Stay Warm With Our Favorite Winter Food & Wine Pairings
Wintertime meals warm the body and soul, and while there's less seasonal produce this time of year, hearty menus make up for it with substance and flavor. Here are some of our favorite winter food and wine pairings to make your next evening in as snug as can be.
Hearty Pastas with Red Sauce
Making fresh pasta at home is actually quite simple. The dough only requires the most basic of ingredients: eggs, olive oil, flour, and salt. If you need it, here's a primer. Toothsome pastas handle rich, tomato-based sauces with ease and are synonymous with satisfaction. We tend to look to Italy for pairing with these dishes, but don’t forget Italian red varieties relocated to the New World.
Big Pots of Soup
A pot of soup tastes different in every household. It can be creamy or broth-based, packed with veggies or rich with meat. It can have beans or potatoes, cheese or herbs. Because soup is personal and cultural, choose a versatile wine such as Pinot Noir or Chenin Blanc. These are both wines that are best served with a slight chill, which can balance the warming mouthfeel of piping hot soup.
Warm Breads with Soft Butter
There is nothing like a warm loaf of your favorite bread — maybe sourdough or even a whole grain — with softened butter. It truly is a cold weather comforter. The chewy, crusty warmth of the bread is complemented by a rich white wine that also offers a pop of fresh acidity. A chilled glass of Chardonnay is one of our favorite pairings for this situation.
For many people around the world, Sunday lunch is a slow-cooked and aromatic affair. Some people make seasoned roast beef, others put a buttered chicken in the oven. Mushrooms or eggplant, layered together with sauce and cheese, make generous meatless options. A meal like this is expected to be truly substantial, so choose wine that has some presence such as Chianti Classico or a bottle from the Medoc in Bordeaux – quintessential winter wines.
Layers of potato or veggies with bubbly, melty cheese, and a topping of crispy bread crumbs — this will warm you on a snowy day. Creamy gratin dishes are best paired with a wine that has some acid to cut through the richness of the cheese, such as Riesling from Germany or Austria or even perhaps a Sangiovese for a red pour.
Winter meals are often capable of layers of flavor, a situation that offers the opportunity to find a truly versatile favorite and run with it. Whether sitting around a table by the fire, or cuddled under a blanket with a plate on your lap, one thing is for sure: wine is just what you need to warm yourself.