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Winter Wines to Keep Your Eye On

Chase away the winter blues…Try some of Jay Buchsbaum’s winter wine suggestions

Ah, the winter.

As much as we keep our layers light and our heat off, there’s no denying the temperature is rapidly dropping. The good news? A change in season means switching up your wine selection.

“When it gets cold and it comes to food, we want comfort food: stuff that’s warm, inviting, easy to eat, richer in flavor,” says Wine Educator Jay Buchsbaum. “Wine is not much different.”

Since we’re always looking to pair what we drink with what we eat, it’s important to seek out wines that complement the comfort food as opposed to overpower it –or vice versa.

“I’m big on white wines,” Jay says. “I tell the community at large, we’re so hyper focused on red wines, and we should be confused more on whites. They’re so versatile and amenable to so many lighter foods, foods we eat during the week. But come the winter season, when dishes get heavier and richer, lighter more nuanced white wines often don’t stand up.”

The alternative? Wines that fill up your stomach and your palate. Jay’s choice? Late harvest reds, big and bold spicy cabernets. Because the sugars in these late harvests are higher, so is the alcohol content. “We look for wines that are as full in body as they are in spirit, if you will.”

And let’s not forget dessert. “The fun part about comfort foods is the sweet stuff you have at the end of the meal, and that goes for wines too! When pairing wines to desserts, you want to match the sweetness. With a heavy rich dark chocolate desserts try ports, sauternes which are sweeter, richer and thicker; but be careful they are very often higher in alcohol too.”

So what does a comforting meal with Jay entail?

Something hot and salty, like a pastrami sandwich. Pair it with Herzog Reserve Napa Cabernet. [1] The flavor is typical Napa, big fruit flavor.

A beef stew or a lamb dish, spiced, but not too peppery. Try Flam Reserve Cabernet [2] from Israel.

And for dessert: a hot chocolate melt down cake, which pairs perfectly with Porto Cordavero [3], a delicious Portuguese Port.

Yum. Who wouldn’t want to eat a meal with Jay?