Our Favourite Winter Food And Wine Pairings


Winter is a season of cosy nights, delicious comfort food, and, of course, wine. There’s something about the cold weather that makes us crave hearty dishes and the perfect wine to accompany them for a food and wine pairing. In this article, we will explore our favourite winter food and wine pairings that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and warm your soul. From indulgent chocolate treats to comforting tomato soup and classic pizza, we have wine pairing ideas for every winter craving. 

People enjoying some wine and italian food

Winter Wines: What To Look For

Before we dive into a specific wine and food pairing, it’s important to understand the characteristics of winter wines. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy full-bodied, bold red wines that will warm you up from the inside out. Look for wines with higher alcohol content, as well as notes of dark fruits, spices, and earthy undertones. These wines will pair well with the rich, hearty flavours of winter dishes.

Bold Reds for Chilly Evenings

When the cold bites, a bold red wine is the perfect comfort drink and ideal for a food and wine pairing. Seek out those with robust flavours, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Malbec. These wines typically offer a higher alcohol content, contributing to that warming sensation, and their tannic structure holds up well against hearty winter meals.

food and wine pairing - red wine being poured

Full-Bodied Whites for Balance

While reds may dominate the winter scene, let’s not overlook full-bodied white wines. A rich Chardonnay with buttery notes or a Viognier with its aromatic complexity can be just as comforting, as these wines often exhibit a creamy texture, making them ideal partners for dishes with a rich sauce or roasted white meats.

The Rising Stars: Orange Wines

Orange wines present a unique option for food and wine pairing. Made from white grapes that have been macerated with their skins, they offer depth and texture that can surprise and delight. Their bold structure and tannins can withstand robust winter meals, offering a great middle ground between red and white wines.

food and wine pairing - orange wine

Food and Wine Pairing: Chocolate

Winter is the perfect time to indulge in your favourite chocolate treats, and what better way to elevate your experience than by having a chocolate and wine pairing? The key to a successful chocolate and wine pairing is to match the intensity of the chocolate with the intensity of the wine. For dark chocolate, look for a full-bodied red wine with bold flavours, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. For milk chocolate, opt for a medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or Shiraz. And for white chocolate, pair it with a light-bodied, fruit-forward wine like Pinot Noir or Riesling.

Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Food and Wine Pairing With Tomato Soup: A Classic Combination

Is there anything more comforting on a cold winter day than a bowl of tomato soup? A well-thought-out wine pairing with tomato soup can make it the perfect winter accompaniment. The acidity and tanginess of tomato soup pair well with crisp, acidic white wines. Try a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to complement the flavours of the soup without overpowering them. For a red wine option, go for a light-bodied Pinot Noir or a fruity Merlot.

The Role of Oak 

For richer tomato soups, perhaps with a touch of cream or a roasted depth, an oaked white wine can bring an interesting dimension. A lightly oaked Chardonnay with its vanilla nuances can add a layer of complexity to the pairing, bridging the gap between the wine and the richness of the soup.

Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese

Red Wine Alternatives

While white wines are often the go-to for tomato-based dishes, don’t dismiss light-bodied reds. A Gamay can offer a fruit-forward contrast to the acidity of the soup without overwhelming it, especially if the soup is served with a cheesy accompaniment like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Spicy Food and Wine Pairing: Finding the Perfect Balance

Spicy food is a staple in many winter dishes, and finding the right wine to balance out the heat can be a challenge when doing a spicy food and wine pairing. The key is to look for wines with a hint of sweetness to counter the spiciness. For Asian-inspired dishes, try pairing them with a Riesling or Gewürztraminer, as the sweetness of these wines will balance out the heat of the spices. For Mexican or Indian cuisine, opt for a Malbec or Syrah, which have a bit more body and tannins to stand up to the bold flavours. An off-dry wine can be a spicy dish’s best friend. The slight sweetness can soothe the burn of chilli peppers and complement the complexity of spices like cumin and coriander. 

Food and Wine Pairing: Pizza – A Match Made in Italy

Pizza is a staple in many households, especially during the colder months. The key to a successful pizza and wine pairing is to match the toppings with the wine. For a classic margherita pizza, opt for a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Chianti. For a meat-lovers pizza, go for a bold, full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. 

food and wine pairing - Pizza and Wine

And for a veggie pizza, try a medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc to complement the flavours of the vegetables. A veggie pizza loaded with mushrooms, peppers, and onions pairs beautifully with a versatile white wine. Consider a Grüner Veltliner or a dry Riesling, which can handle the variety of vegetable flavours while providing a crisp counterbalance to the cheesy goodness.

HER Wines Food and Wine Pairing

Food and Wine Pairing with the Pinotage 2022

This wine leaves a lasting impression on the palate with its luscious, mature red berry flavours and fragrant, spicy undertones. It is medium-bodied with silky tannins, and it pairs well with spicy food and meat platters.

Lady holding HER Wine Pinotage

Food and Wine Pairing with the Shiraz 2022

Featuring a blend of deep dark berry flavours with nuances of vanilla and spice, this captivating and complex wine is medium-bodied with substantial depth. It creates a lasting impression on the palate and goes brilliantly with red meat dishes that are quite robust.

food and wine pairing - HER Wine Shiraz

Food and Wine Pairing with the Sauvignon Blanc 2023 

A fruity, zesty crowd-pleaser, this wine offers flavours of passion fruit, pineapple, and lemon and is best served with grilled chicken or fresh seafood.

HER Wine Sauvignon Blanc with a glass of wine in the background

Food and Wine Pairing with the Chenin Blanc 2023

This bold, flavourful wine boasts tropical fruit aromas and flavours of yellow apple, green melon, and white pear, guaranteed to delight and impress. It is delicious with seafood, chicken, or crunchy salads.

food and wine pairing - HER Wine Chenin Blanc

Buy HER Wines

For your perfect food and wine pairing, our wines are available to purchase in-store at Woolworths and other retailers country-wide, and they can also be found online at Woolworths, Makro and Takealot.

HER Wines Bursary

At the HER Wine Collection, our team of exceptional women is well aware of the obstacles encountered on the journey to professional success. We empathise with the challenges young individuals face while carving out their own paths, which inspires our commitment to support them. This is why we have pledged to donate 2% of our profits to a bursary fund dedicated to nurturing the ambitions of young minds and helping them turn their dreams into reality.

HER Wine Bursary Badge and Pinotage

Our exclusive scholarship is available to applicants from families employed in the vineyards that supply grapes for the HER Wine Collection. Selected recipients will receive financial aid for their education and gain valuable mentorship, guiding them through the complexities of higher education and the pursuit of a rewarding career.

Contact HER Wines

To keep up with wine specials, food and wine pairing advice, and the latest news from the HER Wine Collection, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. For more information, feel free to email us at info@herwinecollection.co.za, call us at 021 111 0210, or message us on WhatsApp at 060 551 5989.