What to drink this winter:
Our favourite food and wine pairings

December 6, 20235 Minutes

As the season changes, the clock moves back; the days get shorter, and the evening colder. We thought it was the perfect time to drop our ideal winter wine and food pairing suggestions. So, without further ado, here are our picks to help make your cozy winter nights just a little cozier.

Braised short ribs & malbec

Braise your short ribs slowly to release their rich, meaty flavour. You’ll notice hints of umami (the elusive savoury Japanese flavour) from your sweet, browned beef, ideal with herbs and balanced by velvety mashed potatoes. Now it’s time to pop open a bottle of Argentine malbec.

Malbecs are famous for their notes of plum and blackberry accented with touches of spice and chocolate. They’re heavy in tannins, and their full-bodied taste will linger heavily in your palate, providing a strong contrast to the luscious ribs and creamy potatoes.

We recommend this limited-edition Mauricio Lorca Ancestral Malbec. Only 2500 bottles were released from the reserve, and it is magical.

ribs malbec
Comfort food - Fact, not fiction

People do feel hungrier in winter and tend to eat a lot more. This is due to your body temperature dropping with the cold weather. So, when you reach for your favourite comfort food, it’s just your way of staying warmer!

pork pinot

Pork tenderloin & pinot noir

Roast the pork loin to release its delicate sweetness, perfect with parsnips, carrots and onions. Pair this with pinot noir, which also boasts notes of root vegetables, tart cherries and the subtle sting of spices. Mild tannins, light body and the crisp taste of pinot noirs gently offset the taste of meat without being too imposing on the palate.

Here are some delectable selections that we recommend in a wide range of prices, so you have plenty of options.

Can we tell you a secret?

Here’s one of the thumb rules that sommeliers use to pair food and wines. Contrast or coincide. When it comes to wines, pick wines that either contrast the flavours of the food or coincide with the flavours of the food. Apply this rule and you’ll never go wrong. If you’d like to understand wines better, we wrote a blog post just for that.

Mushroom risotto & Chianti Classico

Raise your glasses vegans and vegetarians! This one’s for you. Cook your mushroom risotto to a creamy consistency with generous portions of garlic. The wild fungi will bring their wonderful woody flavours to the party, and if you’re vegan, you can substitute with diary-free parmesan.

Enter Chianti. This fruit-proud wine has medium body with hints of cherry and spice. It will work in harmony with the umami of the dish, while its high acidity contrasts the rich creaminess of the rice.

We picked some of the best vintages of Chianti for you here.

chianti risotto

Protect yourself against Seasonal Affective Disorder

Evidence shows that as people get less sunlight and exercise, we begin to experience the winter blahs… and look for solace in sweets. So, if you’re craving more sugar than usual, that’s just your body missing the sun during the darker months.

sticky toffee port

Sticky toffee pudding & tawny port

And finally, we’re ready for dessert! Sticky toffee pudding is a quintessentially British dessert. Shamelessly sweet, it beckons you with its warm, buttery aroma. Flood the spongy cake with a generous serving of vanilla sauce and dig in!

Now open a 10-year or 20-year tawny port. The aged and richly oxidised flavour of tawny port carries hints of dried fruits, nuts, caramel and spice, coinciding perfectly with the intense sweetness of your pudding. At the same time, the viscous body and subtle acidity works well with the dense cake.

Our suggestions are here.

Happy wine tasting, and even happier eating!