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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Wines

Now that it's c-c-cold out you may want to consider winter wine warmers.  Breweries make special winter beers, distilleries and bars talk about winter drinks, so why not winter wines?

You hear lots about the mysteries of wine and food pairing, but you don't hear so much about matching wines to the season. In the heat of summer a nice, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc will probably taste better than a heavy Cabernet--or even a big oaky Chardonnay. 

When it gets cold you think about hearty meals so why not hearty wines? For a white wine this is probably the season where a heavier Chardonnay (one with oak and butter flavors) seems appropriate. For reds there are a lot more to pick from with Cabernet Sauvignon as the obvious choice. This is also a good time of year to break out the Syrah--not the "wimpy" Shiraz-style ones, but the cool climate big boys. Just like there's almost nothing worse than a big, dry Syrah in the heat there's almost nothing better on a cold night with a big, meaty meal and a fire going. One way to to know you're getting a cool climate Syrah is to look for either Russian River Valley or Bennett Valley appellation on the label.
This is how one suffers through winter!

Later in the evening don't forget the Port.

Syrah and Port are fireplace wines!