There’s nothing like winding down with a soul-warming glass of wine after a long day, especially curled up on the couch with a comfy blanket in front of a fireplace (or heater). Throw in some good company, some tunes and you’ve got a winning evening! While it’d be difficult to ruin a moment like this, picking the perfect wine to warm those wintery bones is definitely the most important step. Choose a sipper that’s easy drinking, smooth and robust, and it needn’t be expensive nor snooty. Oh, and don’t think this scenario is reserved only for the red wine drinkers; white and sweet wine drinkers, we’re looking at you! Here are 5 of our favourite warming wines to keep that winter chill at bay:

RED

Red wine is the ubiquitous winter evening tipple and it’s not hard to see why. With its ability to fire up and enliven even the dreariest of moods, a good warming red is like a cosy ‘blankie’ for the soul. Try these ones out:

1. Nederburg The Winemasters Merlot 2014

From Nederburg’s premium collection, The Winemasters, comes this smooth Merlot, but this isn’t the ‘reserved for special occasions only’ kind of stuff. Great for established red wine lovers, this medium-bodied ruby red pairs perfectly with good conversation, has fragrant hints of vanilla and soft strawberry beneath a silky, fruity texture. Designed to be a food-friendly wine, this gorgeous red goes down a treat as easily with a lovely winter roast as a casual pizza. Or, of course, just drink it on its own.

2. Warwick The First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

A young and cheeky wine, this ready-to-drink 100% Cab Sav is a great starter wine for those just getting into reds. It’s a big wine but without any of the stuffiness of older wines. Look out for notes of liquorice, berry and fresh red fruit. Don’t take yourself too seriously with this lighthearted and entertaining tipple, but also, don’t not – it’s a truly beautiful wine that’s virtually impossible to forget or share. Pair it with some nourishing soup for a truly knockout winter dinner.

Warwick The First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

WHITE

Don’t assume your white wines are reserved for balmy evenings only (though we’d love nothing more than some of that). White wines may be crisp and uplifting, but they’re equally fantastic on a chilly night for a more upbeat vibe. Give these ones a swirl:

1. Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2016

It’s a particular freshness coupled with a distinct toastiness that makes this Chardonnay Pinot Noir so divine. Cooling and warming at the same time, so to speak. It shares the ‘full mouth feeling’ of a red wine without being cloying and, because it’s a white wine, it’s easy to drink and easy to keep drinking no matter the weather. Paired brilliantly with a fun night with friends and perhaps some silly banter.

2. Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc

This 100% Sav is a flirty little thing. First refreshing, then tickling and warming. It looks serious and tries to be serious, but it isn’t really at all – it’s fun and festive and fresh, a welcome pick-me-up for a freezing night. With flavours of gooseberry and tropical fruit, it’ll transport you somewhere warm and exotic.

Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc

SWEET

Few will admit it, but a good dessert wine, whether Port, Late Harvest, Muscat or Riesling, is virtually incomparable. You could easily skip dessert altogether in favour of a glass or two of the honey-like syrup of sweet, dessert wine. And best of all – it’ll warm up those weary bones in a flash! Try this one:

1. Mulderbosch Noble Late Harvest 2011

There are few things as divine as the Mulderbosch Noble Late Harvest. Chocolate mousse, a two month all expenses paid holiday and a spa treatment are probably on an even keel with this heavenly wine. So smooth it feels forbidden, it’s warm and loving and just everything you want in a really good partner. Of course, like all good things, it should be taken in small doses so as not to ruin the experience. Notes of cinnamon, toffee apple and citrus bounce off this copper coloured, syrupy tipple, the truly perfect dessert.

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