It’s a tough time of year: The calendar says March, but the season is still winter, meaning one day it’s 70 degrees and the next you’re scraping frost off your windshield in the morning. This time of year can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be — especially if you have wine. In the summer, there’ll be plenty of time for light, fruity wines. But we’re a long way from there. So to get us to longer days and wine-soaked nights, here are five reds that may help:
Wine: Uncaged Proprietary Red Blend 2015
Label: Z. Alexander Brown
First sip: This red blend is big and bold, and the first sip is enough to make you want to be knee-deep in the water somewhere.
Reminds you of: Fishing in an Ozark stream. If the label sounds familiar, it should. One Z. Alexander Brown and his band have more than a few toe-tapping country music hits under their belt that sound like summer. Take a sip of this, and dream of fishing in a stream so clear you can see the guppies nibbling at your feet.
Open this on that winter day when: You take your car in for an oil change and the mechanic tells you you need $500 more in necessary repairs.
More about this wine: http://www.zalexanderbrown.com/
Wine: Crios Malbec
Label: Susana Balbo Winery, Argentina
First sip: A decade ago, Malbec was an obscure grape known only to wine snobs and Argentinians. Not anymore. There are plenty of pleasing Malbecs on the shelves, but we like this one. Hints of black cherries, oak, violets and spice make this a smooth and pleasing wine.
Reminds you of: Music, the kind that that makes you bob your heard, tap your toes and then a maybe roll a shoulder or two — and, then look around to see if anyone has noticed.
Open this on that winter day when: It’s 70 degrees out and the fact you’re not wearing a coat is just a tease, because Spring is still more than a month away.
More about this wine: http://en.susanabalbowines.com.ar
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Wine: Bin 555 Shiraz 2014
Label: George Wyndham
First sip: Full bodied and bold with rich flavor and a finish with a hint of spice. This wine, from the vintner who planted Australia’s first commercial Shiraz grape, does not disappoint.
Reminds you of: Pulling up a chair on the patio and grilling a nice, thick steak — the perfect complement to this wine.
Open this on that winter day when: You just don’t think you can eat another casserole, soup or stew.
More about this wine: http://www.georgewyndham.com/#/
Wine: Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Label: Murphy Goode, Santa Rosa, Cal
First sip: A full-bodied, hearty cab with dark plum and blackberry aromas.
Reminds you of: That feeling you get when your hometown baseball team comes from behind in the bottom of the ninth and wins on a walk-off homer.
Open this on that winter day when: You’re tired, stressed and irritable — and in need of a vacation. And your friend tells you she and her husband have booked a trip to spring training in Florida
More about this wine: http://www.murphygoodewinery.com/wine/california-cabernet-sauvignon
Wine: 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
Label: Noble Vines, Lodi, Calif.
First sip: Noble Vines calls the blackberry aroma that arises at first sip its “hallmark,” and it doesn’t disappoint.
Reminds you of: The fireworks display on the 4th of July, an explosion of flavor that is pleasing to the palate and surprising to the brain.
Open this on that winter day when: You’re just getting over that 2-week cold and finally feel good enough to uncork a bottle when you come home from work – and know that summer and sunny days are just around the corner.