It’s getting cold – 5 winter wines to warm you up

The weather is getting a bit cooler now, which means it’s time to light the fire and grab a drink. When the cold rolls in, many people start looking for a new beverage that will warm them up. That’s why now is the perfect time to find your favourite winter wine and relax by the fire with a glass or two. Not sure what to pick? Here are 5 wines perfect for those cold winter nights to warm you up (believe it or not, they aren’t all red) – plus what winter eats they pair best with.

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

We’ll start with an obvious one – a classic cab sav. A go-to for many, Cabernet Sauvignon’s bold, fruit flavour and rich tannins is a guaranteed glass of warmth and satisfaction on those cold winter nights.

Why not try a bottle of Peter Lehmann Portrait Cabernet Sauvignon. With aromas of chocolate and sweet spice and a deep, fruit palate, this wine is perfect for a cosy, cold night. Pair it with a roast, steak, or a lentil soup.

2. Sangiovese

Another beautiful red variety, Sangiovese is a dry, light to medium-bodied red known for its high acidity and firm tannins. Earthy and rustic, with common hints of dark cherry, coffee, spice, and leafy tobacco, Sangiovese is the perfect partner for savoury food and all kinds of winter feasts.

Zonte’s Footstep’s 2019 Canto Fleurieu Sangiovese Lagrein will be your go-to for relaxing on a Sunday with a big bowl of pasta, a classic pizza, or succulently grilled meats.

For another option, try Pizzini’s Nonna Gisella Sangiovese – medium-bodied, warm, and humble. This bottle has aromas of lightly spiced plums and cherries, with hints of chocolate. The perfect balance of fruit and spice in this Sangiovese is ideal for making mulled wine – superb on those particularly cold winter nights.

3. Chardonnay

Although often avoided during winter, some white wines are perfect for the colder months. The key is texture, weight, and flavour of the wine, which is why a rich Chardonnay is a perfect wintry option. The trick is to serve it closer to room temperature and decant it slightly, rather than drinking it straight from the fridge.

Our choice – Xanadu’s Margaret River Chardonnay. A crisp, dry, full-bodied wine, this Chardonnay offers an intense fruit and acidity combination with tasting notes of pear, stone fruit, grapefruit, hints of nougat, wafers, and oatmeal. A classic pairing rule for white wine is to enjoy it with white meat, and this bottle is no exception. Pair this Chardonnay with a crispy roast chicken in a creamy sauce – a delightful, warming winter meal.

4. Riesling

It only makes sense to drink a wine hailing from a cool-climate region like Germany, which is why we recommend enjoying Riesling (best enjoyed by the fire, of course). Riesling is a popular choice for its citrus and tart notes and is a sweet, light-bodied white. When it comes to pairing, Riesling is extremely versatile and pairs well with winter classics.

Vickery Watervale offers a beautiful 2021  Riesling for all lovers of classic Australian Riesling. This bottle is bright and zesty, with balanced natural acid, full ripeness, and flavours of fresh fruit and lemon curd. When it comes to spicy food, pairing a dish with Riesling has long been a sommelier’s first choice. So, this winter, try pairing this wine with a spicy Thai curry or a heat-packed Indian dish. The balance of acidity with a hint of sweetness harmonising with spicy foods offers a delightful pairing.

5. Malbec

If you enjoy a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon on a crisp night, then you’re sure to enjoy Malbec. The intense fruit notes, silky tannins, and hints of chocolate makes this red a perfect winter friend.

For a classic looking Malbec, try Little Giant. The dark berry aromas are complemented by floral hints and subtle sweet tobacco. With a palate of juicy black fruits, a touch of oak, and soft tannins, this Malbec pairs perfectly with barbecued meats. Try it this winter with marinated, grilled flank steak, red onions, and roasted vegetables. For a vegetarian option, be sure to try portobello mushrooms as a substitute for meat.


If you loved any of these wine recommendations, be sure to stock up for next winter. Some of these precious bottles can be, and may benefit from being, cellared.

  1. While drinking well in its youth, carefully cellaring Xanadu’s Margaret River Chardonnay will certainly be rewarded.
  2. Vickery Watervale’s Riesling, although bright and fresh in its youth, will also be rewarded from careful cellaring anywhere between 10-20 years.
  3. Little Giant’s stunning, deep crimson Malbec is perfect for enjoying now, but will cellar extremely well and soften over the next 2-6 years.

To keep track of how much you enjoyed these wines, as well as they’re recommended cellaring time, invest in a wine storage solution – cellartags. The smart way to track, locate, and record your wine, cellartags helps you easily find your favourite winter picks when the next cold season arrives.

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