In the cold and damp of winter weather, you want hearty wines that will warm your insides and hold up to the rich dishes that come with the season. The wines you choose to consume during the winter can be big, bold, and spicy reds; creamy, toasty, full-bodied whites; warming fortified wines; sweet dessert wines; or lush, celebratory sparkling wines. Here are a few….

Tawny Port
You might say that port is a Christmas wine, but we say it’s an all-season winter wine. “Tawny” means that the port has spent more time ageing in a wooden barrel than its “Ruby” counterpart. Tawnies have a nutty, spicy flavour and are perfect to match with soul-warming wintery puddings as well as with cheese boards. The ageing process also gives tawny port a mellow character, making it easy to enjoy on its own.

Oaked Chardonnay
Chardonnay can be un-oaked (aged in steel or plastic tanks) or oaked, meaning that it’s been aged in oak barrels. Unoaked chardonnays typically have a refreshing, minerally flavour profile that you might associate with a warm summer evening spent outside with friends in the garden. The oaked variety, however, has a distinguished, sweet yet spicy, buttery yet toasty profile. Even just describing these flavours gives you a fuzzy wintery feeling inside.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Most of us think of “big” reds when we hear “winter wines”. That’s why the beloved “Cab Sav” naturally has a place on this list. With woody flavours of cedar and oak, complemented with rich fruity and vanilla notes, this full-bodied and complex variety is a favourite to pair with steaks, roast or grilled lamb, cheese and mushrooms. You won’t be surprised to find out that it’s one of the most widely grown and popular varieties in the world.

Pinot Noir
For somewhat opposite reasons, Pinot Noir has a place on this list next to Cabernet Sauvignon. As opposed to Cab Savs, Pinot Noirs tend to be crisper, tangier and lighter in colour. What makes wines of this grape variety excellent for winter is that their lighter characteristics render them the perfect choice to balance out the hearty and boldly-flavoured dishes that are typical of the season – think casseroles, stews and meats such as beef and duck.

Champagne & Sparkling Wines
Winter is the festive season, and is there anything more festive than a glass of champagne? Apart from being celebratory, champagne also pairs well with almost any food because of its high acidity, which acts as a palate cleanser.If you previously thought of it as a drink you’d only have on its own, as an aperitif, or with oysters, you’ll be happy to find out that sparkling wines are actually a go-to wine for anything! An added bonus is that champagne has been proven to lift your mood: it contains magnesium, potassium and zinc, all of which contribute to the little feeling of joy that bubbles up after your fist sip.

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