Slips in smooth, a touch
warms my tongue, slides down my throat,
heating my stomach.
Spreading, the heat moves through me,
settles: my body relaxes
Hot wines are wines that have high alcohol content and leave a warm sensation in the mouth and other areas. One hot wine, that comes to mind, was a Reserve Barbera Becker released in 2009/2010. This wine had the highest alcohol content of any wine they had ever produced. From the first taste, I was blown away.
Hot wines can be recognized right away. As the sip fills the mouth, a hint of warmth becomes apparent. From my experience, the warmth is a pleasant one. It isn't hot per se, but a softening in the mouth.
The hot wines have a lasting effect. Towards the back of the mouth and down the throat, they stay warm. Again, it doesn't burn, but rather, it is a soothing warmth. At this point, the sensation begins to radiate out.
As the wine reaches and builds in the stomach, the sensation from early starts to grow. The wine's warmth slowly spreads out. I notice it most on my muscles. As the sensation spreads, especially from the stomach region, my muscles loosen and relax, like applying a heating pad. It is a pleasant and relaxing sensation.
Now, as the warm weather closes in, hot wines aren't quite as pleasant; I know I may turn to one when I've spent too long in a building with a super powerful AC. With that in mind, these are GREAT winter wines. When I first tried to the Barbera, it was in the winter or early spring, so it fit wonderfully. However, I most enjoyed it when I used it to celebrate buying my first house.