Hello, I’m Diane!
The winter season has begun. Time to cuddle up with some of my favourite winter wine varietals, a cozy blanket and a book you have wanted to read.
Here’s a fact I found very interesting did you know Niagara is the wine area with the world’s most international gold medals per capita? Say what!!! Despite its tiny size, our region produces high-quality, worldwide-known wines. I’m always happy to shed a focus on local drinks, especially those not seen on LCBO shelves.
So what characteristics distinguish a wonderful winter wine? Some have baking spice notes to complement the aromas drifting from the oven, but the key point is that these wines have a warming character that will help keep out the chill.
However, that does not imply that you must stick to red wine throughout this season. This time of year, a variety of light and medium-bodied white wines are superb.
Winter is also an excellent time to test a new variety. Why? For starters, there are too many to sample. While you may be turning to your favourite recipes for comfort this time of year, nothing beats a fresh bottle of wine to elevate an old favourite. You’ll find me making an all-Canadian platter of gooey macaroni & cheese and sipping a glass of Viognier.
My winter will almost certainly be spent with glass after glass of high-quality Canadian wines.
At this time of year, I always look for wines that offer comfort. It’s recognized for its ripe fruit aromas of melon and pineapple and is full-bodied and richness-pairs well with baked halibut, creamy pasta, and corn chowder at this time of year. I substitute unoaked and dynamic whites for those with flavour intensity, strength, and textural weight—great news, all you Chardonnay lovers; It’s time to get out the glasses.
It should be no surprise that Cabernet is a popular choice for robust red wines during the winter season. I grab a cab with my winter meals and movie evenings because of its mouth-hugging tannins, rich berry aromas, and hints of cinnamon. Some of my go-to dishes would be lentil soup, portobello mushrooms, and short ribs. I am sharing one of my favourite recipes here.
Bordeaux should be next on your list if you prefer robust red wines. These rich reds are ideal for the winter, with deep fruit flavours of plum and black cherry and a hint of chocolate with smooth tannins. Such food-friendly wines give various flavours with a balance of zesty acidity, allowing them to pair with a broad range of dishes, such as grilled steak with chimichurri and roasted root vegetables.
A wine from a cool-climate location like Ontario certainly fits the description of winter whites. Riesling is well-known for its flavours of crisp citrus and tart green apple. This light-bodied white wine, which ranges from bone-dry to sweet, works beautifully with winter staples like sausage, mashed potatoes, and spicy curries.
Don’t hesitate to try any of my favourite varietals mentioned because there’s no going wrong.
Would you like to know what wine to try next? Take our quick wine quiz, and get matched with the wine you love! If you need help, feel free to send me an email or comment.
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Cheers & Cin Cin,