As I sit outdoors to enjoy the last bit of summer, I can feel the cooler air. That breeze is no longer warm but refreshing and making me think that I might want to get a sweater if I want to stay outdoors much longer. The change in season also brings a change in what we enjoy drinking.
At this time of year, we tend to look for slightly fuller-bodied wine that will pair nicely with some of the comfort food we enjoy as the fall harvest comes in. The squash and pumpkin will soon be ready, peach season is nearly over and the late varietals of apples are just about ready. I’m thinking of an apple crisp with ice cream! With this fresh produce comes a different menu and with the new menu, different wines.
The summer has been great for some of the lighter whites and the rosé as the weather was hot and often humid. Now that the weather has turned cooler, let’s look at some of the varietals that will work with some of the fall fare.
The traditional choices for this time of year are Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina, Shiraz from the Coonawarra region of Australia (one of my favourite regions), Cabernet Franc from the Niagara region of Canada and the Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux, France. However, I would like to point out some other reds from different regions that you may not have on your list of “go to” wines at this time of year.
Have you thought of Carmenère from Chile? Originally a grape varietal from France which was thought to be lost but found again in Chile. When Chile was noticed for its wine, the growers, winemakers and people in the industry thought this wine was a Merlot. It was through DNA research that it was discovered to be the Carmenère varietal. A beautiful wine, well balanced with good tannins and fruit on the nose and the palate. If you have not had the pleasure of enjoying this wine, I highly recommend you pick up a bottle to try. If you enjoy a Merlot or a Malbec, you are sure to enjoy this wine.
Another varietal that doesn’t always come to mind when we think of fall wines is Bonarda from Argentina, also known as Douce Noir. This grape is different than the one from Italy, and, is grown alongside Malbec in Argentina. This wine is a very ripe, plummy wine with a dark colour and soft, fleshy tannins. We agree with people in the industry who predict that you will see much more of this varietal in the future.
This next wine, an Italian varietal is often overlooked but once tried, not soon forgotten. Nebbiolo, from the Piedmont region of Italy. This is the same grape used to make Barolo. Nebbiolo is lighter in colour, has a delicate aroma and makes an impact on the taste of robust tannin and high acidity. Pair this wine this fall with tomato-based sauces, garlic, olives, pizza, and butternut squash. Sounds perfect for the fall.
Closer to home, Baco Noir is a wine varietal that has found success in Canada. This varietal is a hybrid developed in the early 1800s by a French gentleman by the name of François Baco. This wine can be found as a single varietal or blended with others. What can you expect from a Baco Noir? You will find aromas of black fruits and ripe plum, with coffee, tobacco, vanilla, and earthy as well as smoky notes, followed by flavours of blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and plum, along with dark chocolate and a smooth spicy finish. Pair this wine with duck breast and a red wine reduction or with a pizza. It’s your choice.
It is time to say goodbye to summer and hello to the wonderful season of the fall harvest with some new wines to discover.
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The Team at SommEvents