When it comes to wine, there’s a strong case to be made for drinking seasonally. Cold winter nights just call for luscious, full-bodied reds—the ones you want to pair with rich meat dishes near a crackling fireplace. Finding the best red wines for winter can be a bit more harrowing than the best rosés for summer.
Generally speaking, reds have higher alcohol content than white wines, which means they have that warm-you-from-the-inside potential. Some varieties are known for having warm layers of baking spices that might remind you of a gingersnap cookie or a slab of pumpkin pie. Others deliver more decadent tasting notes, like cabernet sauvignons laced with chocolate, tobacco, and berries—or those cocoa or coffee notes hiding in a nice bottle of malbec.
Whether you’re looking for a special wine to open after a day on the slopes or a perfect bottle to stand up to a hearty meal on a snowy day, consider these the best red wines for winter.
What to Drink Now: Best Full-bodied Red Wines for Winter
1. Le Grand Pinot Noir
A versatile bottle of vino at a great price point, Le Grand Pinot Noir is made with grapes from the Languedoc region in the South of France—one of the country’s oldest wine regions. (The Romans grew grapes here.) This diplomatic pinot has velvety tannins and a nice balance of ripe juicy fruit flavors like raspberry and cherry, with notes of vanilla and spice. It pairs well with everything from a roasted chicken to seared duck breast and mushroom risotto.