Many of us mourn the end of the long, hot and sunny days and curse the chill in the air and the need to haul out the heater. Being fortunate enough to live in the “best climate in Australia” – indeed, the outdoor lifestyle and mild temperatures make the living easy for the vast majority of the year.
That’s partly why the need to unpack the winter woollies and rug up is a bit of a fun novelty around here. The idea of a temporary hibernation is kind of appealing. A few weeks to stop, regroup, stay in and cook up some giant pots of comfort food and have a few early nights.
Nothing better, in my opinion. And just knowing the “harsh” part of winter is a mere few weeks long makes it seem even more blissful.
Hailing from the far northern hemisphere from a land of ice, snow and hardcore seasons, I’m aware of the concept of real winter. SAD disorder is real. Being deprived of sunlight and fresh air for such a huge portion of the year can indeed produce a true seasonal despair. The novelty of snow wears off – and then some. It’s dark and frozen, and that is all folks.
But here in Port Mac, the much subtler change in season still manages to open up a whole new set of possibilities …
That’s right – red wine weather has arrived. This is worth celebrating! Now some might argue that red wine weather is any weather, all year around. Red wine tragics indeed – and I would certainly say that I am one of those, if not for just the sheer love of the stuff. But somehow to me, the flavour profiles, warming tannins and ambient temperature of most reds don’t seem at all attractive when you’re wiping sweat of your brow on any ordinary February day.
Much in the same way Aussies might cringe at the British and their lukewarm pints instead of an ice-cold schooner, there’s just a subtle nod to the climate right there.
Gloriously and happily though, now it is time to dust off those treasures in the cellar. Pinots, cabernet blends, GSMs, Nebbiolos and untapped treasures from other lands – the options are endless and delightful.
Beers and whites away for now, cooler nights lend themselves so perfectly to hearty and comforting foods and warming, flavourful reds.
Appetites are geared towards the need to keep oneself warm, so bring on the cook ups, bakes and life affirming soups. Somehow food just tastes so much better in winter – something to do with its additional comforting role, probably.
No longer just grazing as we tend to do over summer, we crave the substantial and fortifying. That means more courses, more carbs, and did I forget to mention – more cheese? Red wine and cheese are mandatory for those cosy nights in front of Netflix.
Somehow ice-cream (and it does seem impossible, I know), loses a slight bit of appeal when you’re rugged up under a blanket with Ugg boots on.
Yet whatever your winter penchant is, be sure to enjoy while you still have the chance … Indeed, that sun will amp up its power again before we know it. Meanwhile – cheers to loads of lovely red!