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Winter is the season for big, rich, red wines that provide warmth and flavor, and reds pair nicely with the season’s hearty dishes. Those big, tannic Syrahs, Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons that are over the top in the heat of a Carolina summer are lovely with stews and other hearty winter dishes.

Local wine professionals share on what bottle they’d love to unwrap this holiday, if price and availability were no object.

Being the wine buyer on Thanksgiving is pretty easy. The food gets the spotlight, so the mission for the wine lover is to pick a wine that doesn’t fight with the food and, more importantly, make sure there’s enough of it.

At this time of year, I particularly enjoy a blend nicknamed GSM, for the grapes in the blend: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

I had the good fortune to be in California wine country during the thick of the harvest a couple of weeks ago. It’s hard to express the excitement from locals as the grapes are picked and reports come in about the quality and amount of fruit.

The proposed fourth American Viticultural Area for N.C. is in the southwest part of the state – encompassing Cherokee and Clay counties in North Carolina and Towns, Union and Fannin counties in Georgia.

Catherine Rabb
Catherine Rabb is co-owner of Fenwick's and an associate instructor at Johnson & Wales University.