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!