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The 7 Best Wines for Cold Weather

In the thick of winter when the frost cracks under foot, the rain beats down on the windows, and your skin begins to resemble industrial grade sandpaper, there’s only one
thing to do – hole up with good bottle of wine.

What should you reach for? Here’s a list of the seven best wines for cold weather. The ones to open and enjoy when it’s cold and wet outside.

1. Champagne

You don’t need to have a bear skin rug, a roaring fireplace or a shirtless Don Draper to enjoy a bottle of Champagne on a cold winter’s night. It’s the perfect fireside – okay, bar heater – drink, and when paired with a glorious cheese plate, or just some strawberries and chocolate, it will turn an evening into an event.

2. Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre (GSM) Blends

Sometimes the more hilarious winemakers will call it an MSG. I know. Truly amusing. But forgive them you must, as refilling your hot water bottle, pulling your beanie further over your ears, and rubbing your hands over your lint-pilling jumper is all the more bearable with a glass of GSM in your hand.

It’s a classic blend made famous by the Rhône region of France. It needs no food. It needs no company. It just needs opening and enjoying when the temperature dips.

3. Pinot Noir

There’s something very wintery about a pinot – even though it’s at the lighter
end of the red spectrum. Maybe it’s all those images of ruddy cheeked men in tweed, smoking pipes with huge glasses of burgundy tucked snugly into their plump little hands. (Those famous French burgundies are made from the pinot noir grape). More likely it’s that pinot is so wonderfully earthy and warm and is a happy bedfellow to a wide range of winter foods. And we all like happy bedfellows on a brisk winter night, non?

4. Riesling

You might not have good memories of riesling. But it’s come a long way since your parents extracted it out of a cardboard box and threw an ice cube in it. It’s undergoing a bit of a renaissance here in Australia, and with good reason – a dry, floral and crisp riesling is a wine of pure joy.

There’s something quintessentially European about sipping riesling as the temperature plunges. And it’s perfect for when you just want to sloth on the couch and order Thai home delivered.

5. Sticky

Cold weather calls for dessert. And then for dessert wine. The best sticky
wines are luscious, they won’t cause your lashes to smudge by being
wincingly saccharine, and they’ll still have plenty of acidity to balance the
sweetness. Perfect with a simple cheese platter or on its own as a night cap.

6. Show-off Shiraz

Not everyone likes a really big, bold, gutsy Shiraz. But if you do, now’s your chance to pull out the big boys. Shiraz is a brilliant partner for big winter food – think stews, roasts, and casseroles galore. The plummy flavours cut through the richness and the tannins are whipped into submission by the oils and fats used to make hearty winter fare.

7. Old School Chardonnay

If you’re not convinced about the riesling, but would still rather stick to a white, then you need an aged, oaky chardonnay. The richness and texture of a chardonnay made in this style will stand up to rich, cold-weather cooking. Especially those involving chicken, seafood, pork or anything creamy and comforting.

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