Stormy nights call for stormy wine. With Hurricane Matthew rapidly approaching the Southeastern coast of Florida, it’s time to start thinking about hunkering down and acquiring a buzz while remaining indoors to wait out the storm.
We went out and found 12 storm-inspired wines for you to sip on and enjoy as we brace for the largest hurricane Florida has seen since Hurricane Wilma. As you head to the store and pick up supplies, don’t forget to grab a few of these bottles of wine!
Note that we do include links to buy some of these wines online, however some may also be found at your local grocery or liquor store — as long as wine doesn’t start selling out as quickly as gasoline has so far.
In all seriousness, whichever wine(s) you choose — stay safe and be smart. Hurricane Matthew is not a joke, and it’s one of the strongest Hurricanes to hit the Caribbean since the 1960s.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) October 4, 2016
Wine Down: The Calm Before (and during) the Storm
The Rainstorm Pinot Noir
If you’re a fan of New World Pinot Noir, look no further than Rainstorm. We’ve covered these wines before, however now couldn’t be a more appropriate time to pick up a few bottles of this light-bodied, red fruit-forward vin. Expect floral aromas and palate nuances along the lines of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry with subtle white pepper spice and damp forest floor.
Rainstorm Pinot Noir is a 50% Willamette and 50% Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir blend.
32 Winds Spinnaker Chardonnay
Meticulously crafted and relatively difficult to find given the quality, this sailing-inspired wind-battered “Chardonnyay” will keep you calm before the storm.
From the Vintner:
“The 2012 “Spinnaker” Chardonnay is a Russian River classic.The fruit was hand-harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and transferred to French oak barrels of which aproximately 30% were new. It was aged for 11 months with occasional battonage. This Chardonnay offers generous layers of ripe fig, apricot, citris peel flavors, with measured smoky, toasty oak.”
This very affordable taste of the McLaren Vale in Australia is true to its name. A wine of great depth exemplifying the terroir of the region, this Shiraz (also known as a Syrah) is guaranteed to display power on the palate.
“The palate is immense with mouth filling black fruits providing the initial line and length whilst impressively expressive notes of dark chocolate, mocha a touch of white pepper and vanilla oak give complexity. The grainy tannins provide another layer of complexity along with a touch of refreshing acid which gives a warm mouth feel right through to the long lingering finish.”
Storm 2013 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
Storm Wines 2013 Pinot Noir has received critical acclaim from a number of well respected industry publications. Santa Barbara California often flies under the radar as a noteworthy wine region, however once this storm hits your tongue, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to visit this beautiful and flavor prone region.
According to the Wine Advocate:
“A terrific Pinot Noir, Storm’s 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County comes from three vineyards, Duvarita, John Sebastiano and Presqu’ile. Seeing just 10% whole clusters, 14 days on skins and 11 months in 8% new French oak, it offers terrific depth and length to go with classic rose petals, strawberries, underbrush and raspberry aromas and flavors. Balanced, medium-bodied and classy all around, drink this beautiful Santa Barbara County Pinot anytime over the coming 4-5 years.”
2014 Storm Bay Sauvignon Blanc
If you’re a fan of refreshing tropical and citrus fruit flavors with subtle vegetable and earthy tones, this Tasmanian-borne Sauvignon Blanc is for you. Tasmania is a very up-and-coming wine region, where Vintners are learning that the terroir and climate is conducive to producing high quality Sauvignon Blanc. Not unlike its neighboring wine region of Marlborough in New Zealand. These grapes are 100% hand-picked from the Coal River Valley in Southern Tasmania.
Claymore Wines Purple Rain 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Sticking with Southern-hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc for a brief moment, this vin from Claymore Wines is again crafted with 100% hand-picked grapes, but this time from the Clare Valley in Australia. Expect more tropical fruit tones indicative of a long growing season and a relatively late harvest.
From the Vintner:
“Tightly structured with a delightful crispness. Bright, inviting aromatics of gooseberry, honeysuckle and orange blossom dominate the nose of this release with more subtle tropical notes of passionfruit and guava also in the mix.”
