We have been so blessed in California this winter – with frequent rain storms. Hopefully, these storms will go a long way in pushing out the start of fire season. The rainy days make me think of warm fuzziness. So the big question is what are the best warm, fuzzy wines for winter?
A few weeks ago, my article was entitled “Is It Time for Some Rainy-Day Wines?” In the article, I highlighted VoyagerVino who said that red wines warm you up wonderfully because:
- High alcohol warms your throat
- Noticeable earthiness matches the soil and rain smell
- Big body warms up your palate
Today, we’re going to talk about specific warm, fuzzy wines for winter.
Fortified can include classics like Port, Sherry and Madeira. In my article last week, I talked about the warm fuzziness I experience when I drink V. Sattui Madeira.
The WineTraveler takes it a step further by saying, “I’ll just state my bias from the beginning by saying that Port gives me the warm and fuzzies, both in the metaphorical and literal sense. Its richly intense raisin and baking spice flavors make it perfect for winter. Kind of like all the delicious flavors of an oatmeal cookie tucked into a boozy treat.” OMG. What a wonderful image.
Mulled wine is so easy to make and can be so delicious, both from a taste and an aroma standpoint. Think clove and cinnamon and orange. Here is a recipe I found on GimmeSomeOven:
- Wine: No need to splurge on a pricey bottle — a mid-range bottle of dry red or white wine will do. The best wine for mulled wine will be fruity and full-bodied, so that it can withstand the heat and not have its flavor completely drowned out by the aromatics.
- Brandy: Spike your mulled wine with an extra bit of liqueur. Brandy is the traditional choice, but Cointreau (or another orange liqueur) or tawny port are also delicious alternatives.
- Fresh oranges: Peal and slice one to go into the mulled wine. Use a second one for garnish.
- Cinnamon: If possible, use cinnamon sticks. If not, use ground cinnamon.
- Mulling spices: Include whole cloves, star anise and a few cardamom pods.
- Sweetener: If you’d like to add sweetener, feel free to add sugar, maple syrup or honey.
Because fortified and mulled wines are higher in alcohol than traditional wines, we need some traditional wines to keep us honest.
On the red side, if I’m looking for high alcohol, earthiness and big body, I would go for a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Zinfandel or a Rhone blend (Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache).
On the white side, I would go for wines that are dry and bold. Wine Folly suggests these:
- White Rioja
I would love to know what wines you consider to be the warmest, fuzziest for the winter.