The cold, icy grip of winter has finally taken hold around the country. For many of us, the weather guides a lot of our food and drinking choices, not to mention our attitudes.
Personally, winter is something I want to get through as quickly as possible so I can get to spring. Even if you’re trying to get away from the cold and a tropical escape is in the cards this year, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take cover throughout the majority of winter, making the season seem unbearable to get through.
In order to bring you out of your winter slump, what you need to do is drink some wines that bring warmer temperatures and sunshine to mind. If you transition your attitude to spring, it’ll arrive faster than you know it.
Here are 10 wines that will have you thinking about more agreeable weather.
This wine is entirely chardonnay from the Su’skol vineyard in Napa. The nose here is booming with orchard fruit aromas accompanied by subtle bits of spice. From the first sip, your senses are hit with a burst of pure fruit flavors that taste remarkably fresh and unadulterated. The long, mineral-driven finish is impressive and loaded with good intensity. Pair this with a cheese and fruit board.
This selection was produced entirely from pinot blanc sourced at the famed Robert Young Vineyard. Nectarine and peach aromas mark the lovely and expressive nose of this wine. Stone and tropical fruit flavors dominate the palate, which has a bit more body and heft than is typical for the variety. The finish shows off bits of sour melon, white pepper spice, and a layer of creaminess. This is going to pair well with a really broad array of foods. The bright stone fruit flavors will bring to mind warm weather and refreshing, revitalizing entrée salads.
All of the fruit for this wine is from a single parcel on the Napa side of Carneros. Bartlett and Anjou pear aromas lead the nose of this sauvignon blanc. Orange and lemon zest, limestone, and white pepper spice. Bits of pleasing green herb emerge on the finish, which is clean, crisp, and refreshing. This is a terrific sauvignon blanc. Pair it with light finger foods or serve it as welcome wine. It’s light, refreshing nature will kill the winter blues in less than three sips.
The fruit came from Anderson Valley for this wine. As the name indicates, this is produced in a slightly sweet style. The boisterous nose is stuffed with lychee fruit, apricot, and bits of toasted hazelnuts. Nectarine and white peach flavors dominate the juicy palate. Bits of honey and continued fruit flavors are apparent on the finish. This pretty, delicately sweet expression of gewürztraminer will pair will with Indian food. Think vegetable curry, samosas, or potato naan.
This dry rosé was produced from Dry Creek Valley fruit. No wine style screams warm weather and sunshine to me more than good, dry rosé. This offering from Simoncini fits the bill beautifully. Ripe, wild strawberry aromas supported by hits of Mexican vanilla bean fill the nose. Red cherry, more strawberry, and bits of spice are apparent on the palate. Touches of cream and red raspberry fill the finish. Drink this bottle, close your eyes, and before you know it winter will be over.
This is a field blend of dolcetto (92 percent), barbera (5 percent), and freisa (3 percent). There is an inherent dusty quality to the nose of this docletto that accompanies black fruit aromas. Blueberry, blackberry, and other dark fruit flavors fill the dark, but lithe palate. Boysenberry and black raspberry flavors show up on the finish. This delicious Estate wine has tremendous acidity and impeccable balance. Pair it with mushroom empanadas, veggie tacos, or make it the centerpiece of an indoor picnic.
All of the fruit was grown in the winery’s St. Helena Estate. This sauvignon blanc has lemon zest and honeydew melon aromas. The palate is filled with a host of citrus, bits of tropical, and a hint of stone fruits. There are wisps of white pepper. Lemon curd, yellow melon, and more fill out the long zippy finish. This wine, which is part of the Napa Certified Green project, is so fresh and loaded with proportionate fruit, it’s practically spring in a bottle. Throw some chicken kabobs on your grill pan and pair them with this sauvignon blanc and a nice side salad.
This is a cuvée style offering with fruit (100 percent pinot) coming from 10 well regarded vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Bits of cranberry, strawberry, and a dusting of clove are apparent on the nose here. Bits of forest floor and mushroom dot the palate alongside dried red fruit flavors. Pomegranate and sour cherry characteristics emerge on the tenacious and spicy finish. Pinot noir is one of the food-friendliest grapes on earth and thus marries well with an array of styles. Pair this with the lighter foods you eat as you make the mental transition to spring.
This wine is all viognier from the namesake vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. A ton of stone fruit aromas fill the nose alongside bits of tangerine and vanilla. The palate, which is even keeled, shows off white and yellow peach alongside fresh, ripe apricot. Nectarine, hints of cream, and more are present on the long, clean finish. So many viogniers are too big and extreme. This one is light and delicate with gentle complexity. Its refreshing nature makes it perfect for spring or that winter day you want to pretend it’s already spring.
This is a single vineyard effort composed entirely of cabernet sauvignon from the namesake vineyard in St. Helena. One of the things that I do more when winter is over is grill. Put on a coat, warm up your grill, throw some steaks on it, and pair them with this cabernet. Red fruit aromas and a hint of savory herb mark the nose. Tons of red and black cherry fill the substantial palate. Minerals, bits of dust, and black tea are all part of the long finish. Good acid and firm tannins provide nice structure. This is a rich, but balanced cabernet that won’t overwhelm on a warm day.