Wines By Season: Quick Guide

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Wines By Season: What Wines for Summer

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Great wines for summer are lighter in body, higher in acid, and have a bright fruit profile. Youthful wines work well, as well as sparkling wines.

Here are a few great wines for the summer months:

You want to pair your wines for the summer with the foods that come into season this time of year. Think salads, fresh greens, lighter vegetables, picnics, and BBQs. You don’t eat heavy, rich stews in the summer, and you don’t want to drink heavy, rich wines, either, if you’re going for a seasonal pairing.

Wines By Season: What Wines for Fall

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Fall in the vineyard.

Great wines for fall work well with earthy flavors for seasonal cuisines. If you’re doing more roasted vegetables, pasta with cream sauces, and roasted chicken or turkey with herbal rubs, then you’ll still want wines that have bright fruit, but you can add a little more weight.

Here are a few great wines for the fall months:

All of these wines bring acid and fruit, but also a little more complexity with herbal, floral, or mineral notes.

Wines by Season: What Wines for Winter

Winter wines embrace the chill of the season by bringing warmth. Look for fuller-bodied wines from warmer growing regions. These wines will be higher in alcohol, delivering more of that burn to warm you up, along with jammier fruits. These wines have the structure and presence to pair with heavier dishes, think stews, rich pasta sauces, roasted red meats.

Here are a few great wines for winter time:

Many of these winter wines wines deliver depth and body. Look to red wines like Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah that give you grippy tannins in addition to that kick of high alcohol. These wines work beautifully with everything from burger night to beef stew.

Wines by Season: What Wines for Spring

Good spring wines have depth to them, but also hint at freshness that lets you pair either way as your first greens of the season make their way to your table. I think that the best spring wines are a little more raw in nature, mirroring the weather outside.

If you’re like me and love a good lentil soup on a blustery March day, then lean into the grippy herbaceousness of a Cabernet Franc, or the cheerful acidity of a Chinon or inexpensive Rioja. Likewise, your Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Chianti will deliver that bright red fruit that works well as the days warm up and you move to grilled or roasted white meats, taco night, and dark leafy salads.

Wines By Season: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring

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If you enjoy eating seasonally and sourcing what’s available from your local garden or farmer’s market, then you should absolutely be thinking about pairing wine seasonally.

Go with bright, fresh wines during the summer, and full-bodied rich wines during the winter. Fall and spring offer a wide range of wines to experiment with depending on how chilly or warm your day happens to be and what you’re feeling like cooking.

If it’s a little chilly outside and you’re thinking of earthy flavors, go for fuller-bodied, richer wines. If it’s warming up and you’re inspired to make yourself a lighter, fresher meal, then choose a brighter, fresher wine.

Of course, as with all things wine, the best way to figure out what wine to pair with the different seasons is to experiment. Every winemaker has unique practices and can craft their wines in ways that will make them fuller or lighter in style, richer or fresher, so drink broadly.

Thirsty for More?

Check out easy cold appetizers for white wines.

Here’s a great guide to pairing wines and food to get you started if you’re ready for more.

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