Whether in California or Connecticut, we’re all seeing temperatures drop this time of year. That means keeping warm with sweaters, coats, and of course wines. Science shows that red wine does physically warm us up, with a ‘thermogenic effect’ thanks to its higher alcohol content. Add that to the fact that red pairs nicely with many of our winter comfort foods, and ‘tis the season for a winner.
Ironically – and perhaps surprisingly – the best way to drink a red wine isn’t actually to keep it warm. Red wines should be served around 55 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Lighter reds like a Cabernet Franc might be better even colder than that, and should be refrigerated about 90 minutes; fuller-bodied wines, like a Bordeaux or a Cabernet Sauvignon, are better warmer – but even those should be in the fridge for 45 minutes. When in doubt? Refrigerate your red wine for an hour before serving.
There are plenty of reds from all over the world, and from a variety of grapes, that are perfect candidates to keep you company on winter nights (or days).
Get off to a smooth start with the Henoba Tempranillo, from the La Mancha region of Spain. Henoba exudes a beautiful red violet, vivid, bright color. The initial aroma presents notes of fresh fruit reminiscent of ripe, sweet plum. The palate is fresh with that speck of acidity that makes it fun, elegant and easy to drink, while still offering a structured and complex balance. Henoba is one of the most unique styles of Tempranillo wines.
Mexico’s Pavo Real red wine is intense and flavorful. It exhibits intense and fruit
forward aromas of dried strawberry, black cherry liqueur, black currants, crushed pomegranates, violets, wet leaves, wild herbs, black pepper, cacao nibs, wet leather and dried clay. The palate is full, layered, rich and spicy with flavors of preserved raspberries, strawberries, bitter chocolate, dried herbs and baking spices.
Another favorite is the Encuentro Malbec Rutini, from Argentina. It has violet floral notes and tastes of ripe red and black fruits. Full-bodied tannins with marmalade fruit notes balanced with rich dark chocolate are presented on the palate. This is indeed a superior Malbec that is complex and well-rounded with a perfected velvety finish.
A bold, intense wine is the Chateau Laroche Graves Rouge, from the Bordeaux region of France. this wine still boasts herbaceous, ripe fruits and pure black currant. It is rich and layered with sweet tannins that balanced out the minerality of the wine. Great acidity and a well structured finish on the palate that lingers elegantly.
Want more recommendations? Check out our set of curated red wines here.