If you’re a fan of Rosé, the Texas-borne (yes, Texas makes epic wine) Yellow City Cellars “Dead Flowers” Rosé is sure to knock your socks off. In fact, it has won “Texas Wine of the Month” previously. With Hurricane Matthew likely to wipe out a fair portion of vegetation along its path, this wine is an ideal flex pick if you’re into pink, dry wine.
From the winemaker:
“Fresh strawberry, wet gravel, sunshine daydreams, and cherry pez. Bone dry & beautiful.”
NV Murielle Tropical Storm Pinot Grigio Blend
Coming from a Florida-based winery, it was absolutely necessary to include this interesting concoction on our list. This really is a fruity and sweet wine, so be sure that’s your thing before venturing too boldly into the eye of this storm.
From the winemaker:
A tropical blend of Pinot Grigio and juicy ripe pineapple are the basis of our Tropical Storm. We were blending this wine when Tropical Storm Debbie was lashing at our Gulf Coast Beaches for 3 days. It seemed to be a great name for our newest wine.
Hurricane Class 5 Florida White Sangria
Did you know that there’s actually a winery on Key West? Well, this aptly named White Sangria is sure to calm your senses while still evoking a sense of excitement. Even the label itself indicates it’s the right choice. Did I mention this wine comes in both a bottle AND a pouch? Thanks to Key West locals experience with hurricanes over the years, this wine is a mashup of some noteworthy tropical fruits carefully smushed together. It’s so good in fact, that this particular Sangria has won numerous awards.
From Florida Orange Groves Winery:
Our Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria offers an exotic blend of pineapple, watermelon, passion fruit, key lime and mango wine. The wine is highly aromatic with hints of pineapple, honeycomb and citrus blossom. The wine is light and refreshing and has a well balanced acidic finish. Enjoy this wine paired with lobster, pork, poultry and mild cheeses. Best of Show & Double Gold Florida State Fair. Best of Class & Concordance Gold – Indiana International Wine Competition. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Selection 2004-2015.
Buy it online or call 1-800-338-7923.
Cinq Cellars Red Blend Storm Reserve Columbia Valley
A New World take on a centuries old French (Rhone) style blend, the Storm Reserve from Cinq Cellars is a crowd pleaser. Crafted with Grenache (59%), Syrah (33%) and Mourvedre (7%), this GSM-blend — a favorite amongst both wine professionals and novices — is well worth a try. Columbia Valley is one of the most noteworthy new world wine regions cranking out delicious juice as of late.
From Cinq Cellars:
“The 2013 Storm Reserve was drawn from three select barrels that were particularly representative of the character, fruit and spice flavors we present in The Storm. This Reserve drinks well now and is a wine you will continue to enjoy over the next three to five years, if you are able to resist its temptations and lay some of it aside.
The Storm reveals the best of Rhone varietal grapes, grown in Washington and is awash with dark berries and pleasing pepper notes. As it opens up it provides hints of chocolate, before finishing up warm and elegant. Named for the storm of flavors on your palate, this wine pairs well with pork, duck and pasta with red sauces.”
Western Wind Chardonnay
An appropriate style of wine to drink during a summer storm or a rainy day, the Western Wind Chardonnay is refreshing and clean, exemplifying both citrus and tree fruit on the palate. Perfect for a hot day!
From the winemaker:
“The perfect summer sipping Chardonnay blended from cool Collegeville grapes and barrel fermented fruit, this wine is well balanced with forward green apple and lemon notes, leading to a crisp, clean and refreshing finish.”
World’s End “Against the Wind” Cabernet Franc Napa
I tend to save the best for last. Arguably my favorite wine on this list, due to both the name and grape variety, this Bob Seeger, storm-themed wine is guaranteed to create a storm on your tongue and please your household. This wine has received numerous 92+ point ratings before, and frequently sells out on Wine.com. In fact, it’s been called the best Cabernet Franc in Napa Valley!
From the winemaker:
Deeply colored Cabernet Franc is a sight to behold. As vignerons from Saint Emilion we’re well known for producing the highest expression of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux with our wine, Le Dôme. This wine is the direct production of grapes from Sugarloaf Mountain and Coombsville – both vineyards based on slopes – in the former’s case mainly south facing.