Yep. Winter tires are under-appreciated, and AWD arguably over-valued. There's no substitute for traction at the contact patch.
We run dedicated snow tires on separate wheels on all of our "year-round" vehicles. I usually go "-2" (narrower with taller profile is better in the slick, so 16" winter wheels paired with 18" 3-season wheels for example). Granted, in Denver, it tends to be really mild, until it's not. Most folks recoil from the thought of the added cost, but it's really just a one-time hit to get wheels, and then you spread your miles out over 2 sets of tires, so your running cost is basically the same. Although active TPMS does start to add up.
Not going to work for everyone, I get that, but you only have to avoid 1 accident a decade to see the payoff. In the 20 years that I've been using them, I've avoided at least 2 major accidents that would have totaled our car, and countless smaller ones. Doesn't take much to run up a repair bill that's several multiples more expensive than an extra set of tires every 4-5 years.
"All-seasons" in my mind should be either required to work in the winter (there's no performance requirement for that designation), or struck from commercial speech as a violation of truth-in-advertising. All-seasons are really 3-season tires anywhere winter is real. They should be marketed as 3-season tires. The newer "all-weather" tires that meet the performance requirements for the 3 mountain peak snowflake symbol are the only true all-season tires on the market.
On our Leaf, I did buy 17" wheels because I wanted wider rims for the 3-season tires. The stock wheels are already super narrow at 17x6.5". I put the snows on those. When the stock 3-season tires wear out, I'll go a little wider on the new wheels just for fun. Range isn't a concern for how we use this car.
Edit: clarity and typos
Empty-nesters - NW Denver-Boulder Area
2019 Leaf SL Plus
2015 Audi Q5 TDI
2007 BMW Z4 3.0Si
2012 VW GTI: SOLD