Fortifieds, Red Wine

Cold Weather, Warm Wines



The seasons are changing and so are my wine tastes. I know some people who are perfectly happy drinking the same sorts of wines all year round, but my tastes are more cyclical than that.

I love to take advantage of what’s happening outside to switch up what’s in my glass. Here are some wines (and wine drinks) I’m looking forward to now that the days are getting colder.


Return of the Mac Reds

Summer to me means whites and rosés, which means fall and winter are all about reds. As soon as I can’t feel the sun on my skin anymore I begin to swing away from the Gamays and Beaujolais, the Sauvignon Blancs and even some of the Pinot Noirs in favour of Cabernet Sauvignons, Malbecs, Syrahs and Carménères. There’s just something about cool air that makes me want a big, flavourful red. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.


Mulled Everything

Have you ever had mulled wine? If you haven’t, you are missing out big time. Do yourself a favour – buy a bottle of red you know you like, read this recipe, and make mulled wine. It will take you all of twenty minutes, after which time you will sip that delicious liquid and wonder how you just managed to distill autumn into such an enjoyable beverage.

You’re welcome.



Let me talk about my love for fortifieds. With fortifieds we’re talking wines like port, sherry and marsala – these have all had a spirit (usually something distilled from grapes) added to them before, during or after fermentation. These wines have a higher alcohol content than regular wine (hence the term ‘fortified’) which I know can be a turn-off for some people, but the flavour and warmth of these drinks can’t be beat. If you’re interested in them but still worried about the booziness, try cooking with them. A little marsala or sherry is a great addition to soups and stews or any dish where you need to deglaze (which might explain why deglazing is one of my favourite cooking activities…).


Bonus – Whiskies

I know, I know – we’ve taken a bit of a left turn here, but we’re still in the family of big warm flavours we’ve been talking about so far. There’s nothing better than curling up with a wee dram on a cold night, letting it warm you from the inside out. While I love Scotches like Benromach, Bowmore and Aberfeldy (and Lagavulin and Laphroaig and Balvenie… the list goes on!), I also love Irish whiskies like Jamesons, Bushmills and, the peaty to end all peaties, Connemara. You don’t even have to shell out for good whisky – a quick search on the LCBO website will show you that Canada makes a bunch of great, affordable stuff.

Well, there you have it – my cold-weather drinks wish list. If you need, I’ll be fixing myself a drink.


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