Autumn is a fine time to sit back, relax and crack open a bottle of vino to sip and savor as the days slowly grow shorter, the temperature cooler and the leaves more colorful. This time of year calls for rich and buttery wines that are strong enough to match the heartier dishes served to warm you up during cold weather. As summer’s busy energy slows into winter’s quiet snuggle, the ritual of a glass (or two!) of wine can be an ideal way to cherish the small, peaceful moments of life – and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Many wine lovers turn to warming reds in the fall to fill the spirit with fuel and complement harvest foods like savory stews, roasted vegetables, spiced dishes and comfort cuisine. The best fall wines richly evoke their terroir, or the land they were grown in, reminding us of the blessings of the harvest and the many gifts from Mother Earth. Find your favorite wine for a brisk autumn day from our five selections below:
2004 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape – You can’t go wrong with a cozy red from the appellation Chateauneuf du Pape, and this particular Grenache-Syrah blend tastefully echoes the verdant lushness of the Rhone Valley in Southern France. Red berries and black fruits mingle with a hint of olive and earthy undertones for a palate-pleasing taste that is mature for its age. Serve Clos des Papes with pasta, game dishes or curries.
2010 Gamay, Malivoire – Malivoire is a small-lot, boutique producer in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada that uses mostly organic grapes to produce its wines. Their 2010 Gamay may be young but has a classic, non-tannin taste and a woodsy nose of cedar and juniper. With a full palate and toasty finish, this Gamay will pair well with peppery dishes like barbequed brisket, roast duck and wild boar.
2007 Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Rouge “Cuvee Gerard Potel” – For an affordable red wine that pairs well with any roasted meal, this bottle from Burgundy highlights the taste of the legendary Pinot Noir grape with added finesse from Volnay. Crisp fruits, red berries and smoky notes are supple on the palate with an elegant finish – ideal for a romantic fall dinner.
2008 Ca Rome Barbaresco Chiaramanti – From the Piedmont region of northern Italy, this special bottle is made from Nebbiolo grapes, a late-ripening fruit planted only on the warmest hillsides of the region. Expect strong tannins, a velvety mouth-feel and flavors of plum, cherry and roses. Well-balanced and able to stand up to rich dishes, serve this Barbaresco with hearty stews or enjoy with sharp, aged cheeses.
2008 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir – This silky, cool-climate red wine from the southern end of California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys is made from organic grapes and aged in French oak. Black fruits predominate, with hints of sandalwood and cinnamon as well as chocolate and clove – an indulgent autumn blend. With a medium body and even tannins, this bottle will please everyone and works equally well with a weekday dinner or all by itself at cocktail hour.