I’ve been known to enjoy a great glass of Whiskey. Hands down, my go to is Uncle Nearest 1856 (and on special occasions, the ultra-rare Single Barrel 1820). Blast of vanilla, brown sugar, and hay on the nose with yummy, caramelized nuts, oats, and maple on the palate. The finish is long and smooth leading to that signature spicy oak we all love. But Uncle Nearest is not only doing amazing things for Whiskey, they’re the poster child for giving back and paying it forward, which makes drinking their premium Whiskey that much more enjoyable. How I could go on and on, but this blog is not about Whiskey – let’s talk wine!
Yes, Whiskey lovers, there are those rare occasions when you must put down the tumbler and embrace a wine glass. But what to drink? It can be a daunting task, particularly with so many different varietals, blends, and regions. Don’t worry, Wine Bounty is here to help narrow your search with a few tips:
- Stick to medium- to full-bodied red wines. Like Whiskey, these wines are typically aged in oak barrels, which helps impart that rich complex flavor (vanilla, spices, etc.) common in Whiskey.
- If you’re an Irish Whiskey drinker, head straight to Cabs. Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied with dark fruit flavors (black currant, blackberry), lush tannins, tobacco, and spice. You could also give a California Zinfandel a try with its bold, jammy fruit with smoky spice notes.
- If you prefer smoother Whiskey or blends, look to an Australian Shiraz. A big red wine with jammy fruits (think blackberry sauce) and notes of vanilla, sweet tobacco, and spice.
- If you’re a Bourbon lover, a Washington or California Merlot is for you. These wines are powerful with sweet black cherry fruit, fine tannins, and subtle notes of baking chocolate and vanilla.
- If you’re into rye Whiskey, a Spanish Granacha should make you happy. Medium-bodied with vibrant red fruit flavors and an elevated spice flavor profile.
- If you lean toward the sweeter side of Whiskey, a good bet is barrel-aged Portuguese Port. Long ageing in big oak casks gives these Ports their distinctive nut-brown color, and that nuttiness comes through in the flavor along with notes of black plum, dried cherry, raisins, and chocolate.
- Finally, if you’re a Whiskey generalist (ahem, connoisseur), there is a lot to offer from Italian red – particularly Nebbiolo-based Barolos and Barbarescos. They’re complex wines with an amazing range of aromas and flavors. Medium- to full-bodied with notes of black cherry, spice cake, tobacco leaf, and leather. If you want something a little heavier, there’s also Nero d’Avola from Sicily, which has many characteristics like Cab with flavors of black cherry, black plum, chili pepper, and tobacco.
Of course, all these recommendations make huge assumptions. You may ultimately discover that your palate for Whiskey is completely different for wine. And if that’s the case, BRAVO! because the wine world is your oyster. Happy Hunting!
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