When the weather outside turns cold and the heating goes up, thoughts of wine usually summon up a robust, fruity vintage, perfect for a warming stew or rich roast dinner. Don’t just fall back on a common Chilean Merlot however; it’s worth doing a little investigating in the aisles to please your winter palette or for the latest wine deals, check out Tesco Wine.
You can’t ignore the French vineyards when it comes to a sumptuous red to while away the evenings. The Grande Reserve wine from Chateau la Boutignane has a warm, sweet texture that works perfectly in front of the fire. The Corbieres region in the South of France is much-lauded for its blends – in this case an award-winning combination of Syrah and Carigane.
Originating in the Rhone in France, but making impressive headway in the warm climates of California and Australia, the Petite Syrah vines are known for small grapes which produce an acidity and juiciness resembling that autumnal staple, the blackberry. Complimenting anything from a hearty steak to a game pie, try the Napa Valley offerings from California, like the Titus 2007 for those distinctive peppery notes.
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that although a glass of refreshing white brings to mind distinctly sunnier days, there are plenty around which work with creamy poultry dishes and rich Italian cooking for the winter season. If not a traditional Chardonnay from Europe, sample instead the New Zealand crop of vanilla-scented wines, of which Kumeu River Village is a fine example.
Of course, individual tastes must be taken into consideration and there are no stringent rules about grapes for each season. Though some varieties like Pinot Noir grow well in colder weather making them a good choice, the main thing to consider is matching characteristics to seasonal cuisine. This is, after all, what most wine enthusiasts manage to achieve by habit alone.