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Too cold to go out? Stay in and stay warm with a bold glass of red wine. We asked local experts to recommend the best wines for winter.
Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperial, $40
Quite possibly the king of big bold reds! This is classic CDP, perfect for stews, braised meats and getting snowed in.
Mark Herold Uproar Cabernet Sauvignon, $65
Many Cabernets from Napa are either a little two-dimensional or prohibitively expensive. This is a beautiful expression of the grape with power, structure and balance —a wine that’s great for starting with a steak and rich enough to finish with something of the chocolate nature.
— Chef Jeff Seizer of Royale
Siro Pacenti ‘Vendemmia’, Rosso di Montalcino, 2014, $26
Big bold and well priced-perfect for cold winter nights next to the fire. In 2014, due to bad weather, Pacenti declassified a vast majority of his world-class brunello into this more humble offering (Read: Value). The end result is dark expressive wine with cherry, plum and cigar spice aromas.
Domaine Monier St. Joseph, $30
Monier is a great biodynamic producer in the Northern Rhone growing fantastic Syrah. These wines show power but balance with herbal notes and moderate alcohol. We currently have a Duck Cassoulet that this pairs perfectly with. The maple-thyme crumbs and rich white bean and sausage cassoulet is my ideal snow day dinner.
— Anthony Guerra, General Manager of Crawford & Son
Cellars Melis, 2006, $60
It is a blend of Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon—an intensely bold wine, made from the same producers of Sea Smoke Cellars. The wine exhibits mulberry fruit tones with graphite and mint notes that remind me of spending cold days around the fire.
Cayuse “Cailloux”, 2011, $115
The Cailloux is a full-bodied and rich wine with aromas of smoked earth, blackberries and black current. There is a floral elegance to this wine as well as a touch of green olives. I crave heartier meats and stews in winter, and this is a wine that can stand up to both.
— Casey Gamblin, Assistant Sommelier at The Umstead Hotel and Spa
Revelry Vintners ‘The Reveler’, 2014, $20
A smooth, rich, well-rounded Bordeaux blend from Walla Walla, Washington that has a hint of smokiness and a long finish. It’s a wonderful blend for sipping by the fireside.
Perelada 5 Finques, 2012, $13
A big, Spanish blend filled with spice and toastiness that comes from being aged for 20 months in oak. It makes for a perfect pairing with wintertime comfort food such as pasta.
— Lindsay Rice, Owner of Vita Vite Raleigh
Round Pond, Kith & Kin, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, $29
The intense, bold flavors of black raspberry and boysenberry combined with the notes of tobacco and toasted nuts combine for a big red that will warm you up during any winter storm.
Stefano Accordini, Acinatico, Valpolicella Ripasso, 2014, $17
The repassing of the valpolicella wine through the dried skins of amarone grapes gives a great depth and texture to this middle ground spritely varietal. It is a delight while sitting by the fire when the temperature is dropping outside.
— Ron Didner, General Manager of Vidrio
Age Your Own Wine
Love good wine, but can’t always afford the price? Well, we’ve found a great solution—this beautifully crafted, oak-aging bottle. The company aged a $5 bottle of wine for four hours then served it alongside a pricier $40 bottle to a randomly selected group of wine drinkers. In almost every case, the cheaper wine was chosen over the more expensive option. The bottle also comes in eight different flavors, including cherry, maple, oak and coffee. And the best part? You can also use it for whiskey and beer! From $39.95.
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