After the clocks go back on the 31st of October, it really starts to feel like winter. You’ll be glad to know that countless wines can be great at warming both your body and spirits in the winter months.
Whether you’re sitting by the fireplace watching feel-good Christmas films, you’re on a snowy walk with a flask, or you’re celebrating Christmas with loved ones, wine is always a great addition to the festivities.
But what wines are great at warming you up in the wintertime? From mulled wine to Champagne, keep reading to find out the best wines to warm you up this winter.
1 - Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is synonymous with the winter season - cold evenings by the fire, Christmas with loved ones, and boxing day celebrations.
Mulled wine isn’t technically a type of wine, but is definitely worth a mention on our list of wines to warm you up this winter. It consists of dry red wine, spices, and sugar, and aromatics such as orange or lemon peel.
The traditional warmed winter wine is enjoyed all around the world and has different names in different cultures.
For example, in Germany, mulled wine is known as Glühwein, but in Scandinavia, it’s called Glögg.
Mulled wine isn’t as simple as popping a cork - it requires a little time and effort to enjoy the delicious winter beverage.
You’ll need a bottle of dry red, 2 x cinnamon sticks, 2 x star anise, 2 x tbsp brown sugar, 6 x cloves, a slides orange, and a square of cheesecloth.
Firstly, make a pouch with the cheesecloth with the spices inside, and tie it with kitchen twine.
Place in a saucepan and add the wine, sugar, and orange - and simmer on medium heat.
Once it’s simmering, reduce the heat and leave for a couple of hours stirring occasionally.
Then, pour into mugs or a flask and add a wintery garnish of cinnamon and/ or slices of orange.
Now you can enjoy your mulled wine and even take it with you on cold snowy walks.
2- Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a great drink for the wintertime and can make a brilliant pairing with your Christmas dinner.
Pinot Noir has a crisp and tangy taste - this grape variety is perfect for winter as it balances out the bold-flavoured, hearty dishes of the season including beef and duck stews and casseroles.
This wine can pair perfectly with turkey, making it a perfect Christmas dinner wine pairing.
Pinot Noir is generally lighter-bodied and light in tannins, featuring unique flavours of cherries, mushrooms, strawberries, and earthy flavours.
This means that it complements the flavours of turkey, despite it being a white meat.
Some wines will overpower the taste of turkey, but Pinot Noir compliments the flavours perfectly.
Shiraz (aka Syrah) is a dark-skinned grape that’s grown all around the world, used to make primarily red wine.
Back in the late ‘90s, Shiraz was found to have been the offspring of two grape varieties grown in the South East of France - Monduese Blanche and Dureza.
Shiraz is Australia’s favourite type of wine, and is enjoyed all around the world, including, of course, the UK.
It features flavours of spices and fruit, making it perfect for warming your body and soul in the festive season.
The spice flavours and aromas are comforting in the colder climates, and the fruit adds a festive feel.
There are a variety of Shiraz styles, making it a versatile wine perfect for any occasion.
It can make a great lunchtime tipple if you opt for a medium-bodied style, and a richer Shiraz is perfect for evenings or winter meal pairings.
It’s also the perfect wine for cosying up next to the fire and watching your favourite Christmas films - what better way to watch Love Actually or The Nightmare Before Christmas than with a glass of Shiraz?
Although Shiraz pairs well with barbecue food which is commonly associated with the summertime, it also pairs well with Christmassy foods such as chocolate, cheese, and a variety of vegetables you’d have on your Christmas dinner.
Another wine that’s sure to keep your body and soul warm throughout the winter minds is Riesling.
It’s classed as a sweet wine and can pair perfectly with a variety of Christmas desserts.
Whether you’re enjoying a mince pie, a Yule log, or a cheeseboard, a glass of Riesling is sure to complement the rich flavours.
However, not all Riesling is super sweet - you can find some dry and even off-dry Rieslings that are pure and unsoaked, with fruity flavours such as apple, pear, peach and apricot.
If you want a dry Riesling, opt for a bottle with a higher alcohol content - lower alcoholic wines tend to be sweeter. However, in the winter, you’ll probably want a bottle with a higher alcohol content to warm you up.
As well as cheese and lighter chocolates, Riesling also pairs perfectly with spices - so whether you’re enjoying a mince pie or a gingerbread man, it’s sure to taste better with a glass of Riesling!
5- Champagne and Prosecco!
Champagne and Prosecco are perfect for any season, and winter is no exception.
A celebration isn’t a celebration without popping open a bottle of Champagne - and there’s plenty to celebrate in the wintertime.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, the build-up to Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s eve, or New Years Day, Champagne or Prosecco is sure to be at the heart of the celebration.
You’ll be glad to know that sparkling wines pair perfectly with many foods - the high acidity makes a great palate cleanser.
Champagne is also a great mood lifter, which can be necessary on those cold winter evenings.
The magnesium, potassium, zinc and fun sparkling bubbles can boost your mood and spirits even on the frostiest of days.
Why not have a glass of Champagne for a Christmas toast? Or celebrate the New Year’s countdown with glasses of bubbly? It’s sure to warm you up and lift your spirits.
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If you’re worried about the news of a wine shortage this Christmas, click here to learn more.