Those of us who have spent time on the East Coast always eagerly anticipate the first snowfall, and in some parts of the country, flakes have already begun to fall. Here at Five Senses Tastings, the coming of cold weather brings to mind blazing fires and warming red wines. Never mind that it’s still 75 degrees here in Los Angeles, we can all start dreaming about winter wonderlands! So what to do when we’re thinking about the perfect wine and music pairing for the first snow?

If we take a snow-themed piece such as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake for example, a ballet that has sweeping lines, powerful orchestration, and yet many sweet tender moments, our minds were immediately taken to Alpine landscapes, frozen lakes, and snow-covered mountains.

It is not a commonly known fact that quite a few Alpine regions make incredible wines, and we are here to introduce you to at least one today, from the Italian Alps to be precise. This region, in the far northeastern part of Italy, is home to a lot of white grapes, but also to some interesting and unique red varietals. As one might guess, there is a strong German influence here as well, so many of the grapes are grown in both countries. One of the most delicious red wines here is made from Teroldego, a grape varietal native to this region, which is largely known as Trentino-Alto Adige.

A favorite Teroldego of ours is made by a woman named Elisabetta Foradori, whose family established the winery in 1901. She now makes the wine, and supervises the still small biodynamically certified winery that specializes in red wine making, and primarily that of Teroldego. Her Teroldego has many of the tempestuous qualities of Swan Lake, in that it comes off as rich, full and animalistic, yet still manages to maintain an elegance and freshness, making it a bit of a contradiction. But what a wonderful contradiction!! It has those exact warm, velvety, silky qualities that one wants when they curl up by a fire with a partner, while they dive into a delicious meal of lamb chops or steak.

The next time you need to create a wine and music pairing for the first snow, think of Italy… or Austria… or Switzerland!

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