Just as we dress seasonally, we tend to drink seasonally. At this time of year, comfort foods become more sought after in the early darkness and comfort wines offer a respite from summer’s light and fruity flavors.
An autumn wine, to me, should be complex yet elegant, something to sip as you delve into a murder mystery, or settle down to watch a scary movie. Just as our clothing gets heavier to ward off the autumn chill, our wines become more substantial offering more weight and body.
Oak is a great component of autumnal wines; we tend to identify with those woody, smoky flavors that we associate with bon-fires and chilly evenings.
When I think of autumn red wines, I always think of something dark and brooding, with a medium to heavy body and the aromas of wood, tobacco and pepper. Good, hearty wines to pair with the hearty foods we now crave.
Merlot and its oaky, smoky tobacco essence is always a go-to for me in the autumn. It’s like pulling out that favorite sweater that I shoved to the back of the closet during the hot weather months, and rediscovering it again - glorious.
While spring and summer whites are light, fruity, happy wines, fall whites are somewhat melancholy. The oak is more forward, the wines more crisp, and the aromas are of apples and citrus.
Look for a golden hued Pinot Grigio with an aroma of honey and the subtle flavor of toasted almonds for a true autumn standout. Pull out the grill one more time for grilled chicken topped with a hearty Marinara sauce and a welcomed glass of Pinot Gris.
Moscato sparkles can offer traces of herbs and minerals in a bright, bubbly package. Chill well and let it “speak to you” as the darkness gathers…
|Glass of Port|
Keep in mind, wine is not the only exceptional autumn beverage – don’t miss out on ciders, apple jack, or those autumnal inspired harvest brews at this time of the year; just another way to celebrate the darker season with a comfort drink – or two.