The Best Wines To Stock Up On For The Autumn Season
Sep 29, 2023
Autumn is often the favourite season for those of us who really appreciate good quality food and drink. The fresh and fruity flavours of the summer make way for warmer and spicier full-bodied fare, and there is so much to look forward to as we enjoy festive gatherings and cosy nights in, when we can relax and open a bottle of wine.
Here is some inspiration for the best of autumn wines to buy this year.
Red is the classic wine for autumn and winter and pairs well with spicy food and red meat. Lighter reds such as pinot noir and beaujolais have a fruity and herby flavour. Medium bodied reds such as merlot, cabernet and zinfandel tend to be rich and smooth with cherry, herb, spice, or chocolate flavour notes.
Full-bodied reds such as cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and shiraz have a high tannin content (bitter-tasting compounds) that makes them feel heavier and brings a more complex flavour profile. They can have bold fruity, spicy, dark chocolate, woody or peppery flavours and a velvety texture, and go well with rich food.
White wine can still be enjoyed at this time of year. Look in particular for white rioja, which has a toasted nutty and oak edge to the flavour. For French wines with an earthy and mature flavour, look for grenache and syrah grape varieties.
Rosé may not seem to be an obvious choice for autumn, as it is traditionally seen as a summer wine to sip on the patio or drink when you are on holiday somewhere hot and sunny. However, that image is changing and rosé is now a popular year-round choice.
Look for rosé that is made with grenache, cinsault, or syrah grapes for a well rounded flavour that retains some summery fruitiness but is bolder and more structured than other varieties.
Sparkling wines add a touch of festive fizz to any occasion. They were once regarded as expensive and only to be popped on very special occasions. However, there are now a range of good quality affordable alternatives to champagne.
Prosecco is the perfect choice if you are looking for a lighter wine to enjoy at social gatherings, while cava and crémant are both good value and very drinkable options.
Fortified wine such as port and sherry has had something of an image makeover in recent years. Vermouth is another type of fortified wine with a bittersweet cherry flavour with spicy overtones. It can be served as a standalone aperitif or after dinner drink, or mixed in cocktails. It can either be sweet (typically red) or dry (typically white).
Dry white vermouth has a crisper flavour and is used as an ingredient in martinis. Red vermouth is usually sweeter with spicy or bitter hints. It’s a good affordable alternative to port and can be used to make negroni, manhattan and americano cocktails.
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