Let’s be clear: every season is wine season. But certain wines pair better with certain dishes, and we tend to change out our food choices when the seasons change. Let’s explore some reasons to change your wine with the seasons and what wines to drink during those specific seasons.
A Brief Introduction to Wine
There are six different types of wine. Let’s take a look at each type:
- Red Wine: This type is usually made from black grapes, and it includes the skin for pigmentation. The word “tannins” is often used when discussing red wine, referring to the presence of the skin, which alters the taste of the wine.
- White Wine: Generally, white wine is made from green grapes, but you can also find it made from black grapes with the skins removed.
- Rose Winé: Rosé wine is created using black grapes, but the skin is removed after a short period. This produces a sweeter flavor and only a slight presence of tannins.
- Dessert Wine: These are optimal for dessert because of their higher sugar concentration, which makes them sweeter.
- Fortified Wine: These wines include brandy or a different spirit, resulting in a higher alcohol content.
- Sparkling Wine: These wines come from a variety of grapes, some with skins and some without. Carbon dioxide is then added to the wine to create bubbles. Sparkling wines are given different names depending on the region or country in which they originated.
Foods go in and out of season, and many people have been pushing to eat more seasonally. Eating seasonally means consuming fruits and vegetables that are in season to your specific geographic region. It’s a wonderfully sustainable way to live.
So if we eat seasonally, why not drink seasonally? Since we traditionally consume heavier, more decadent foods during the winter, you’ll need a wine that will balance and cut through the richness, such as a deep, earthy red. A light pasta salad or a grilled piece of fish during the summer would pair well with a light, crisp wine.
Another reason to change your wine with the seasons is temperature fluctuation. You have to consider what temperature at which you’ll want to consume the wine. You’ll find that wines such as deep reds are best served at a warmer temperature alongside a stew or another hearty meal during the colder months of the year. But you probably won’t want to drink a chilled glass of White Wine as often when the temperatures dip into the single digits.
The opposite is true for the summer. Light, refreshing White Wines are lovely additions to any dinner party you attend during the warmer months of the year.
The weather fluctuates a lot during the spring, so there’s no one-size-fits-all wine for this blossoming season. Seasonal vegetables include spring peas, asparagus, leeks, and radishes.
This beautiful wine is mild, so it generally pairs well with spring foods. Spanish Rosados and Pinot Noir Rosés are both excellent options to have on hand for a sunny spring day.
Montepulcianos, which are lighter, tend to be fabulous options when you’re searching for a wine that will transition you between seasons. Another tremendous Red Wine option for the spring is a Pinot Noir. Its berry tones and complexity make it perfect for red wine–lovers in the springtime.
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are the two White Wines to look out for during spring. Sauvignon Blanc is for a wine-drinker who favors a dry wine. Riesling will be a touch sweeter than a Sauvignon Blanc, but its crisp, citrus-forward flavor pairs well with spring.
Ah, summer! The days are long, the weather is warm, and the produce is aplenty. Look for wines that are best served chilled. You’ll find that drinking medium-bodied and moderate-tannin wines is best during the warmer months of the year. (The wine’s body refers to how the wine hits your tongue.) Staying away from oak-heavy wines during the summer is best.
A Riesling is perfect during the summer. It’s a highly acidic, fruity wine that ranges in sweetness and dryness to fit any guest’s palate.
You can compare opening a bottle of Pinot Grigio to walking through a summer garden. It’s one the least fruit-forward of the White Wine variety, but it still gives that crisp, refreshing mouthfeel you crave during the summer.
This variety makes the list because of how versatile it is. It pairs well with foods that are otherwise tricky to pair wine with, such as a kale salad or artichokes.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a Sparkling Wine that doesn’t suit summer. Champagne is an effervescent and refreshing wine that tingles your tongue and makes a beautiful addition to any outdoor summer celebration.
A fall wine makes a fabulous pairing for a cozy night spent bundled up indoors. Tannins begin to make a louder appearance in fall wines, providing depth and complexity. You’ll find them mainly in Red Wines, which are focal points of the season.
However, you’ll find that reds, whites, and Rosé Wines all have something to offer, with their spicy, dry, and fruity notes. Autumn wines have something for everyone.
Aren’t Rosé Wines only for the summer? Absolutely not! In fact, they’re adaptable for any season. In the fall, you want drier Rosé Wines that contain more tannins. A Grenache Rosé, for example, is excellent to enjoy during the autumn season. It has notes of clove and other herbs, and it pairs wonderfully with a meal of roasted chicken and vegetables.
This beautiful White Wine is comparable to a Sauvignon Blanc, but it has a richer flavor. It pairs well with pear, which is a seasonal fall fruit.
The dolcetto grape produces a wine with a leathery texture and notes of cherry. Some varieties of this wine also have hints of licorice.
You’ll taste warm flavors such as cherry and fall spices—such as anise and clove—in this wine. Enjoying a glass of Merlot at the end of a rainy autumn day sounds like perfection.
The winter season typically means more time spent indoors with friends and family. Enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fireplace while you watch a cozy movie. Wine sales are highest during the winter because wine and winter go so well together.
You’ll find hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruits in this beautiful Red Wine, which reminds some people of delicious holiday treats. It’s a great wine to cook with, and it can hold its own against flavorful and rich foods.
This gorgeous wine contains bold, fruity, and rich flavors that hold up well against the rich dishes that people usually consume during the colder months. This variety is the perfect Red Wine for beginners because of its smooth, dry, and sharp flavors.
During the winter, you’ll want oaky Chardonnay varieties. They’re buttery and rich wines that perfectly complement the filling and savory foods that people eat during the coldest times of the year.
We at Wines ’Til Sold Out offer wine tasting box sets that will provide you with different wine varieties to try during the changing seasons. They’re also great to use for at-home wine tasting parties. Order yours today!