As we roll into winter our heads fill with thoughts of roaring fires and cashmere sweaters. It may be worth remembering that a glass of red wine can be just as comforting and often more accessible. Here are few new releases from our very local wine industry, full of scents and flavors that will harmonize perfectly with the intense entrees and rich desserts of the season. Dalton winery is now presenting their new series, Alma. The first bottle in the series is Alma 2005: A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. The wine shows a soft ripeness and depth of flavor, yet is balanced, with good acidity. It is already forward and fleshy in cassis, clove and dried fruit flavors. NIS 76 Another release from Dalton is the Barbera 2006: Barbera is an Italian red wine variety that is best known as the second most important Piedmontese variety after Nebbiolo. The wines made of this grape are mainly the everyday drinking wines of the region. Naama Mualem, winemaker of Dalton, crafted a local version of this varietal. Dense purple in hue, this medium-bodied wine has a lovely mixture of strawberries, cherries and rose petals aromas. It's packed with dry, strong tannins and is high in acids. NIS 58 A new and interesting release from the Galil Mountain winery is the Pinot Noir 2006: Young and fresh, this 100% Pinot is full of delicate aromas of red berries, violets and cherries. In the mouth it's creamy and lush, but well-structured, ending with a dose of dusty tannins and an extra blast of fruit. NIS 68. Carmel is launching another bottle in the Regional series: Petite Syrah, Judean Mountains 2005, Old vines. When you see the term "old vines" or "ancient wine" on a wine label, it generally means that the vines that produced that particular wine were over 40 years old. There's no law that states the vines have to be a certain age - it's just commonly accepted that "old vines" are at least 40 years old. So, what's the deal here? As a vine ages, it produces less fruit, but the fruit that is does produce is generally more concentrated and intensely flavored, thus making the finished wine more flavorful. This Carmel Petite Syrah is a dry red produced from grapes grown in the Judean Hills. An easy-drinking, flavorsome wine that smells spicy and earthy and tastes of sweet blueberries with notes of oak. Tannins are very soft. NIS 70 We also have one red and one white from the Golan Heights Wineries, both in the Yarden series: Syrah 2003: The fruit for this wine came from three different vineyards: Ortal, in the North of the Golan Heights, Yonatan and Tel Fares in the central Golan Heights. This is the winery's fourth harvest of this varietal. A very appealing style of Syrah. It has a bright and sweet cherry/berry nose and a lovely soft and elegant palate. Cellar it and it will reward you. NIS 105 Chardonnay 2005: Lovely and elegant with rich aromas of ripe pear, green apple, citrus fruit and barrel ferment characters. Soft and creamy this white has excellent structure and balance with a crisp finish. NIS 61.