“Time will pass, and seasons will come and go.”
With every seasonal change, we make changes in our lives. Our clothes change, our habits change, and our tastes change. Much like food comes in and out of season – heavy stew in the winter, salads in the summer – so does our wine selections.
Most people would think about seasonal wines in terms of color. Bright, crisp whites in the summer; heavy, full-bodied reds in the winter. But just as with pairing wine and food, the number one rule of pairing wine for the season is – if you love it, do it.
Too often we try to apply strict rules to wine pairings, but the fact remains – if you pair a wine you love with the food you love, no matter the time of year – you’re going to have a good experience.
Summer is all about easy living. Days spent at the lake, or around the pool call for refreshing drinks. When the heat is rising, and you’re looking for a wine to add into a spritzer, or for something cool and refreshing, look for wines that have:
- High acidity
- Light to medium body
- Dry taste
If you pick up a bottle of sweet wine, try to make sure that it also has high acidity. Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc are all good options.
But summer doesn’t have to mean white. Instead of thinking about the wine in terms of color, think about the texture and weight. Look for youthful reds that are high in acidity and lower in tannin and alcohol levels.
Winter begs for warmth and comfort – meaning our familiar favorites of full-bodied reds with higher tannin and alcohol content. They have a way of warming the soul against even the harshest bitter chills. During colder months, we also often eat foods that are heavier, thicker, fattier, and meat-laden. We make thick sauces, broths, soups full of wonderful delicious flavors and rich aromas.
Try the 2012 Byrd Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with a hearty stew or beef wellington. Bold flavors of racy black cherry, fresh-from-the-oven wild blackberry pie, and sweet French oak combined with silky yet powerful tannins make for a one-of-a-kind wine you’ve never experienced before.
If you’d rather poultry over red meat, try pairing the 2010 Byrd Merlot with chicken cordon bleu, or chicken parmesan. The rich berries, herbaceous notes, and beautiful sweet aromatics of vanilla and cedar come together in the wine with smooth tannins and a long finish.
Juicy, cooler-climate Byrd Merlot also pairs well with roasted vegetables. Try roasted Brussel sprouts or this delicious medley. You could even pair harder-to-match veggies such as tomatoes.
For an evening of appetizers around the fire, this fig and prosciutto pizza has all of the makings for the perfect wine accompaniment: fruit, meat, and cheese. Pair it with this irresistible 2010 Byrdeaux Red Wine. This blend boasts lush, concentrated flavors of rich berry, cassis, and sweet tobacco leaf that combine with beautiful aromatics of nutmeg and lavender to create a smooth and velvety finish. Dense in color and luxuriously layered with deep notes of blueberry and black currant, this sophisticated wine with well-integrated tannins leaves you wanting more.
When it comes to winter whites, a full-bodied, oaked white, such as a Chardonnay is perfect.
In between seasons?
Spring and Fall are seasons of change when the weather is rather unpredictable. One minute the sun is out and you’re shedding layers, the next the sweater is back on and you are feeling the chill. So what should you drink in this in-between?
Choose your wine the way you choose clothes for this time of year, something not too heavy and not too light. Look for wines with freshness, brightness, and texture, and above all wines that are versatile, wines that reflect the transitional nature of the season.
Try the well-balanced 2009 Byrd Cabernet, a ruby red with notes of tart fruits, warm spices, and graphite. Not too sweet, with a full body and beautifully subtle fruit flavors, this selection is nice and smooth. Aromas of red and black fruits, cocoa, and violet come together with fine tannins and a medium-length finish.
Wines that Soar
The finest wines have always been the product of place, soil, terroir, elevation.
Byrd Vineyards uses the altitude to their advantage. At 2,400 feet, 150 days in the clouds is like 180 days on the valley floor: the vines don’t shut down. The higher you get, the sun radiates more, which leads to softer tannins, and higher acid content. The cooler temperatures produce smaller, significantly more intense berries and phenolics and the occasional temperature inversions hasten the ripening process and stave off frost. This quality and purity of ripeness and intensity of flavor shine in our Byrd Vineyard wines.
No matter the season, the most important part of choosing the perfect wine is starting with your taste. Choosing a wine you love to compliment the weather, the food, or the company will never fail.