Are you looking to cozy up by the fireplace with the perfect winter wine, but unsure which bottle will best complement the season? Understandably, it’s a tough choice. 

You may be asking yourself,  red or white? dry or sweet? 

Although the decision might seem daunting, Minibar Delivery is here to help. In this guide to winter wines, we will help you find a wine that will simultaneously lift your body temperature and your spirits.

As the temperature drops, our palates begin to crave more warm, full-bodied flavors.  Winter typically calls for heartier foods with strong flavors, which require an equally flavorful wine pairing. Although there is the tendency to swap out our white wines for our reds, there are many whites that make for the perfect cold weather sip. 

While fashion may advise us to ditch white after labor day, we say, when it comes to wine, let them stay!

So, you may be wondering: 

Why drink white wine in winter? 

Many avoid white wines in winter because they believe it is necessary to serve whites ice cold. This is one of the largest misconceptions about white wine. In fact, when white wines are served 40 degrees or cooler, their flavors become harder to discern. Therefore, most white wines should be served at a temperature of 45 to 55 degrees. We recommend serving heavier varieties, such as Chardonnay, even warmer at around 55 degrees to allow the wine’s flavor to shine.

White wines can offer a welcomed reprieve from the heavy reds that are typically enjoyed during the winter season. In fact, some whites may even pair better with your go-to winter dishes such as chicken or grilled vegetables.

Minibar Delivery Winter White Wine Recommendations 

If you opt for a white wine, select a bottle that boasts a creamy mouthfeel, touch of sweetness, or nuanced, savory flavors. Typically, wines that are high in acidity or high in alcohol are among the best white wines to drink in the winter. Our favorite white varieties for the cold are outlined below. 

  1. Chardonnay 

    1. Look for an equally oaky and buttery Chardonnay. The best winter Chardonnays are defined by balance. The characteristic vanilla spiciness and creamy body of this variety are sure to be a hit with chicken, roasted vegetables, and creamy soups. 
  2. Pinot Gris

    1. This bright and light- to medium-bodied wine is an excellent choice for a cold winter night. It is richer, spicier, and heavier than the closely related Pinot Grigio making it the perfect pairing with heartier winter meals. 
  3. Riesling

    1. Off-dry and sweet styles of Riesling are the optimal pairing for the heavier dishes of winter. In particular, opt for winter favorites such as sausage, mashed potatoes, and even spicy curries.
  4. Viognier

    1. Like a Chardonnay, a Viognier is quite bold and creamy, allowing it to compliment even the densest of foods. While tannic reds can overpower some dishes, a Viognier’s depth of flavor pairs nice many dishes. Opt for roasted chicken, pork, and spicy flavors.

If you are partial to reds, don’t fret! We have tons of winter red wine recommendations as well.

Minibar Delivery Winter Red Wine Recommendations 

Since red wines typically boast a higher alcohol content than white wines, they tend to have a more intense warming effect –making these wines a perfect choice for a cold winter day. Additionally, red varieties pair well with most winter classics such as hearty stews and flavorful meats. Our favorite red wines for winter are outlined below. 

  1. Pinot Noir

    1. This wine’s subtle earthy notes and fruity undertones compliment nearly every comfort food dish. Pinot Noirs are quite versatile and therefore pair nicely with a handful of different flavors. 
  2. Merlot 

    1. This fruit-forward, smooth wine is velvety and rich. A Merlot is a chameleon of sorts, matching just about any dish from pasta to chicken to heartier red meats. 
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon 

    1. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most obvious choice for a winter wine. Its mouth-puckering tannins, big, bold flavors, and vanilla tobacco aroma make it the ultimate match for any rich dish. Pair this layed and complex wine with brisket, duck, or other hot meaty meals. 
  4. Zinfandel

    1. This jammy, medium-bodied wine is defined by notes of blackberry, strawberry and hints of cinnamon and tobacco. These flavors make a Zinfandel the perfect wine for any winter gathering specifically those that include ham, beef stew, or lasagna.

These are just a few of our favorite hearty wines, which are sure to keep you warm during the cooler months. Whichever wine you choose, make sure to pair your glass with loved ones and a roaring fireplace! 

Want to learn more about wine? Check out these guides to red and white wine!