Just as Punxsutawney Phil pokes his head out of his burrow on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, and usually scurries back to his nest for six more weeks of winter, so do we, too, tend to hunker down this month and enjoy the cozy comforts of hearth and home. To get you through the countdown to spring, I recommend three big, fat wines that will warm your spirit.
Lander Jenkins Chardonnay California 2008 “Spirit Hawk” ($13, Bacchus Importers Ltd.) is for all the Kendall-Jackson fans out there. It sports plenty of juicy tropical flavors, supported by a dollop of oak. It’s a Chardonnay that makes no apologies for being round and ripe and is a delicious value. It also gets bonus points for being exclusively from sustainably farmed vineyards.
A strapping red wine is in order to wash down all the rich food, and that calls for a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Cabernet 2007 ($48, Constantine Wines) serves up a delicious helping of currant, blackberry, and blueberry, draped over a frame of fine tannin. The wine is lushly textured, and the long finish serves as a final reminder of just how finessed this wine is.
An over-the-top, decadent dessert wine is a must, and the Quady “Essencia” Orange Muscat ($16, The Country Vintner) proves to be a delightful treat. This variety of Muscat delivers the essence of orange peel, and the overall effect is hedonistic. It mates well with fruity desserts, but it may be at its best with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.