The right wine for the time

Edinburgh sommelier shares his top five picks for winter wines


FULL-bodied, rich wines should be the order of the day this winter, according to Edinburgh sommelier Luke Richardson.

Winter is coming: Luke Richardson (right) is sommelier at Edinburgh wine bar Le Di-Vin (above).
Winter is coming: Luke Richardson (right) is sommelier at Edinburgh wine bar Le Di-Vin (above)

Luke, who works at wine bar Le Di-Vin, has recommended five wines he thinks are ideally suited to selling in the approach to the festive season.

“Now that winter is truly upon us and the nights are drawing in, I feel that it is the time of year to start drinking full-bodied and rich wines,” said Luke.

“I think that a lot of people think that this means delving into the new world, but you can find some old world examples too. I’ve included one of each for both white and red wines, plus a little sticky to have with a plate of cheese.”

The wines are:

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet from Chateau de la Maltroye: an old world “soft, buttery” white wine with “hints of nuts, candied lemon peel and a touch of smokiness”, according to Luke.

Priced around £55 a bottle.

2016 vintage Sutherland Chardonnay: showing “great complexity for such a young wine”, this new world white from Elgin, South Africa, has “fresh citrus flavours, a touch of honey and lots of toasty oak notes on the finish”, said Luke. It is priced £33 a bottle.

2015 Barbera D’Alba from Castello di Verduno: a northern Italian red with a “chunk of oak ageing” this wine has aromas of plums, brambles and a touch of liquorice, with a juicy finish and fine grained tannins, said Luke. This bottle comes in at £36.

Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah 2016: very pure Syrah fruit, with a “nice balance between ripeness and acidity”, Luke said this new world red – from Washington State – is “ripe and heady but not too overblown”. It is priced at £32 a bottle.

M. Chapoutier Bila Haut, 2016: this fortified dessert-style wine was chosen by Luke as an alternative to port. He described it as “not quite as viscous as port, or quite as sticky, but (with) much nicer red fruit flavours”. He said that it is also well suited to pairing with a range of cheeses and chocolate desserts. The price is around £35 per 500ml bottle.