Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some wine picks for the fall

It's time. Fall is upon us. Time to put away the sauvignon blanc, and move into some new varietals to ring in the new season. I'll tell you a few of my favorites for this time of year, and what they pair with. Fall wine is almost as varied as fall food, and I'm ready to pop open some Gruner Veltliner and fire up the smoker!!!!!!!!!!!

1)Gruner Veltliner - one of my favorites for this time of year. It's Austria most planted grape, and is really a very versatile wine. Medium bodied, usually with good fruit, some minerality, and a good, but not over crisp, acidity. This is the wine to drink if you're smoking a turkey......Thanksgiving Dinner?? Perfect match. This will really do well with most grilled/smoked white meats, and a lot of hardier flavored/textured seafood i.e. grilled swordfish.

2)Gerwurtztraminer - This is a great option for fall patio sipping. Usually pretty viscous and full bodied, this wine comes in both sweet and dryer forms. I personally like the drier ones. Usually, a good balance of floral/citrus notes with good zest and spice to even it out. Not as syrupy, USUALLY, as reislings. Deloach is a good one to try it out to see if you like it for not too much money, $12ish. Good with pork dishes, cream dishes, and smoked fish.

3)Viogner - Once again, this is a thick, full bodied wine. Usually, very floral, sweet but not overly, and aromatic. This is a great wine for thai food, good spicy dishes, and shellfish. I love a viogner if I'm having bouillabase, cioppino, or paella. The best Viogner still comes from the Condrieu area in France, but there are some very good, more affordable options coming from California.

Malbec - This is not only I think the best wine for the season, it's also one of the easiest to not break the bank on and still get a great bottle of wine. Look for the Mendoza region as some of Argentina's best examples are from there. It's a versatile wine too. Cigars in the evening...perfect. Roast leg of lamb....beyond perfect. Brisket..good too. Really any meat, or any dish with a tomato base to it is ideal. This wine has good substance to it, enough tooth to make it stand up, but isn't so huge that you have to have a steak to make it drinkable. Good balance, GREAT VALUE.......good combo.

2)Petite Syrah - This wine is great for fall because it is a heavy, intense, tannic grape without being overyly any of the aforementioned. Tooth-stainingly purple in color, and with enough backbone to stand up to spicy BBQ, smoked anything, but enough subtlety to not overpower a great steak, this is just all-around a great grape. However, the cheapies on this grape are not usually a good way to go. Spend the money on this one though, it'll be worth it.

3)Negroamaro - grown mostly in Puglia and Sardinia, this wine translates literally to black and bitter. This is a pretty good clue to it's taste and appearance. It's usually a very dark, very earthy, rustic wine. That being said, it is also usually quite aromatic and perfumed, especially when it's blended with other grapes, usually about 80% NM, 20% other. This creates a really well balanced fall wine which is still usually just labeled Negroamaro. This is the wine for fall pastas, grilled pizzas, or that wild boar ragu that I know you're planning on making next week....or maybe that's just me?

Anywho, hope this helps, or leads someone to try a wine they haven't before. I'd love to hear what you guys like to drink while the leaves change..........let me know

"It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, the death of a friend, a present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason"
I Like this quote I dislike this quote
"Wine is a peep-hole on a man" - ALCAEUS

"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken from me" WINSTON CHURCHILL

PS - if you ever need a quote about anything, check out winston churchill, he talked about everything, and was either amusing or insightful about all of it

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