Warming Wines for Snowy Nights

Happy Snow Day #3 ya’ll!


This winter has been awfully intense, amiright? We badly had the sidewalk cleared before the next flakes started falling. But I don’t mind the snow. If it’s going to be cold as f*k outside, it might as well look pretty! But what do you do when you can’t get warm? You eat warm meals – chili, beef  stew, chicken noodle soup, pasta. But what do you drink? Some red wine? A hot toddy? Yes and yes!

I tend to lean towards big, hearty red wines anyways, especially Bordeaux’s. I describe them as big and hearty, but as far as body goes, they tend to be a little more medium-bodied. When it’s freezing, I want something full and rich. Like a nice California Cab…


Mount Veeder Cabernet SauvignonNapa Valley, California. ~$30

I’ve reviewed this cab before, but it’s perfect for a cold wintery night.

This Cab is rich and smooth with cherry and blackberry fruit flavors. The velvety palate offers a soft earthy note followed by vanilla, nutmeg and chocolate. Elegant tannins round out the long finish. The perfect match for steak au poivre and garlic mashed potatoes.


Or how about a nice buttery smooth Pinot Noir?

2010 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Aries Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley, California, USA ~$30

Jeff actually picked out this wine a few months ago. We finally opened it with friends last month and I was so impressed. I love Robert Sinskey wines so I had high hopes for this one and it more than met my expectations. Rich and silky, it offers an array of flavors: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, plum, raisin, raspberry, vanilla, anise, butter and oak. The palate is soft and smooth with sweet baking spices, rich earthy notes and a long, elegant finish. It’s perfect for roast turkey or chicken with mushroom gravy, soft cheeses or a warm fire.


Let’s not forget about white wines! And not just Chardonnay –

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris, Alsace, France ~$20 

Pinot Gris/Grigio’s tend to be light and crisp wines, meant for summer barbecues and sitting by the pool, but this white is perfect for winter! Rich and full-bodied, this white has notes of baked apple, pear and all spice. The palate offers a hint of sweetness balanced by a smooth and crisp acidity. Notes of stone fruit and butter linger on the long, full and elegant finish. This is a great wine for roast turkey with mashed potatoes, pork loin and a vegetable-rich  stew.


Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the after dinner drinks –

Sandeman 20 year Tawny Port, Portugal ~$40

If you can’t get your hands on a vintage port, a 20 year is the next best thing. But after that, 10 year is just as great! Taylor Fladgate and Sandeman are my favorite producers. This 20 year from Sandeman has a rich body with intense notes of caramel, butterscotch and cinnamon. The palate offers sweet baking spices balanced by juicy plum, raisin and toffee. This is perfect for a warm fire or soft cheeses. Stilton and Roquefort are great for port, but I love a soft goat cheese with fresh honey and some orange marmalade.


And finally, Jeff’s favorite winter warmer: The Hot Toddy.

A toddy can be just warm water with lemon mixed with rum, bourbon or whiskey. You can also use hot tea as the base, or add a cinnamon stick. Jeff’s favorite is an earl grey or breakfast blend tea with honey, bourbon and a lemon wedge. My favorite is a fruit or hibiscus tea with honey and gold rum. It’s such an easy drink to make and will be sure to warm you right up!


I probably should’ve posted this a few days ago so you could plan ahead, but don’t worry – it will snow again very soon!

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