The cool winter months bring out a different side to our eating and drinking habits – our transitional palette is largely wrapped up in the desire to retreat to warmth and comfort to indulge in rich hearty food.
Winter food is often cooked slowly, with dishes being rich in meat, heavy and often fatty, and bold, aromatic, savoury flavours playing a central role. Whilst you may have some staple winter recipes to turn to when you’re looking to impress friends or family or celebrate the arrival of the weekend, pairing your dish with a complementary wine is a must if you want to take the experience up a notch.
The complex, deep flavours associated with winter dishes tend to attract red wines, with their similarly rich qualities. Winter food is all about warming the soul, so it stands to reason that a hearty, full-bodied wine should partner it. The world of wine can be confusing, but much like the way we approach food in the changing seasons, winter tends to move away from the fresh, crispness of whites and towards rich, full-bodied choices. The characteristics of certain wines complement particular ingredients, and a fantastic way to elevate food to new heights is to pair it with a characterful bottle of wine.
To help you go the extra mile, we’ve highlighted some pairings to give a try.
Chardonnay – king prawns
Although most whites are more suited to lighter, summer-influenced dishes, a full-bodied chardonnay can certainly be enjoyed on a winter’s evening. A hearty, bold fish dish is the best accompaniment to a chardonnay so try some prawns or monkfish or in a buttery, creamy sauce to maintain the winter comfort. Try frying king prawns in garlic butter, and adding lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley to linguine pasta for a classic French and Italian pairing.
Malbec – roast pork
The bold, punchy flavour of Malbec wine works perfectly with indulgent meat dishes. Roasted pork belly, seasoned with fennel seeds, salt and pepper, and slowly roasted, alongside caper and garlic mashed potato and a hearty sauce would marry with a highly tannic Malbec seamlessly.
Shiraz – beef
High tannins are best coupled with rich foods, which screams out for a wintry beef casserole. Use stewing beef, onion, carrot, celery, stock and to really ramp up the flavour, and slow cook for around two and a half hours until the meat is tender. Serve with some buttery cabbage and parsnip mash.
Chianti – tomato mozzarella pasta
A spicy tomato and mozzarella pasta dish is the ideal Italian pairing, marrying the sharp punch of the tomato and chilli with the hearty, creaminess of mozzarella and fresh pasta.
You’ll no doubt be stocking up on plenty of food and drink this winter season – make sure it’s all suitably chilled with the AXI fridge-freezer.
An unfortunate danger when drinking red wine, is the risk of spillage and stubborn stains! Thankfully the AXI washing machine is equipped with innovative Artificial Intelligence to give your personalised washing recommendations.