Red wine tends to warm us up – quite literally. Their higher alcohol content provides a natural thermogenic effect. Red wine is also typically served at a warmer room temperature, which brings out the fuller flavour.  Here's a roundup of some of the best red wines for winter – guaranteed to pair with your heartier dishes and fluffier blankets.


2018 Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon

Vibrant aromas of dark fruit, baked cherry and saddle leather are underscored by notes of caramel. The palate is full-bodied and rich with flavors of dark berries, vanilla laced with leather, mocha and spice. A round mouthfeel backed with concentrated tannin structure leads to a complex, long finish.

A mild and uneventful growing season, coupled with cool growing temperatures and overnight fog, ensured even development with little variation throughout vineyard blocks. Early October brought small amounts of rain and had no effect on quality or harvest progress. The result at harvest time was optimum phenolic ripening, producing wines with naturally balanced acidity. Pairings suggested with this wine are a rich beef and mushroom stroganoff or a tempting mushroom flatbread. $25.

2018 Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir

A silky mouth-feel gives way to lingering flavors of raspberry and pomegranate.

Famed for its cooler, dryer weather in which wine varietals thrive, California's Russian River Valley is particularly well-suited for nurturing delicate Pinot Noir grapes. From distinctive vintages grown by our partners in that region, they handcraft the bright garnet Vanderbilt Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with bright aromas of raspberry, dried cranberries, and hints of cloves. After aging 14-16 months in French and American oak, this Pinot offers good acidity and flavors of strawberry, red raspberry, and cherry with a slight hint of minerality. Versatile and food-friendly, it enlivens everything from dishes such as roast quail Veronique and grilled pork tenderloin to seafood cioppino, mushroom strudel, and aged white cheddar cheese. Turn any event into something special with a bottle for gatherings and birthday celebrations, and keep it in mind for the holidays-it pairs particularly well with poultry. Be sure to save a bottle (or two!) as this wine promises to age well. $40.

2017 Angela Vineyards Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Noir wine was made from grapes sourced from two organically-farmed vineyards located in the Yamhill-Carlton District, three miles east of the town of Carlton. These vineyards are planted on oceanic sandstone, at an elevation of 400 feet on a south-facing slope. The grapes were hand-harvested in the early morning, hand-sorted and put into vats with varying sizes of whole clusters. After two to three days, as the grapes warmed up, fermentation spontaneously began and was carried by indigenous yeasts. As they aim to craft wines of delicate structures, they preferred to pump the juice over the cap rather than punch it down. Ten to 14 days later, grapes were pressed and wine transferred to neutral French oak barrels. Aged on its lees, bottled in August of 2018, the 2017 Pinot Noir is drinking beautifully now and will age with grace. $38.

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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