Jan 8, 2021

Now the New Year is upon us, it's time to dig out the cookbooks and research recipes online to create amazing winter warmers for friends and family. Indulge your adventurous side, try something new and match your fare with a glorious winter wine from Dark Horse.

There’s still so much fun to be had in the winter - but after taking on the season's conditions during a fresh morning of surfing, hiking, or mountain biking, there's nothing more satisfying than tucking into warming dishes accompanied by a delicious wine.

Cosy up in front of a crackling fire to share stories and enjoy incredible meals. Enjoy dishes such as braised beef, French onion soup or a creamy baked Camembert with a perfect pairing of wine.

This guide will help you discover everything from the best wine to have with baby back ribs, to the ideal red wine to try with chicken casserole and more.

 

Winter warmers to try

1. Baked Camembert

2. Braised beef short ribs

3. Baby back ribs

4. Lamb harissa meatballs

5. French onion soup

6. Chicken casserole

7. Sticky toffee pudding

 

1. Baked Camembert


Quickly becoming the centrepiece of any dinner table, a baked Camembert is gooey, creamy, comforting and exceptionally delicious.

The rind topping of this glorious cheese can simply be sliced in a cross before being popped in the oven, or it can be jazzed up with additional flavours.

Classic combinations include adding nuggets of garlic and rosemary in the slices you've created and also drizzling honey over the top before baking.

To serve, tear a fresh, crusty baguette or warm through a ciabatta loaf and dip. You can even spread the melted cheese on crackers or dip hand-cooked crisps in for pure indulgence.

Which wine?

When you're looking for a wine pairing to accompany a baked Camembert, a glug of Dark Horse Chardonnay is sure to be a perfect match.

Camembert boasts a buttery texture, as does our Chardonnay - along with a deliciously creamy, soft quality - so the two will blend perfectly on your palette.

The oaky undertones and smooth finish make for a decadent experience that’s ideal for a warming winter combination.

Braised Ribs and Dark Horse Malbec

2. Braised beef short ribs

 

This stunning braised beef short rib with ancho chilli recipe is a tantalising delight packed with powerful flavours including chipotle paste, garlic and, of course, ancho chillies.

It's certain to warm and excite even the most daring of taste buds thanks to the spice of the marinade and tenderness of the meat.

Which wine?

In our book, there's no question when it comes to the best wine for short ribs. For us, the ideal wine pairing for this braised beef recipe is the bold Dark Horse Malbec. This full-bodied drop will match up to the bold, deep flavours of these beef short ribs.

The fruit-forward impression the Dark Horse Malbec leaves on your senses will balance the spice of the tender braised meat.

 

3. Baby back ribs

This baby back ribs with blackberry BBQ sauce recipe is lip-smackingly good and crammed full of incredible flavours. Blackberries, chipotle, ginger, garlic and more combine to create a bold barbecue sauce marinade. It’s perfect for warming you up after an afternoon out in the cool winter air.

Which wine?

An exciting dish to pair with wine - the blackberries in the recipe will match with a Dark Horse Zinfandel or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The dark fruit aromas bursting out of our famous Cabernet Sauvignon include blackberry, cherry and soft prune which will blend and bloom with a mouthful of blackberry barbecue sauce.

However, if you're looking to push the boundaries and go for something a little different with ribs, why not plump for a lively Sauvignon Blanc? The bright, crisp acidity in this lively white wine pairs perfectly with barbecue spices and truly complements pork.

 

4. Lamb Harissa meatballs

Harissa is a garlic-fuelled North African spice paste that is full of fire and depth of flavour and elevates this recipe for lamb meatballs with polenta to another level.

Which wine?

Your choice here depends whether you prefer a red or a white. If you're wanting to try something out of the ordinary, go for a white and try Chardonnay. This mellow wine has a smooth finish and balances sweet peach, baked apple and pear with toasted oak making it the ideal partner for dishes bursting with strong flavour.

The conventional pairing for lamb meatballs, however, would be a hearty drop of Cabernet Sauvignon. The bold notes of dark fruit, espresso and dark chocolate stand up to the robust harissa and the smooth, velvety finish makes for a brilliant crescendo.
 

Lamb Harissa Meatballs and Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

5. French onion soup

A soup of garlic, onions and hearty beef stock topped with thick, gruyère-laden toast - has there ever been a dish that screams winter warmer more? Absolutely spot on for the season, this will certainly warm you through completely after a day of winter water sports.

Which wine?

A French onion soup wine pairing that we think is perfect is our Merlot, with its sophisticated full-bodied flavour. The tasteful balance provides a sumptuous pairing for the variety of flavours coming from this bold soup.

If you'd prefer a white then why not try a glass Sauvignon Blanc to make a confident statement with a clean, crisp finish? The creamy deliciousness of the gruyère toast will also pair well with the buttery notes of our Chardonnay.

 

6. Chicken casserole

Casserole is full of hearty veg, meat and stock - and sure to get the temperature rising. Serve to friends with pillowy rice or a pile of creamy mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort dish.

Which wine?

Chardonnay is always a winner with any chicken dish but you might want to try a twist on a classic and sip the Dark Horse Merlot red wine alongside a flavourful chicken casserole.

It’s a versatile favourite, packed with beautiful blackberry jam notes and the hearty warmth of the casserole will go hand-in-hand with this wine's toasted oak and warm spices. Your taste buds will certainly thank you for this comforting combination.

 

7. Sticky toffee pudding

Sweet, indulgent and beyond delicious - this sticky toffee pudding recipe is jammed full of dates, cream and butter. It’s the hot pudding you need to brighten up a cold winter night.

Which wine?

The light sweetness of juicy stone fruit in our Californian Chardonnay perfectly complements this tempting dessert. It's a rich pudding, so the deep, toasty oak flavours of the wine take the edge off the sweetness, while complementing the dessert with its soft, creamy quality and smooth finish.

You might also want to sample the hints of spice and plum of our Malbec for a pairing with a difference. The earthy tones and velvety finish make for a show stopping finish to your meal.
 

More recipes and wine pairings to try

In need of some more inspiration to freshen your cooking repertoire? Why not try these recipes - along with their ideal wine pairing:

 

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