The Top 10 Wines for Winter 2022
Whether your summer was blazing hot and smoky or underwater thanks to hurricanes, you are probably, like us, welcoming the arrival of cooler months. This is our third annual Top 10 Wines for Winter writeup, and as usual we’ve scoured our archives to find 10 bottles that should serve you well as the double whammy of cold air and visiting family approach. It’s not all hearty red wines, mind you. This year we worked to ensure that even white wine fans had something that was seasonally appropriate to sip on.
Now, who’s thirsty? (Note: All prices are based on the most recently available market prices.) Remember: Check Total Wine and Wine.com for the best deals on all of these picks!
1. 2016 Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – Amarone can be a divisive wine style, but Pasqua’s 2016 bottling is a unilateral crowd pleaser, laded with notes of dried cherries, blackberries, and a pleasant tea leaf note. Gently sweet and lightly raisiny, notes of dark chocolate and bright cherries pop on the finish. Excellent value, too. $50
2. 2019 Booker Wines Harvey & Harriet – We couldn’t do this list without a big cabernet on it, so why not dive into Harvey & Harriet, a new Paso Robles-born bottling that drinks like wines three times its price. Notes of black currants, dark cherries, vanilla, and baking spice all pop from the start, with a modest tannin that insures the wine never releases its grip on your palate. A couple years in cellar won’t hurt. $30
3. 2015 Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC – This top shelf Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is rounded and silky with lovely notes of licorice and dark chocolate, balanced perfectly with elements of tart black cherries and currants that develop further over time. Perhaps the densest wine on the list this year, you’ll want a hearty meal to pair this with – or another decade in the cellar to temper the beast. $90
4. 2018 Justin Justification – Justification always seems to slip under the radar of Justin’s impressive lineup. This Paso Robles blend – 66% cabernet franc, 34% merlot – shouldn’t. It’s full of both sultry currant and brighter cherry elements, with florals, chocolate, and a touch of balsamic on the finish. $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
5. 2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Georganne – My favorite pinot noir from our recent roundup of Merry Edwards’s bottlings, this wine shows Merry at its softest, more strawberry than cherry, though the latter absolutely make an appearance. It’s a quieter but intensely beautiful wine, with notes of blossoms lingering on the finish. $90
6. 2018 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay – A unilateral go-to for any season, Chalk Hill’s estate-grown chardonnay works just as well for winter as it does for summertime. The bold and creamy body is a fantastic delivery vehicle for notes of notes of nougat, coconut, and spice – with ample lemon and green apple in the mix and an ever so slightly salty finish lingering. Masterfully blended from across Chalk Hill’s many micro-terroirs. $40 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
7. 2018 Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills – I love drinking pinot noir in colder months, and this bottling from Oregon’s Sokol Blosser should prove a delight as the weather cools down. Notes of black cherry, tea leaf, and a gentle hint of cloves give it a classic pinot construction, There’s ample acid here, but the depth of the wine and its peppery finish prove that it can stand up to heartier fare. $38
8. 2015 Center of Effort Chardonnay – A Center of Effort may be a sailing term, but it’s clear that winemakers are steering the ship at this San Luis Obispo operation. The wine hits with a bold tropical and citrus attack, fading to coconut and a traditional vanilla note as it develops in the glass. While it has ample acidity, it has a big enough body to stand up to wintry dishes. $35
9. 2017 R.A.H. Wine Company Series 1 – We’ve been writing about Virginia’s wines for years, so it’s high time we included one in our top 10 roundup. There’s little better that I’ve encountered from the state than this dessert wine made from 75% petit manseng and 25% malvasia bianca, a richly honeyed expression of apricots and peaches that would give almost any dessert wine a run for its money. $NA
10. 2018 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley Olivet Lane Vineyard – A big fruit bomb of a chardonnay, Gary Farrell’s latest single vineyard offering loads up on pineapple, lemon, green apple, and quince, with a tart finish that evokes lemon meringue pie. $50
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