Winter Wine = Good Times by Claire Logsdon

by Claire Logsdon

Choosing a tasty winter wine during this chilly season, can transform your wine tasting experience as dramatically as pairing it well with food.

Which wines pair with the Coldest Season of the Year – Winter?

What wines should one pair with the coldest season of the year?

With cold weather automatically equals only strong, over the top Cabernet Sauvignons right?


There are many other gorgeous classic wine pairings for the winter season.

Winter can heighten your sense in different ways than in other seasons. Cool air can calm a lot of smells in the air, making the sensation of the strong scents even bolder. Maybe this is why the smell of comfort food on a cold January evening appear more heavenly than in hotter months.

Winter Wine = Good Times - CKJY Exports Inc.

How to Select a Winter Wine?

What characteristics should you look for when selecting a wine to enjoy on a chilly winter day?

A few of the wine characteristics the CKJY team has been sipping on and enjoying this winter to guide your winter wine thoughts.

  • High Acidity wines

    • Acidity is often silenced with sweeter wines where sugar counter acts the wine’s tart and sour flavors. Acidity is a characteristic that can elevate the flavors of a wine, adding to the beautiful melody. I enjoy acidic wines when the weather is cool and crisp to enjoy the full experience.
    • Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc
    • Pair this winter wine with a chilly Sunday afternoon and an anti-pasta spread.
    • Try:
      • Cardella Winery Sangiovese 2012
        • Loaded with rich cherry aromas and an incredibly smooth finish. Experience this fruity and smooth winter wine to add an Italian flair to your favorite pasta.
  • High Tannins

    • Tannins are unique to red wines. Why? Because red wines are fermented with the grape skins intact. It is important to remember that “Tannins” are not an actual taste rather a sensation or texture.
    • Sangiovese, Syrah, Bordeaux Blend (old World)
    • These winter wines pair well with a dramatic winter view – whether it’s your street covered in snow or a mountain weekend getaway.
    • Try:
      • Oso Libre MV Carnal Red Rhone Blend
        • A Rhone blend comprised of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre is an Oso Libre staple. Fruit for this wine are all picked and vineyard sorted on very cold November mornings.  Each of the musts were crushed and cold soaked for two days. Open top fermentation was managed with punchdown and pump-over processes twice daily. The must was kept cool for a long fermentation preserving fruit notes. Then, the wine was aged for 20 months in 20% new French oak, and 70% neutral French oak.  The wines were aged separately and blended just before bottling.
  • Complex & Layered

    • Contemplating a dinner and a show.. how about a glass of wine and a “night in” instead? Complex wines are entertainers; as you experience their shifting flavors notes. Wow! What does that mean? Essentially, the wine will transform through the process of drinking it. The beginning you may sense fruit flavors on the tip of your tongue but in the finish pick up “earthy hints.” As the wine is experienced, it is exposed to oxygen and your saliva. This changes the chemical content and the flavors you experience. Technical sounding? Yes! Enoyable? Absolutely!
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir
    • Pair this winter wine with a warm blanket and a good book.
    • Try: Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      • “Smooth and generous with deep plum and ripe berry fruit; sweet vanilla oak and luscious style; nicely structured and rich; a classic from an under-appreciated Napa mainstay. 93 Points” Anthony Dias Blue, April 2017
  • Rugged Wine?

    • When describing a wine using the word “rugged,” you should know it is not a technical wine term. Rugged is more of a casual description.
    • Rugged means the wine has “big, brooding and boozy” characteristics often with dark fruit, savory flavors and higher alcohol content. (Wine Folly)
    • Rugged wines are a little “rough around the edges;” but a fun ride are Syrah, Zinfandel and New World Red Blends
    • Pair these rugged winter wine with a hearty meal such as a stew or a rack of ribs.
    • Try:
      • Merlo Family Vineyards 2013 Syrah
        • A dense purple-black with a crimson edge color, Merlo’s 2013 Syrah is almost intimidating in appearance. The nose gives classic Syrah notes of pepper, blackberries and blueberries while the barrel aging adds a touch of cedar and coconut. A full and deep palate with a welcome lift of acidity creates wine drama. Then, the tannins strongly knit themselves into what will become a silky texture that lingers for several minutes on the palate. An excellent wine to enjoy with your steaks or heavy red pasta dishes.
  • Rich

    • Full of flavor? Richness delights both your nose and palate in wines. Guaranteed crowd pleasers.
    • Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Pair this rich winter wine with a family or friends visit!
    • Try: McKahn Family Cellar’s Chardonnay 2015
      • Aromas of Granny Smith apple, apple pie, lemon zest, brown sugar, apricot and nectarine. A zesty palate highlighted by apple and stone fruit. French oak spice adds a creamy texture around a firm acid structure
  • Silky Notes

    • Think smooth jazz! Lush, smooth and pure elegance is what to envision when contemplating silky wines. Reminiscing and enjoying life is easy to do as silky wines slide gracefully across your tongue. There is nothing better than to appreciate the feeling of being home on a cold winter day relaxing with memories.
    • Types of wine demonstrating this beauty and elegance are both Pinot Noir and Blanc de Noirs.
    • Pair this silky winter wines with  your all-time favorite song playlist.
    • Try: Mt. Hood White Pinot Noir 2016
      • White Pinot Noir is created by gently “whole cluster” pressing fully ripe Estate Pinot Noir grapes to yield essentially colorless juice. The juice was then fermented and aged in French oak barrels (1/3new). Aromas of tropical fruit and strawberries dance in your nose. A crispness of a dry rich palate of pear and citrus follows.


We hope this helps you uncover some new to your beautiful wines and create your own winter wonderland of wine. Winter wine can be very enjoyable and we suggest you pair it with a roaring fire.

Let us know what your thoughts are on these pairings!

Are there any types of wine you like to drink in winter? Comment to share your thoughts below:


Source Links if You Want to Learn More: (Chart to follow the flavors in each varietal)

One thought on “Winter Wine = Good Times by Claire Logsdon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s