Here are five wines that will make you long for fall foliage, football games, cozy sweaters, and a big, steaming bowl of chili:
Pinot Noir is as good a summer-to-fall transition grape as any, like a light jacket or cape. The 2008 Alta Maria Vineyards Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley in California is elegant and subtle with cherry and raspberry fruits and notes of spice and minerality. It even has a hint of autumnal aromas such as wet leaves and earth. ($26.99)
We’ve been on and off fans of Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Prologue Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and the 2008 had us back as partisan supporters from the first sip. A refined California Cab that is pretty close in style to a ‘Left Banker’ from Bordeaux with currant, tobacco, and herbal flavors backing up the good Cali fruit. It’s luxurious, yet easy going, like your favorite cardigan. ($24.99)
Speaking of Bordeaux, the 2006 Fleur de Fonplegade is a ‘Right Banker’ with vineyards dating back to Roman times. This pretty, delicate second label wine from Chateau Fonplegade welcomes you with floral aromas and flavors of bright cherry and tea leaf. A cashmere scarf of a wine, you can cozy up to this one without totally breaking the bank. ($36.99)
For those fall days with a particular chill, retreat inside with a glass 2008 Ridge Zinfandel from the Geyserville vineyard site. Mostly Zinfandel (72%), this inviting wine is blended with some Carignane, Petite Syrah, and Mourvedre, giving it a little extra flash of boldness. It’s bright and full-bodied with red fruit and a silky, plush feel ― like velvet. ($37.99)
A great everyday fall wine comes from the Douro region of Portugal. The 2005 Vidigal Douro Vinho Tinto is rich and fruity, charming and dependable – like a good pair of boots. ($16.99)
Stay tuned for more fall picks next week. Cheers!