Today is the first day of fall, burr. I feel a chill in the air already. Just as we start to wear warmer clothes, we should also change the wines we drink.
That’s what we chat about on CTV News. Click the arrow above to watch the segment.
First off, what makes for a great fall wine?
– full-bodied enough to pair well with more robust dishes.
– extra texture, mouthfeel and weight for richer sauces.
– and just for fun, the wine is trendy like fall fashions.
You have a couple of examples there for us.
Yes, this Stave & Steel Cabernet Sauvignon from California has the heft for braised meats or a rich stew. It’s aged in Canadian whisky barrels which is quite trendy in the wine world and gives this wine a warming toffee finish.
I think of Cabernet as a little black dress: it’s versatile enough to go from the office to drinks at the local wine bar. Not that we’re in the office or going out much anymore, but this wine is so versatile that it also works well on Zoom calls.
Stave & Steel Wine Canadian Whisky Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
California, United States
I also have this Carnivor Shiraz from Australia for more meaty dishes. I think of this bold red with its aromas of ripe berries and plums as a belted jacket with a pop of colour.
Carnivor Shiraz 2018
South Australia, Australia
So are fall wines mostly big reds?
Many are because they pair so well with hearty dishes. However, for your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, which tends to be a dry meat, you need a juicy, lighter, red wine like this Villa Maria Pinot Noir from New Zealand. It’ll also pair perfectly with your cranberry sauce and side dishes because it has a nervy, edgy acidity.
I think of this Pinot Noir as a statement collar that gives a great impression for waist-up dressing on those Zoom calls.
Villa Maria Estate Private Bin Pinot Noir 2018
Marlborough, New Zealand
I’d also suggest this sparkling rosé from Domaine De Lavoie Mousseux in Rougemont. It has lovely notes of field strawberries and a crisp fall-like acidity. It would not only pair with your turkey dinner, it’s also a great aperitif before the meal begins and a festive one for toasting.
This wine is a punchy print for the senses, bursting with this season’s energy.
Domaine de Lavoie Mousseux Sparkling Rosé 2019
Montérégie, Rougemont, Canada
Are white wine lovers out of luck in the fall?
There’s a wine for them too, like this robust, buttery Chilean Chardonnay from Las Mulas, which would be terrific with autumnal dishes like pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes.
This wine is textured dressing for your tongue when you want luxurious layering on your palate.
Miguel Torres Las Mulas Las Mulas Chardonnay Reserva Organic 2018
Central Valley, Chile
How about if we have a sweet tooth?
These two icewines from Reif and Peller are dessert in themselves, or pair them with pumpkin pie and fruit cobbler. These are this season’s finishing pieces, like a handbag with crystal fringing. They’ll add sparkle to any monochrome meal.
Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Icewine 2018
Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada
Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine 2018
Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada