How to Choose Seasonal Wines for Your Wine Collection
Opening the right bottle of wine for an occasion depends on many factors: the people you're sharing it with, the menu, the type of occasion, and the weather. Wine is incredibly varied, and some wine styles are more compatible with cold or warm weather than others.
The term seasonal wine has been around for some time. Although no wine is meant to be served strictly in a specific season, the idea works. Knowing which wines are best enjoyed in cold or warm weather can take your hosting skills to the next level.
What Are Seasonal Wines?
What makes a wine seasonal? There's no easy answer to this question. We all like different things. Is there such a thing as seasonal food? Of course there is, but we can't simply say roasted turkey is tastier during the winter holidays than in spring or that pumpkin pie isn't delicious in summer. However, we have conventions and consider some foods more compatible with some seasons than others. More often than not, we enjoy calorie-rich food in cold weather and lighter food in spring and summer.
Wine can also be seasonal. What matters most is asking if the wine is refreshing and light, making it ideal for warm seasons, or comforting and heartwarming, just what you want to sip in the coldest months.
Choosing the Best Wine for Each Season
While chilly weather may still linger in spring, you can start to feel the warmth coming. This means you can enjoy both refreshing wines and richer ones. Spring is also the season of peas, asparagus, artichokes, and tender carrots. This colorful spring menu invites light-bodied white wines with tart profiles, like Sauvignon Blanc and Alvarino, and tangy options, like cranberry-scented rosé.
Summer calls for refreshing, even thirst-quenching, wines. Light-bodied red wines like Beaujolais and Pinot Noir will do the trick if served chilled, but summer is the time for ice-cold white wine and fizzy, bubbly wine. For white wines, look for unoaked wines fermented in stainless steel. Remember: the younger the better. Varietals for summer include Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, and Chenin Blanc.
When the temperature drops and the leaves fall, it's time to prepare for winter. Fall is all about gathering around the table with family and friends. Harvest festivals worldwide and Thanksgiving in the United States make fall a festive season. Fall calls for gastronomic wines, those that perform best with food—like Pinot Noir and oaked Chardonnay. These wines are comforting, easy to drink, and pair well with buttery and roasted foods typical of the season.
Food in winter is opulent and fatty. The wine paired with it should also be caloric. Here's where big, bold red wines come in. End dinner with a glass of sweet, fortified wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and many other full-bodied grapes will keep you warm and satisfied throughout the season.
Tips for Selecting Seasonal Wines1. Think of the weather. Refreshing wines are best enjoyed when it's warm outside, and bigger, more alcoholic, and even sweeter wines can help you feel more comfortable when it's not.
Choosing the Right Seasonal Wine Glasses
Now that you know how to choose the right wine for every season, it’s time to choose the right glassware to enjoy it in. Whether you’re serving heartwarming wine in winter or refreshing sippers in summer, the right wine glasses will enhance the wine's flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.
Grassl's artisan mouth-blown glassware is made with high-quality crystal and is designed to elevate your wine-tasting experience no matter the time of year. Explore our wine glass selection, and complete your collection with our best-selling decanters, carafes, and accessories. From red and white to fizzy and deliciously sweet, wine tastes better from the right glassware. What’s your favorite season for drinking wine?