might want is a hot drink that matches the heat pouring out of the hearth. When’s the last time you opted for a hot coco in the middle of summer? Wine, on the other hand, is the perfect complement to chilly days and central heating.
We’ve focused our winter wine list on heartier reds and the occasional sparkling bottle or two, as you never know what those long nights will lead to.
The exceptional Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva will treat your palate to robust aromas of red fruit, leather, earth, and dried herbs. It’s well balanced too with acid, tannin, weight and alcohol all keeping one another in check.
A wonderful Chilean blend of cabernet, merlot, carmenere, and more, this wine has an incredible depth, loaded with chocolate and cassis. Cabernet sauvignon provides structure while carmenere adds spices which combine with the freshness and red fruit from the merlot achieving a balanced elegant wine with soft tannins and a lingering finish.
This widely available Amarone is deep and rich. On the palate you’ll find majestic and elegant cherries preserved in spirit and bitter cocoa. At 15% alcohol, this wine will keep you warm on a winter night, and while it goes very well with a range of foods and is an excellent after dinner wine.
A nice entry-level Bordeaux from a small estate in the Médoc with vines averaging 35 years in age. Not overwhelming or too heavy, the wine is light, with soft blackberry fruits and acidity that pair well with sparkling conversation or hushed whispers by firelight.
The perennially winning Clos de Gilroy is a Monterey grenache made with a blessedly light hand. With its flavors of red fruit and earth, this wine is thirst-quenching and goes down easy. With an exceptional spicebox nose of black pepper with hints of clove/gingerbread, bing cherry, red currant, and santa rosa plum it’s best served with a slight chill as your fire warms up.
This is cabernet sauvignon that tastes like cabernet used to taste, darkly fruity but with discernible herbal aromas and flavors that are essential to the complete cabernet experience. Fresh boysenberry peppercorn and sweet tobacco notes highlight ample fruit in the nose complemented by subtle notes of toasty oak vanillin and cigar box.
Aglianico, the great red grape of southern Italy, thrives most famously in the volcanic soils of Campania, but it’s just as good and sometimes even better when grown in the soils of the extinct Vulture volcano in Basilicata. The Grifalco Aglianico del Vulture is made with organic grapes, and is rich, floral and deeply mineral.
Unlike today’s jammy, ultraripe zinfandel, the Foxglove zinfandel is made in a more restrained fashion making it fresh, exuberant and spicy. It’s a rich boisterous wine that practically jumps from the glass with exuberant racy red fruits and floral undertones throughout.