Winter is the season of cooking. It’s cold outside so you stay inside and make tasty things that warm up your home and your bellies. We all know that fruits and vegetables are a bit limited during the winter season but that doesn’t mean they should sit in the corner and feel sad about not being a summer berry. No, let that winter produce shine in its own right by complementing your meal with a perfectly paired bottle of wine!
Here are some fantastic pairings for some common winter dishes:
Butternut Squash Soup- Sauvignon Blanc
Butternut squash is different from its other squash buddies because of the unique sweetness it holds under that tough skin. The crisp acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc helps balance the sweet quality of the vegetable without erasing it completely. This goes for any preparation of your squash- soup, roasted, or even butternut squash gratin.
Raclette/ Salty Cheeses: Pinot Noir
Okay, it’s not a full meal but nothing warms up a freezing winter day like hot, melty cheese. We love raclette for that- it’s hearty and dense, and melts in such a gorgeous way that we want to put it on everything. It’s got a pretty high fat content which is what helps it turn to liquid gold but to offset some of the grease, go for a Pinot Noir. The fruity flavors plus fairly high tannins will cut that fat in half and add such a gorgeous note to the cheese itself.
Beef Stew- Malbec
Nothing says winter like dumping a bunch of things in a pot and calling it a stew. But honestly, how can you say no to a big bowl of beef stew with the carrots and potatoes and hunks of tender meat? You can’t. Wash it all down with a nice robust Argentinian Malbec which will just add to that earthy quality of the beef. If you want, you can even throw some into the pot which will help braise the beef to a tenderness you won’t believe.
Pork and Apples- Red Zinfandel
It’s a classic combination- pork loin with apples. They just go so well together and since apples are an all-season fruit, this is a great way to eat them in the winter. Add in a glass of a red Zinfandel and you’ve got yourself quite a meal. It’s lighter in color and not as intense as other reds like a Pinot or Malbec but it’s got a fairly robust flavor and just a slight touch of sweetness.
Roasted Vegetables- Chenin Blanc
Whether it’s sweet potatoes, white potatoes, beets, or parsnip, it’s a tuber that comes from the ground and tastes great when it’s roasted. These are hearty vegetables and they require a wine that can get through to their soft, delicious insides. Enter Chenin Blanc- a more vivacious wine compared to its cousin Sauvignon Blanc but with similar crisp, refreshing qualities. Pro-tip: Roast the veg with plenty of onion and garlic to really let the Chenin Blanc shine.
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