Winter has certainly arrived on Australia’s doorstep, and Mother Nature is swiftly turning up the chill factor. Rather than moping about waiting for that lusted summer sun to reappear, why not celebrate the cooler days with a delicious glass (or two) of wine?
Here are our top winter-warming picks to get you expanding your palate this season.
Known for harnessing a mouth-coating density, big bold flavours and a typically darker hue, a full-bodied red is the number-one go-to during those frosty winter months. These wines have a higher alcohol percentage than the likes of a Rosé or Pinot Noir, sitting at around 13.5%. Cosy up with a Cabernet, shake off your shivers with a Shiraz or melt into a Merlot and bask in that full-bodied comfort. Once you’ve selected the perfect hearty red, pair it with a piping hot slow-cooked stew and a seat by the fireplace for the ultimate winter’s night in!
Rich and unctuous whites
Who says white wine is only for summer months? Sure, you might want to keep those bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling tucked away in your wine fridge for a slightly balmier day, but the cold weather doesn’t mean you have to forego white wine altogether. Instead, pick up a well-rounded Chardonnay, a Viognier or a Marsanne. These kinds of wines are much richer and heavier than your crisp whites, offering a hint of spice and a touch of complexity. Nothing like an oak-aged white to accompany a Sunday night roast pork!
Turn up the toasty factor and pull out those fortified and dessert wines this winter. The ideal accompaniment for a weekend away, a fortified wine will keep the fire crackling and the conversation flowing well into the evening. Best of all, most fortified wines should keep for a couple of days in your fridge after opening, so you needn’t wait to host a full-blown party to crack open a bottle. Opt for a rich Tawny Port, a warming glass of Muscat or a syrupy dessert wine to sip away at while nibbling on a post-dinner platter of nuts and dried fruit.
Of course, no winter wine list is complete without a mention of mulled wine. Though this tantalising beverage is typically found among the snow-blanketed streets of a European Christmas market, we don’t think there’s any reason we Aussies can’t embrace this trend, too. Mulled wines add that extra pinch of pizazz to your everyday red, introducing generous belly-warming tones of citrus and spice and all things nice. Create your own concoction and bring a bottle or two on a camping trip this winter for something a little different. Pour a few glasses (or tin mugs) to go with a pot of slow-simmered goodness and some hunks of homemade bread and voila – Australian winter done right.