Why Whine at Winter When You Have
WINTER WINE? A
ll around the Northern hemisphere, wine and food lovers are finally letting go of the last few straws of warm sunshine, crisp, clean whites and BBQ marinades, and instead looking towards a future filled with red wine and roasts. For those of us living north of the 49th parallel, the phrase “winter warmers” certainly means more than most others places where snow is just for Christmas! So, what is a winter warmer? Think deep luscious wines, the equivalent of a hearty bowl of soup, with the comforting ability to both warm and nourish the soul on particularly blustery days. Winter wines are those that will help take the nip out of the air, giving you a toasty warm feeling all over. You might go for an elegant, full-bodied and deeptannined Cabernet Sauvignon from California. French Cabernets are always good, but recent vintages coming out of Napa, in particular, have an awesome amount of fruit. Some prefer an earthy Argentinian Malbec, with a hint of dusty saddle. My personal winter favourite is the dark, sumptuous fruit of an Aussie Shiraz . . . mostly to remind me of the heat of the summer sun! Reisling, particularly German, is another fine choice when it comes to winter wines. While still crisp and fruity as you would expect from a summer choice, it is intense with a typically rounded finish ― perfect for those late winter lunches on the weekend when you’ve slept in and decided to spend all day inside. While still served slightly chilled, it’s a perfect match for seafood or shellfish, or for when you want to just nibble some cheese in front of the fire. Of course, being stuck inside all day is not just an excuse for drinking more wine. It is also a great opportunity to hone your culinary skills. Most winter dishes require some intense work at the beginning, followed by a long, relaxed period of cooking which, of course, is when you get to drink the wine!