When the frigid winter temperatures set in, and everyone gathers around the fireplace, there is nothing more soothing to the soul than a glass of fine red wine. Whether hosting a holiday party or a regular gathering of family and friends, a single glass serves to thaw the body and mind, allowing for a more enjoyable seasonal experience. While providing all the antioxidants necessary for maintaining a healthy diet during the season of sweet delectable pastries, red wine encourages activity to combat even the coolest temperatures. It is often said that red wine warms the blood, enabling one to remain active in all company, so that indoor merrymaking can continue as winter swirls about, sealed outside. Whilst suppressing the winter chills and heating up the heart, a single glass of a good red wine is perfect for toasting to the New Year, happiness, and good health for all.

Add Warmth to Meals with Red Wine

Just as daily apparel cycles throughout the year, selecting an appropriate red wine for any occasion depends greatly on the season. While lighter wines are preferred during the summer months, the winter season calls for a distinct selection of wines. As temperatures drop, eating habits change and people enjoy heartier, richer meals to fill one’s appetite and keep the body properly fueled. To accommodate for these changes, sweeter and spicier wines are meant to complement these heartier meals. Quality winter wines exude elements of power and distinction, while emphasizing dark and rich tones of flavor, an excellent beverage beside any plate dressed with rich sauces. Any flavorful dish deserves a suitable, complementary drink, and a well-selected red wine can either enhance the flavors of the meal, or serve as a standalone dessert to appreciate afterwards. No matter the intended effect, a noble red wine adds warmth to every meal, emphasizing the strong aromas and zesty sauces essential to these wintertime dishes, while presenting itself with bold, powerful notes of its own.

Make a Mulled Red Wine

To keep the winter weather at bay, one can certainly stay comfortably cozy with a toasty mug of some mulled red wine. An Old World favorite, this delightful beverage has warmed the hearts of Nordic and German peoples for centuries, helping them brave the coldest winters imaginable. Based with a fine red wine, the drink is sweetened and spiced, and finally heated, providing an excellent alternative to regular hot coffees or ciders. All one needs is a bottle of his favorite wine – some classics include Cab Franc, Zinfandel, and Merlot – added with cinnamon, ginger, and honey to taste. The seasonings and sweetness create a unique sensation, enhancing the underlying tones of liquor while creating a spiced flavor to remember. A drink this refreshing is sure to liven up any festivity, raising the spirits of everyone around.

Don Stevens writes about food, wine and travel and contributes to Miles Wine Cellars.