by Don Cook 

I have selected 3 wines that are best to survive the long, dark season called winter! This winter in particular seems to be all about very cold nights and short brisk days perfect for slow cooked foods at home or the cottage. Physiologically, we turn to full bodied white and red wines that are rich in flavour and texture and higher in alcohol to keep us warm. In terms of pairing with cuisine, these wines will complement slow cooked or roasted meats and game as well as soups and root vegetables. I have selected an Australian white, a Canadian red wine, and French red blend. Enjoy!

02268602012 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay, South Australia, Australia (LCBO code 226860 – $14.95). Australia, being a warm climate, grows Chardonnay in a rich, tropical style – great for winter dinning. Although Wolf Blass is better known for its red wines, this Chardonnay is quintessential of the style of what Australia offers. The wine is yellow in colour, medium to full bodied with aromas and flavours of pineapple and peach with some spice, vanilla and oak notes that finish rich and round. Serve chilled and pair with seafood and lobster casserole, chicken with sautéed mushrooms and cream based pasta.

01100492012 Sandbanks Baco Noir VQA Ontario (LCBO code 110049 – $14.95). Sandbanks is located in Prince Edward County – Ottawa’s nearest quality wine growing region. Baco Noir is a varietal; native to Canada. This wine dark purple in colour; it is medium bodied, with intense perfumed aromas and flavours of sweet dark plum fruit, pepper spice and black licorice. I would pair this with grilled marinated meats, hamburgers and pizza. A very well made wine.

 

Picture92011 Les Peyrière Cotes Du Rhône Villages, France (LCBO code 315 – $12.75). When I think of the winter – I think of the red wines Southern France because they pair with winter slow cooked foods. This is made from a blend of the red grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre and Cinsault. Each of these varieties will add dimensions to the wine including colour, aroma, richness and flavours. With that being said, this wine is medium to full bodied with aromas and flavours of dark berries and fruit, black olive, spice and tobacco and a little vanilla. Pair this wine with cassoulet or winter meat stew with root vegetables. Very good value!