Our Top 10 Wines for Autumn
If you’re anything like me and seem to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder when it comes to your drinking habits, the shorter days and cooler evenings of the autumn tend to call for reds with a bit more robustness and spice and whites with more texture and body to help keep the impending chill at bay; all whilst retaining the ample fruit and ripeness that is befitting of this season of harvest. Below are a few suggestions of both reds and whites (as well as a few curveballs) that meet these requirements alongside suitably autumnal food pairing suggestions that’ll be sure to help you tackle the transition from summer with ease.
Côtes du Rhône Domaine des Argelas Red 2016
Côtes du Rhône is a reliable style for almost any time of year and this one with its medium-full body, cherry and red berry fruit, subtle spice and powdery tannins makes it a fine accompaniment to a warming stew!
Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2017
You may be familiar with the northern Italian expression of this same grape (‘Pinot Grigio’) but this slightly fuller, peachier style from the Pfalz region in Germany offers excellent value for money. With its hint of sweetness, spice and slight spritz, this wine pairs impeccably with the suitably autumnal combination of pork in apple sauce or cider.
Secateurs Red Blend 2018
The Badenhorst Family of Swartland, South Africa, make excellent value wines across the board with real personality. This, their flagship red blend, is no different. Consisting mostly of Cinsault, it offers crunchy red fruit and a distinct earthiness that makes it an ideal match to the array of mushrooms that are just coming into season.
Tasting Room at Badenhorst Family Wines, South Africa
Höpler Grüner Veltliner 2017
From Austria and its most widely-planted grape variety, this style of wine might not be the first that springs to mind when thinking of one’s suited to the Irish autumn but it’s salted lemon and white pepper notes work perfectly with smoked ham and gammon. Give it a try!
Domaine Jean-Michel Gerin La Champine Syrah 2016
This is an excellent value Syrah (Shiraz) from the Northern Rhône and a fantastic introduction to the inimitable wines of this region. Its medium-body, hints of violets and thyme and inherent savoury quality make it the textbook partner to game dishes such as venison or pigeon.
Pask Kate Radburnd Liquid Gold Chardonnay 2014
Chardonnay, particularly oaked Chardonnay, can often divide a room. However this lightly-oaked example from New Zealand’s Pask-Kate Radburnd offers a rich golden hue with ripe pineapple, lemon curd and pie crust flavours that will complement any chicken dish roasted in butter or coated in hearty, creamy sauces.
Herdade Do Portocarro Autocarro No27 Tinto 2017
Regardless of the season sometimes the only thing that will truly hit the culinary spot is a steak, and this Bordeaux-influenced corker from near Setúbal in Portugal is an absolute bargain as far as suitable accompaniments go. With its robust body, sinewy tannins, piercing acidity and dark, brooding fruits it provides ample pedigree to stand up to the Saturday night sirloin.
Autumn at Herdade do Portocarro
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Napoleon Amontillado Sherry 50cl
For me, the autumn always conjures memories of eating handfuls of “monkey nuts” at Halloween. With its inherent nuttiness and salty tang, this Amontillado (a highly underrated style of dry sherry) is a seamless accompaniment to the staples of autumnal grazing such as nuts, cold meats and ripe/aged cheese.
Rustenberg Straw Wine 2018 37.5cl
The apple tart is perhaps the quintessential autumn sweet dish. Many of us may overlook the idea of dessert wines as we grow increasingly health conscious and sugar-wary, but this time why not open yourself to indulgence? This South African ‘straw wine’ (wine made by grapes left out to dry on straw mats) offers flavours of apricot, honey and barley sugar that’ll propel even the most middling of apple tarts to extraordinary heights!
Quinta De La Rosa LBV Port 2014
Fortified Port wines are another style that are criminally overlooked and undervalued. Although more associated with Christmas, I defy anyone not to enjoy a tipple of this decade-old Late Bottle Vintage offering from Quinta de la Rosa while huddled on the sofa or next to the fire as the nights grow darker and colder. Pair with your favourite chocolate and you will achieve true Hygge bliss!
Making port at Quinta de la Rosa