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Cozy Wines for the Winter Chill

Wed, Jan 18, 23

This is Benton back with our first wine feature of the year. I hope your holidays were great and you got to drink some delicious wines with family and friends! 


I try to ask everyone who comes into the store how they're doing and for the past few weeks I've gotten a similar answer from the majority of people, "Cold". How about we look at some wines that are perfect for when you want to feel warm and cozy. When I think of comforting wines, I think of rich wines with balance. Nothing is worse than wanting a big powerful wine and having it end up being flabby and unbalanced. So here are my recommendations of wines that are the best of both worlds. Plus, they're all at a great price!

Rich and Voluptuous

The first selection for today is going to be one of the first grapes that comes to mind when I think of rich and voluptuous wine, Zinfandel. Known for having big powerful fruit notes balanced with baking spices, this style is the wine version of a blueberry pie. One of our store favorites is the Sonoma County Zinfandel from Seghesio Winery. This winery has been making wine since 1895 and makes one of the most classic California Zins you can buy and is a steal for less than $20 a bottle.

Fruity for the Pinot Fan

Our second wine is going to be what I would recommend for a big fan of pinot noir. While pinot is well known as a lighter grape, there are parts of the world (and producers) that make a bigger style wine from this varietal. Many parts of California fall under that category, and the Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from Siduri is a great example of it. Their pinot leans heavily into the fruitiness that you can get from letting this grape ripen for slightly longer. Along with the lush red fruits, there is a healthy amount of vanilla and anise to keep it from being one note.

Rich and Balanced Chardonnay

When it comes to an opulent white, I’m going to refer to a chardonnay. Earlier when I talked about how certain wines that are very rich in style can sometimes end up flabby and unbalanced, chardonnay is one of the grapes that, unfortunately, can have this happens too often. Luckily, we are able to get access to wines from one of the world's most prolific makers of chardonnay wines, Joseph Drouhin from Burgundy, France. Often with Drouhin Family's fame comes a big price, however, every once in a while we find a wine from them that way outperforms its price. Their Montagny Bourgogne Blanc is one of those. It has just enough crisp acidity to balance the roundness that is so classic with wines of this style. There is a gorgeous aroma of apples, pears, sweet cream, and honey.

Power with Finesse

California cabernet is what comes to mind when we think of bold wines, and California makes some of the boldest in the world. Much like with chardonnay. however, it's not uncommon to find California cab's that lack balance (even from some of the most well-known producers). Jax Vineyards is a winery that has always amazed me with how much power they are able to capture in their wines while still maintaining finesse. So when we were offered a close-out deal on their North Coast Cabernet, I jumped at the chance to get this wine at a bargain price. This wine brings a plush bouquet of black fruits married to vanilla, herbs, and allspice. A bottle of this is all you need with a hearty meal to beat the chill. 

As always, if you have more questions about any of these bottles, come see me at our Carmel store. I'd love to talk about these and many other options that I think make for the perfect winter wines. We'll also have these wines open this weekend to taste at both locations. Supplies are somewhat limited, so make sure to pick yours up here or order online before they're gone.

Benton Givens

Vine & Table

Wine Buyer

By Jayne Reed