El Niño has us all a little confused this winter when it comes to figuring out what we want to drink. The recent summer-like conditions have prompted many to eschew the brooding, rich reds that the season usually demands in favor of brighter wines. But for Eric Larkee, director of wine and spirits for The Genuine Hospitality Group in Miami (Michael’s Genuine, Cypress Tavern, Harry’s), warm winters are the norm. So we tapped him for 12 great bottles that suit these alternative conditions.
“The thing about Florida food is that our seasons are flipped with regards to everywhere else,” says Larkee. “So the time of year when you might have gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in the north—that’s the only time of year when we don’t.” In January and February, it’s the heart of growing season on the peninsula; lettuces, herbs and strawberries are in their prime. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us are thinking of root vegetables and heartier fare. “Not only can we get away with drinking stuff like rosé in the winter,” he says, “those wines are necessary.”
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Here, Larkee’s picks for winter wines for warmer climes: