The best wines for winter sipping

fire wine

Winter would have to be my least favourite season because it’s cold, wet and miserable. And if like me, you live in Melbourne, this winter has been particularly cold and dreary!

On the upside, cold weather means we can indulge in beautiful soul warming wines that in summer are just too heavy. Here is what you really should be drinking to get you through a long, cold winter.

Full Bodied Reds

Red wine and winter go hand in hand. There is nothing better on a cold day than a full-bodied red wine, particularly if it’s matched with a slow cooked lamb or beef dish. Or a fireplace. Or both!

While cool climate, medium bodied Shiraz and Cabernet are wonderful, if the weather is freezing you will need something a bit bigger and heartier. A big Barossa, McLaren Vale or Heathcote Shiraz is just perfect. Or look for something different and try a rich Rutherglen Durif. Plop me on the couch with a glass (and the rest of the bottle) and a bowl of Boeuf Bourguignon and I’m one very happy girl!

Unctuous Whites

Just because it’s cold, it doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking white wine. Though a crisp Riesling or Savvy B are probably not the best choice for warming the cockles of your heart.

Instead go for a nice rounded Chardonnay, Marsanne or Viognier. They don’t have to be the heavily oaked style of old, but you do want something with a bit of oomph and complexity. White wines aged for a period in old oak barrels are much richer and rounder. Think apple, pear and stone fruits with a bit of spice. They go perfectly with crackly roast pork or chicken in a creamy mustard sauce, which stick to your bones and warm you from the inside. Divine!

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is the perfect option to warm you up, especially around a campfire or if you have to be outside in winter. It’s also a great way to jazz up a lesser quality red wine with lots of extra citrus and spice. If you want to be extra fancy, you can add a shot of brandy to make it super warming. Otherwise, some sugar, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom and orange slices are enough to make a slow simmered pot of deliciousness! Of course, we’ve got the most delicious ever mulled wine recipe here on our website 

Fortified Wines

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch under a blanket with a warming glass of Topaque, Muscat or Tawny.  A rich, luscious and sweet fortified wine is a decadent end to a meal or a lovely way to while away a Sunday afternoon. Australian versions from Rutherglen in Victoria are just beautiful.

Sherry, or Apera as Aussie-versions are now known, in all it’s forms (Oloroso, Amontilado, Fino) are also great options for sipping or for making into interesting winter cocktails. With sweet and drier varieties, there is something to suit everyone.


When all else fails, any time is the perfect time for Champagne, so regardless of whether it’s 40 degrees in the shade or minus 20, a glass of bubbles is always a good idea!