With fall fully upon us and the nights noticeably growing longer, now is the perfect time to break out seasonally appropriate wines. The cooler weather practically begs for something just right for those cozy evenings in. What could be better than a glass of red wine while you’re curled up next to the fire? Here are some of our favorites.
Yes, a glass of red is ideal for sweater weather and so many reds are a fantastic match for some of the warming seasonal dishes we like to tuck into this time of year. And there’s a glass of red for every mood and occasion – whether you’re relaxing at the end of the day, spending time with friends, eating a meal, or just because.
Rioja is smooth and dry, often with red fruit, floral, dried spices, and leather aromas and flavors. These wines are big like Cabernet Sauvignon but with a more accessible fruitiness that works wonderfully with the current season. Made from the Spanish grape Tempranillo, Rioja is a real winner if you like complex wines.
Cabernet Franc is a relative of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares plenty of similarities. It’s rich in flavor with loads of berries, red plum, and a striking minerality, but it tends to be more peppery (as in bell peppers) and can be heady with violet notes. It is both bold and has a touch of spice to it, making it an excellent choice for the chilly autumn evenings. Look for bottles from the Loire Valley, California, Washington, or Tuscany.
Looking for something as crisp as the October air? Opt for a cool climate red with bright acidity. Beaujolais, made from the delicious Gamay grape, is an exceptional autumn wine. It can be incredibly fruity and easy-drinking, but for those of you who like a bit more grip to your wines, reach for a bottle of cru Beaujolais, particularly from Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, or Juliénas.
Cool climate Pinot Noir is another excellent choice for autumn drinking. Countries like New Zealand offer delightfully crisp examples, as do regions like Burgundy, Tasmania, and Oregon.
Love the warming spices that crop up in classic autumn desserts or simply enjoy a sip of something that will bring the warmth back into your fingertips? A pepper laden, hearty Syrah is exactly what you need. Look to the south of France and regions like Châteauneuf-du-Pape. If you prefer something with more of a kick, Australia Shiraz tends towards higher alcohol and will really warm you up.
Need a touch more elegance in your wines? You can’t beat Nebbiolo. With its heavenly aroma which is reminiscent of berries, roses, potpourri, and truffles (and truffle season is just around the corner!) Nebbiolo conjures up visions of the season on first sip. Powerful tannins and high acid round out Nebbiolo and while the best examples come from Barolo and Barbaresco, if you’re on a budget a glass of Langhe, Ghemme, or Gattinara will be just as lovely.
For those especially chilly nights when a simple sweater won’t do, a glass of Malbec hits the spot and will warm you up nicely. With a banquet of blue and black fruits, milk chocolate, and vanilla aromas, Malbec will give you a pleasant glow. Smooth, fruity, and not outrageously tannic, it’s easy to drink.
What about white wine lovers? Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you! Richer, generous white wines are the way to go come autumn. Chenin Blanc, an oaked Chardonnay, and Viognier should replace the lighter, brighter wines of summer.
If you’ve opened up a few more bottles than you intended to, there’s no reason to fret – you can use your zzysh® to store opened bottles for up to several weeks without ever having to worry about the condition of the wine deteriorating. Wine for autumn? You’re all set for the season.