Winter Red: Red wine blends from South Rhone Valley, France make an excellent “winter warmer”. A strong wind called “Le Mistral” blows through the valley, clearing clouds to give the grapes long sun exposure to ripen. This yields wines that are jammy, nicely plump for winter, with a hint of spice. The important grapes in these wines are Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. South Rhone wines can be under a variety of names, keep an eye out when shopping for Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages (great value), Chateauneuf-du-Pape (best known), Gigondas and Vacqueyras (the Next Big Thing).