With the evenings drawing in, the roses of summer are gradually being phased out in favour of more warming reds, here’s my guide to the best autumn wines:
Light and fruity reds are perfect for the change in the seasons. They have enough weight and richness compared to their summery pink counterparts, but still aren’t quite as inky and heavy as the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Personally, Pinot Noir is my ultimate autumn wine. Whether under its Burgundian guise, or its fruitier New World persona, it is definitely the type of wine that helps to gently ease you into winter.
It fits the bill of light and fruity, but it has a richness of flavour that will match up to the game dishes that start to pop up on menus. Perhaps, it’s the way that the flavour profile of aged Pinot Noir actually imitates the earthy and leafy aromas of an autumnal, woodland walk, that allows it to work so flawlessly.
Another light red – Beaujolais is another wine for crisp, chilly evenings. These wines have struggled in recent years with the stigma of Beaujolais Nouveau which became attached to them. If you pick one of the 10 cru villages (Fleurie and Morgon being the most popular), then you get a more serious wine, a long way away from the bubblegum and candied flavours you would expect from it’s Nouveau counterparts.
Traditional to its core, Rioja is a great wine to make the transition from lighter reds to those heavier, winter warmers. The ones with ‘Crianza’ on the label are those which you want to look out for. These wines are still lovely and fruity, but they have sweet spicy aromas of cinnamon and vanilla too, which come from a short period of aging in oak.
Now all you need is a hearty casserole, a roaring log fire and you’re all set!