There is something about fall that makes me think, “The Season for Wine.” Don’t get me wrong, spring has its light reds with fresh berry flavors and racy Sauvignon Blancs. Summer splashes with crisp roses, chillable reds, and Vinho Verde on those hotter-than-hot days. And there’s nothing like snuggling up with a good book by the roaring fire while enjoying a rich, dense red for the winter. However, autumn wines, like the radiantly colored leaves on the trees, showcase bright gold, saffron, and chiffon-hued whites as well as coral, crimson, and brick-hued reds. Here are my favorite wines to enjoy during the fall season:
Sea Glass Pinot Grigio, California 2012
As clear as water, but with bold, lively citrus flavors, the Sea Glass Pinot Grigio is so very refreshing and light! This is the perfect wine after a long day of raking leaves or watching the game.
A Crisp Chardonnay, California 2012
Andre Crisp was very accommodating to me a few years back, letting me stay at his home in California while he was abroad on business. At the time, he was working with one of my favorite wineries, John Anthony. Now he is the CEO and President of Luna Vineyards. He utilized his contacts and winemaker Shawna Miller to produce a bright, refreshing Chardonnay that is crowd-pleasing, balanced, and flavorful. The clever name states the overriding bonus of this wine, a Crisp Chardonnay. However, it is layered with tropical fruit and caramelized butter notes!
Domaine de Chateaumar Cuvee Bastian, Cotes du Rhone, France 2012
When my sister and her husband traveled to the Rhone Valley in France, they stopped at Domaine de Chateaumar, a small, family operated vineyard that produces outstanding Rhone wines. The winemakers didn’t speak English, and my sister and brother in law don’t speak French, but when they realized they both spoke Spanish, they became fast friends. Moreover, both their sons are named Sebastian, the namesake of this wine! Stewed blackberry, strawberry compote, and forest floor, the Cuvee Bastian is terrific for a pot luck, a crock pot, or even just a late-night snack of cheese and crackers. Quality cheeses please, folks. Nothing of the whiz or sliced varieties.
Musella Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Veneto, Italy 2010
Looking like a wine from Game of Thrones, Musella would do Daenerys Targaryen proud since it is bold, spicy, and long-lived. This ripasso style has loads of black fruit on the nose with licorice, spice, and black plums on the palate. The tannins and acidity are mouthwatering, making your mouth scream for a juicy steak or scrumptious piece of lamb.
Smith and Hook Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Cab is king, and this one is a great example of why. Aromatics of plum, blackberry, and pepper abound as soon as you take out the cork. A soft, rich texture is created from oak aging, and it also imparts a toasty vanillin spice to the finish. Mouth-filling and lux, this wine is perfect for storytelling by the campfire.
I love walking in nature during the fall. There are crisp breezes, the smell of leaves settling on the ground, and fireplace fires. These wines remind me of those qualities. What reminds you of fall? Tweet me at @Ninoswineexpert!