Wine Lists

Ideal winter wines

By Casey Warrener

24 Jun, 2021

What could be better than settling in with a glass of something deliciously warming while the temperature plunges outside? Here, we pinpoint some opulent styles to suit the season.

The cold came in what felt like an instant. Suddenly, we’re improvising with layers, cradling hot mugs and craving hearty meals. And what about wine? Well, it’s even more appealing. Get excited for the season’s drinking with these red, white and sweet wines selected from recent standouts.

Red wines for winter

Richness of flavour is a must in the cooler months. Australia’s classic shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and blends are obvious options, but if you want to mix it up, you can also consider Italian styles, such as montepulciano, sangiovese and aglianico – perfect with pizza and pasta. 

If you prefer delicate reds, look to pinot, which also has more powerful expressions (bring on the mushrooms and duck), or nebbiolo that tends to be light in colour, but deceivingly bold. Grenache also offers plenty of choice, from straight varietals full of old-vine complexity to its many approachable blends.

White wines for winter

Do you tend to avoid white wines over winter? If you stick to big, bold reds, you’ll be seeking new flavours before spring is in sight. Plus, so many whites pair well with a variety of produce. Consider the season’s Jerusalem artichoke, for example, which is nutty, earthy and goes beautifully with a flavour-packed white (as does a comforting roast chicken). 

The key to choosing winter whites is looking for texture, weight and flavour. Some whites also taste better served closer to room temperature rather than overly chilled, making them ideal for the cooler months. Wintry options include richer styles of chardonnay, the Rhone white blends of marsanne, roussanne and viognier, plus textural styles like fiano.  

Sweet wines for winter

Luscious late harvest, botrytis and fortified wines are some of the ultimate winter warmers. One of the best ways to enjoy the concentrated, treacly deliciousness of something like a tawny port is in cold weather, preferably by a crackling fire.