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Abby Lynch
January 10, 2018 | Abby Lynch

Food and Wine Pairings to Warm Up with this Winter

Let’s be honest, after the holidays, winter is just cold days followed by even colder nights (looking at you, bomb cyclone). Since this weather has us yearning for the comfort foods of Christmas past, we’re sharing our favorite cold weather wine pairings to help you make it through to spring. So bundle up, and prepare to make your next trip to the store.

Getting started

Let’s start with some wine pairing basics. Sure, you can drink any varietal at any time of year, but that doesn’t mean some aren’t better suited for these frigid months (sorry, Rosé). Try matching the complexity of your wine with the complexity of the dish. Full-bodied reds pair perfectly with traditional winter meals like stews, chilis, and heavier sauces. Next, think tannins.Tannins aren’t so much a flavor as a mouthfeel, and they are responsible for that dry, gripping feeling you get when you taste a wine. Tannic wines are food-friendly, while lighter, more floral wines shine better on their own.

Let’s Dish

Gnocchi & Primitivo

When it comes to pasta, red, tomato-based sauce remains queen. Acidic and bright, we love tossing some freshly made potato gnocchi into an even fresher pan of tomato sauce. Because of this acidity, opt for a medium-bodied red, like Primitivo. Similar to Zinfandel in structure, Primitivo lends savory aromas and is softer on the palate, a lovely complement to this pillowy dish.

Chili & Petite Sirah

It’s time to turn up the heat! Adding a little spice to your life, and your chili, is an excellent way to get some extra warmth. Did you know beans, an added source of protein, also help keep you warm? An assertive dish like this needs an assertive wine on its arm. Enter Petite Sirah: a wine that is anything but petite, but rather big, bold, and full of tannin. Texture, meet texture. The rest is history.

Pizza & Nebbiolo

Of course, pizza is not strictly a winter food but the key here is comfort, and what’s more comforting than a good pizza? Making your own pizza at home allows you to add whatever you want—so toss on those winter vegetables! Pizza, especially when topped with sausage or meats of the like, makes a great companion for the Nebbiolo grape. Nebbiolo’s bigger, bolder and even more tannic flavor profile feels like a cozy winter coat. 

Beef stew & Super Tuscan Style

A little bit of fat and a lot of flavor, beef stew is that hearty meal you crave when you want to warm up from the inside out. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean fresh vegetables have gone by the wayside. The earthy flavors of root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and onions are just what an Italian Super Tuscan Style wine needs. With Sangiovese, Primitivo, and Syrah, there’s nothing better.

Visit us in the tasting room to try our selection of wines, including our specialty of Cal-Italian varietals!



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