Pairing Wine with Winter Dishes

Crisp, electric air flurried with snowflakes, the cosiness of soft chunky knits, and the feel of a hot mug against cold fingertips: these are just some of the things that add to the magic of mid-winter.

While spring and summer usher in sunny days by the seaside and blackened barbecued meats, winter welcomes the indulgence of long lie-ins under thick duvets and decadent wintry meals that warm the cockles.

As the days grow shorter and the air becomes chillier, so too does seasonal cuisine become heartier and richer to suit. At Langdon Court’s multiple award-winning restaurant, we embrace the homely feel of the colder months with seasonal ingredients that invoke all the warmth of a crackling fire. From wild Cornish sea bass with parsnips and pine nut dressing, to beef fillet with smoked pancetta and veal jus, our dishes are filled with the bold, earthy flavours of the season, exciting the palate with rich spices, savoury sauces, and smoky meats.

To complement the full-flavoured dishes and ingredients of winter, wines must be equally robust, with opulent flavours that can hold their own with potent seasonal tastes. As such, there is a common misconception that white wines should be relegated to the cellar until the dewy mornings of spring, but in fact, there are red, white and sparkling wines to suit every season and enhance every dish.

"To complement the full-flavoured dishes and ingredients of winter, wines must be equally robust, with opulent flavours that can hold their own with potent seasonal tastes."

Just because the swimming trunks and sun hats are tucked deep in the back of the wardrobe doesn’t mean your white wines should also be left to hibernate in the recesses of your refrigerator or wine cellar. The key with wine pairings is to select wines based on the intensity of the dish rather than on the season. So there’s no need to steer clear of white wines altogether once autumn rolls around; rather than the flamboyant Zinfandels and sweet Moscatos of summer, the best white wines for winter are weighty with toasted, smoky and oaked qualities.

For winter whites, our wine list offers ample choice. Opt for white wines with vigorous spices and bold fruity notes that will pair beautifully with wintry flavours, like our Jean-Marc Lafage Centenaire Roussillon Blanc. Intense and with a hint of spice, this wine is subtly oaked and elegant to suit seafood dishes prepared with a seasonal flair, like our turbot fillet with butternut fondants and artichoke foam. Our Bodega Castro Martin Albariño is an equally appropriate choice for winter dining, with lush notes of ripe pear and white peach offset by a spicy acidity.

Immensely versatile and food-friendly, Champagne and fine sparkling wine are the perfect choice for a celebratory mid-winter dinner or for an elegant cocktail party with wintry canapés. This is because the exuberant complexity of Champagne and sparkling wine easily complements most meals, from popcorn and fried chicken to the most sumptuous of steaks and buttery lobster tails.

 

While the bubbles of sparkling wines and Champagne are delicate and supple enough to allow subtler flavours to shine through for summer and spring dishes, their crispness and acidity means they are equally suited to wintry and autumnal fare. As most bottles of sparkling wine or Champagne blend different vintage wines, they tend to display an intense minerality and acidity that adds depth to the gamey and savoury meats of winter and surmounts even the richest ingredients. With an elegant bouquet of white flowers, fresh fruit and brioche, and hints of vanilla and gingerbread, De Castellane’s Croix Rouge Saint André Brut has just the right aromas to complement a heavy winter meal of juicy roasted meats and wholesome vegetables.

“The exuberant complexity of Champagne and sparkling wine easily complements most meals ”

The moment we feel a slight nip in the air, many of us are naturally inclined towards round, opulent red wines with hints of leather, cedar and wood smoke, and all the fullness of a classic winter red. However, not all reds are suited to the seasonal dishes of winter. Lighter, fruit-forward reds are wonderful for summer barbecues, but now in mid-winter, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the most mature and expressive of reds.

For starters like our wood pigeon kiev with game crisps, hazelnut vinaigrette and game jus, or mains like our lavish venison loin wrapped in pancetta, chocolate soil, red cabbage purée, fresh apple and blackberry jus, there’s no better wine choice than our Tilia Malbec; big and rich, filled with aromas of black cherries, dark chocolate, blackberries and pepper, this wine is a tour de force.

The dark fruits, spices and hint of cocoa of our Journey’s End Shiraz-Mourvedre create a medium-bodied red that pairs perfectly with our seasonal seafood dishes, while the robust structure and potent plum and blackberry notes of our La Serre Merlot make it an ideal choice for our sumptuous beef fillet.

Whether you’re sipping a glass of our rounded and fruity La Croix Ferrandat St Emilion while lounging in one of our suites, or if you’re simply popping into our restaurant for the evening to enjoy one of our world-class seasonal meals, Langdon Court offers a setting full of intimate charm and refinement.

For more information on booking your stay with us, or to make a reservation at our restaurant, contact us at Langdon Court today.