Give Thanks, Drink Wine: Our Top 5 Wines for Fall

October 13, 2017

Our Top 5 Wines for Fall

Colorful leaves, brisk air, football season, and pumpkin-flavored everything. Yes, it’s officially that time of year again: fall. As the season changes, so should your wine list. When stocking your cellar, there are five wine choices that we at Wine Access consider must-haves for fall.

  1. Hearty Reds: Temperatures are cooling, which means it’s time to uncork those heartier reds. Fall and winter menus are generally heavier and richer, featuring figs, butternut squash, and beets, as opposed to much-lighter summer seasonals like watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Because wine offers year-round enjoyment, but ingredients change with the seasons, it makes sense to pair your wine accordingly. Uncorking a full-bodied red wine with a more robust, hearty structure will complement fall’s more dynamic, seasonally-driven dishes than say, a light and fruity white.
  2. Dry Rosé: We’re about to debunk a common wine myth: Rosé isn’t just for the summer! It’s delicious with or without food, and the light pink hue is warming and perfect for fun events all year. The flavor profile that makes dry Rosé a summertime sensation also lends itself perfectly to comfort foods like mac and cheese, soufflés, and butternut squash soup.
  3. Champagne: With the holidays around the corner, our calendars start to fill up with countless dinners, soireés, and celebrations that call for a good bottle — or three. A wine style suitable for all occasions? Champagne. Let’s be honest, you can never have too much bubbly. My rule of thumb is to always stock the refrigerator with multiple champagne bottles chilled and ready for any type of party, or even one to pop and enjoy spontaneously.
  4. Splurge wines: Fall is filled with special occasions that call for extraordinary wines. Break your normal budget for a few “splurge” bottles to share and experience with your friends and family. If you usually buy Bourgogne Rouge or Bourgogne Blanc, spring for a Premier Cru or Grand Cru bottle. In the case of Champagne, if your usual purchase is a Multi-Vintage, try a Vintage-dated bottling.
  5. Gamay Beaujolais: The hefty Thanksgiving meal is a notoriously difficult challenge for wine pairing, as there is an abundance of flavor profiles throughout the entire menu — sweet, savory, tart, umami, you name it. Thankfully, there’s Beaujolais made from the Gamay grape variety, the perfect wine to pair with your Thanksgiving indulgence, complementing a wide range of flavors with medium-low tannins that pair well with turkey.

It’s always the perfect season to uncork a bottle of wine with your loved ones, but these wine recommendations will have you ready for all the heart-warming celebrations that fall brings — and the holiday parties just around the corner.

Vanessa Conlin

Vanessa is a student in the Master of Wine program and has passed the Theory portion of the MW exams. Vanessa was head of sales and marketing for several of Napa’s most prestigious estates including Arietta Wines, Dana Estates, and Realm Cellars. Previously, she was a retail buyer and wine bar wine director in New York.

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