Winter Drinks for Winter Meals

The winter months are all about friends, family, and food. But winter meals don't just mean food. The cold weather is a perfect time for seasonal drinks, spiked just enough to give you that extra warmth inside. However, not all drinks pair great with winter meals. Here are some drink and meal pairs that shouldn't be missed this winter.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines are, of course, the drink of choice when it comes to paired meals. The variety of complex flavors of cabernet sauvignons pair wonderfully with strip steaks if you season them correctly. The heart tannins of a bold cab handle the bitterness that comes with fresh rosemary and alfresco grilling. If you're not sure what cab sauv is best for this, look for one from Bordeaux or Washington State, as they typically have earthier tones that will complement this meal well.

Nitro IPA

Guinness might be famous for its stout, but its recently released Nitro IPA explores uncharted territory. The classic stout is creamy, smooth and filling. Guinness is the best at nitrogenation, and that's why it has brought you everything you love about its stout to the aromatic flavors you love about IPAs. This is a great brew to pair with a bratwurst in the spirit of Bavaria. It can also add nice contract for more unique grilled sausages, such as currywursts.

Brouwerij Bosteels DeuS Brut des Flandres

That name might be a mouthful, but so is the beer within. This specialty beer is a fresh, new style, a bière de Champagne because it is produced with traditional champagne techniques. The process for this beer starts with Brouwerij Bosteels in Belgium where it is fermented, but then is finished in France's Champagne region, which gives this beer a dry texture and unique bite. This beer pairs well with shellfish, citrus flavors, and salads. While this style beer is commonly marked as a bière de Champagne, you can also find it under the title of bière brut.

Pinot Noir

There's just no use leaving off the pair of pinot noirs and wild mushrooms from this list, and there's no reason you should miss this pair either. A dense, spicy pinot noir balances the earth and meat tones often experienced with mushrooms. Look for pinots from Oregon and Burgundy for the richest flavors. New Zealand also produces nice pinot noirs if you can't get your hands on one from those other regions.

Martini

A dry gin martini lets the flavor of oysters shine. The floral flavors of gin draw out unique flavors many oysters usually hide. A dirty martini, on the other hand, can complement the salty flavors the oyster is famous for. While the herbal and floral flavors of gin bring out many flavors in oysters, a vodka martini leaves the natural flavors of the oyster more intact. If you enjoy smoky flavors, try them with a martini of Kettle One vodka with a chilled Ardbeg scotch, which is peated and smoky, finish this martini off with a flamed lemon rind.

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