Snow falls soft and steady outside the window. The night air has taken on that distinct quiet that comes with crisp winter weather. Holiday lights glow like beacons in the foggy light.
When the mercury dips the appetite cries out for meals with deeply satisfying flavors that warm you down to the marrow of your bones. Braise, braise, braise. Roast, roast, roast. Simmer, simmer simmer. Many words for recipes that call for some work up front that result in long windows of downtime; perfect for afternoons tucked into a corner with a pot of tea, a novel, and layers of woolens.
The wines for such meals are equally robust and compelling. They need the structure and intensity to stand next to and support the deep flavors of slow cooked foods. Tonight’s wine is one such example. The 2013 Fabrizio Dionisio “Il Castagno” Cortona Syrah is big, bold and more expressive on the second day of tasting. It is deep violet colored wine redolent with flavors of iron, blackberry, cassis, garrigue and finishes with fine dry tannins. This is the kind of wine that begs to be paired with stews braised low and slow in the oven. Or, chunky soups. Or, creamy, crunchy gratins.