How to Drink Wine in Winter: Food Pairings and Party Must-Haves

Festive Red

Reds, of course, are popular in wintertime. Their fuller, bolder flavors hold up against the season’s heavier dishes and colder weather. “People like a bigger wine this time of year, with their fruits and spices and bigger bodies,” Diamond-Ferdinandi says, “This can be syrah, or a tempranillo from Spain.”

Sommelier Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, of The Factory Kitchen in downtown Los Angeles.

Pinot noir, too, is common come winter. The variety pairs with ham, turkey or foie gras. The Factory Kitchen carries Ponzi “Tavola” 2014 ($60/$15) from Willamette Valley, Oregon, and Angel Camp 2011 ($90 per bottle) from Anderson Valley, California.

The latter is fuller, Diamond-Ferdinandi says, with more spice from oak aging. That allows Angel Camp to cut through the fat of dishes like duck, pork belly, lamb and turkey.

For Dessert

Why stop wine with dinner? Orders for dessert bottle rise this time of year at The Factory Kitchen.

This includes the Asti Saracco Moscato 2013 ($25 per bottle), which tastes of orange and apricot. Diamond-Ferdinandi says this wine from Piedmont, Italy, pairs with anything creamy, like cannolis.


Also on the menu is Braida Brachetto d’Acqui 2012 ($36) from Piedmont, Italy. This sparkling red wine is a natural partner for anything chocolate.

Diamond-Ferdinandi is about to add a tawny port to her lineup, which compliments caramel and toffee desserts.

Kyle Swartz is the Associate Editor for Beverage Dynamics Magazine. Reach him at



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