winter wines

Photo by clint trahan /

Our sommelier’s picks for top winter wines

When it’s cold we tend to gravitate toward more full-bodied, potent reds. Here are some of our favourites, available at the SAQ.

In wintertime, we tend to look for wines with more tannins, structure and alcohol. Here is an interesting selection of winter wines that you may never have tried, and will be happy you did.

Domaine Cazes Côtes Catalanes Cap au Sud 2017

winter wines
Domaine Cazes Côtes Catalanes Cap au Sud 2017 — Top winter wines

The South of France provides a surprising quality and price ratio with its wines, including many organic wines like this one. It is fresh, full of black fruits like blackberry, floral with lavender and violet, a hint of mild spices. Truly a deal.

Pairing: grilled vegetables, sausage; beef, pork or chicken kebab. 

50% Mourvèdre 50% Syrah, Côtes Catalanes, France, 750 ml, $13.20

SAQ code 12829051

Foco Garnacha Carinera 2017

Foco Garnacha Carinera 2017 — Top winter wines

Foco means projector, the Grenache grape truly shines here. The vines are old and are planted in altitude which brings freshness. Lots of red and black fruit, mild spices,  easy to drink, full in the mouth and really enjoyable; a deal also!

Pairing: grilled vegetables or meat kebab, sausages, charcuterie.

100% Grenache,Vallée de l’Ebre (Carinena), Espagne, 750 ml, $14

SAQ code 13803005

Planeta Frappato 2017

winter wines
Planeta Frappato 2017 — Top winter wines

Sicily, a sunny island south of Italy, produces great wines. It is so appealing on the nose. We taste ripe cherries and wild strawberry; it is juicy, slightly smokey, fresh, easy to drink and so enjoyable! (Planeta Sicilia 2018 is a delicious alternative in rosé at only $16.95. )

Pairing: charcuterie, veal cutlet, salmon filet with a spice crust.

100% Frappato, Vittoria, Sicily, 750 ml, $21.95

SAQ code 12640611

Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 — Top winter wines

The sunny Maipo valley in Chili brings us surprising winter wines with character! Mountains and coast are omnipresent here. Black cherries, smoked, spices, dark chocolate, slightly oaked, with velvet tannins and tobacco leaves, full bodied. So long in the palate — it is a must! 

Pairing: spare ribs, grilled marinated beef and vegetables.

91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, Maipo Valley, Chili, 750 ml, $18

SAQ code 13685483

Note: For red wines, I would suggest putting them in the fridge at least 20 minutes before serving. Santé! ■

See more articles by Claude Boileau (@sommelier77) here.

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