When it comes to winter many foodie experiences come to mind – beautiful picnics, cooking sessions in the kitchen, cheese platters on a Sunday afternoon … and they all include wine.

I have teamed up with the wine experts from WineBubble to explore some of the best wines for the colder season.

From the complex rich flavours of a Dante Alighieri Brunello di Montalcino, to the light fruitiness of a Calle Principal Tempranillo there is so much to pair with amazing dished in the kitchen.

While grand, bold and rich favlours such as that of a Chateau Noaillac Cru Bourgeois Medoc literally take you all the way to France.

The list of amazing rich wine this Winter is amazing, so it was my pleasure to sit down with founder Red Norrie to get an insider’s guide to what we should be sipping.

1. What are the winter wine trends?

There is a love affair with Malbec in the cooler months. Argentina produces some lovely medium-to-full bodied Malbecs from up and down its countryside and they are great for the Australian Shiraz lover to explore. France is though the home of Malbec, and we are seeing a push into French Malbec from the Cahors region in South-West France.

Food-loving wines like Sangiovese from Italy, in its many guises from basic Tuscan Sangiovese to the mighty Brunello are in demand. From a white wine perspective, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are the two largest trends we see. Chardonnay from all over the world are popular: its richer profile being preferred in the winter months to other thinner white wines. In terms of Chenin Blanc, wines from Vouvray in France are very popular with their round style, richness and similar feel to Chardonnay

2. What are you top 3 reds and top 3 whites?

Reds
a. Argentinian Malbec
b. Tuscan Sangiovese from Italy
c. Spanish Tempranillo

Whites
a. Chablis from France
b. Vouvray Chenin Blanc from France
c. Chardonnay from north-east Italy

3. What are the most popular wine regions at the moment?

At home the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania continue to be of interest to wine drinkers focused locally.

Overseas, France and Italy are hot given the huge range of wines they produce.

Specifically Bordeaux red wines (from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), Sangiovese from Tuscany, and Nebbiolo from Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco and Langhe red wines).

4. If you were to bring 1 bottle to a dinner party, what would it be and why?

Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet blend from the Santa Cruz mountains in California. To me one of the best wines in the world. It’s super-expressive, the aromas and flavours erupt wonderfully from the glass taking you on a wonderful sensory adventure. This wine can cellar for decades, it’s not available in Australia.

5. One of the biggest winter trends is mulled wine – do you have a secret recipe and a perfect wine to match?

My wife is Irish so I’ve learnt that you have to be very careful serving mulled wine. The family recipe is a well-guarded secret. However use a good red wine – nothing lifeless or dirt cheap, nor a bottle of Grange. A good medium-body Sangiovese, Merlot, Tempranillo will work very well.

Fresh fruit and cloves are essential and don’t serve it warm. Also don’t be afraid to chuck it out if it’s old – establishments serving days’ old mulled wine should be shut down 😊

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