With the holidays behind us, keeping an extra bottle of wine on hand is the single best strategy to enjoy – or survive – the next weeks of winter. These reds come from three countries and bring the unique flavors of their cultural traditions with them.
Each wine is a great pairing for a delicious, cold-weather meal in the coming months:
Agricola Punica Barrua Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2015 (SRP $39.99)
Open this red wine from southern Sardinia and you’ll evoke images of cobblestone streets lit with holiday lights, the Cagliari Christmas fair, and Cortas Apertas (“open courtyards”), a night when local artisans open their homes and courtyards to sell homemade crafts. The Sardinians love malloreddus, or small gnocchi shaped like tiny conch-shells and made with semolina instead of wheat flour, which gives them a toothy bite. Make malloreddus with sausage fennel ragu and pair with Barrua, a blend made from 85% Carignano grape and showing elegant aromas of spices, wild herbs, mature red fruits, pepper, licorice, and rosemary.
This Argentinian Malbec will have you wishing you could join in the warm spirit of Latin American holiday festivities. With a large population hailing from Europe, many traditions will look familiar – but with a South American flair: enjoy a big feast and fireworks on Christmas Eve and Day, catch the air fleet of glowing, floating paper lamps called and dance until late into the night on New Year’s Eve. Argentina is hot in winter, so a late-night barbecue wouldn’t be out of place – the perfect accompaniment to Alizarine. The wine has effusive spice, chocolate, and ripe fruit aromas and an impressive structure, soft tannins, and a long finish on the palate.
Résonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017 (SRP $35.99)
Let’s return home with this Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We can talk about Oregon’s very own, eclectic set of holiday traditions, but you’ll probably follow your own favorite activities and traditions this season. Instead, just pair the Résonance Pinot Noir with a dish whose ingredients come straight from this northwestern state, like pasta with chanterelle mushrooms and hazelnuts, or fried egg with hazelnuts and chanterelles. The wine shows wonderful notes of spice, well-structured tannins, minerality, and great aging potential. Top it all off with Oregon’s favorite marionberry pie.