Is there a wine for every season?
Can dates on a calendar really tell us which wine to choose? Surprisingly, the answer may actually be a resounding “yes.” It’s common that the seasons of the year serve as a wine guide of sorts.
The following is a guide to help you choose a great wine based on the year’s season.
Of course, as always, we first must consider personal tastes – we all have different tastes. It is also very important to consider the fruits and vegetables that are in season, and the celebrations of the season and location.
During this time of year, many people start to eat more creams, soups, and foods packed with a lot of calories. Pumpkin and cinnamon flavors are everywhere and homes are filled with aromas of delicious baked desserts.
Nostalgic smells and flavors invite us to reflect on life. It's as if the colder the weather gets the more the atmosphere fills with a warm energy. I often desire a red wine to help keep warm, and I usually suggest stronger red wines with a higher degree of alcohol during this time of year. The tannins in reds help dissolve the fat and extra calories that are more prevalent in winter dishes.
To me, spring is the most romantic time of the year! The fresh weather makes me want to be outdoors to eat something light and enjoy the cool breeze.
I suggest pairing rosé wines with light dishes such as shrimp (especially if you are near the sea), cold pastas, or a chicken sandwich.
During summer nights, indulge in white or sparkling wines. They often go great with raw foods like sushi and ceviche, or cold dishes like salads.
In countries with no defined seasons - those nearest and furthest from the equator – my suggestion is to focus pairing your wine with your regional climate or local themes, festivals and celebrations.
Speaking of celebrations, using sparkling wines for celebratory toasts and celebrations has become a tradition around the world - the bubbles take us to an almost instant state of happiness. But I suggest giving them a chance all year long! You will realize that there is actually a lot of variety, and some (like champagne) make excellent appetizers.
Finally, I have a recommendation … One of my favorites during the cold months is a delicious and fun traditional German drink called: Glühwein. Below, I’m providing my recipe - make it to surprise your guests with a bit of extra flavor and excitement! Glühwein, or mulled wine, is perfect for the cold autumn and winter season, it is a very pleasant explosion of flavors.
This is my version. I hope you try it and enjoy!
*Joha’s note: The flavors of this drink are delicious, bold and extremely aromatic, and it’s also wonderful on ice. Also, another fun twist is to blend it with a handful of ice to make a Glühwein daiquiri!
Hot wine punch
Half liter of orange juice (About 2 cups)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons of brown sugar (You can substitute with sugarcane block or honey)
4 cardamom seeds
2 anise stars
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 bottle of red wine (750ml/25oz) (I suggest Merlot or Pinot Noir)
2 ounces of Brandy (1/4 cup)
1. Heat the orange juice, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and sugar over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the ingredients are well incorporated.
2. Add the wine and brandy without letting it boil. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Turn off. Adjust the sweetness, and strain the spices.
To decorate: Place in the cup, before serving the hot wine punch, cranberries and a slice of orange.
Pairs beautifully with blue cheese, dry meats, dried fruits and walnuts.
For more wine tips visit our section Wine for all
Sommelier Monica's article about Wine pairing with Mexican foods is wonderful!