I consider myself a seasonal wine drinker, and fall is the time of year when I really start to transition into more complex wines and bolder reds. Summers in Virginia can be so hot, and when the weather is a hundred degrees, I mostly just want something cold! Now we are into October, the leaves are falling, I’ve broken out my crock pot, fall candles are lit, and the wine is definitely being poured. Check out my top picks for wines to drink this fall!
The lightest-bodied wine my list, Muscadet Sevre et Maine is one of my favorite wines to drink in the fall. Not only is this wine perfect with Oysters or mussels, but its light body and high acidity make it easy to pair with any lighter dish. This wine is from the Muscadet region of France and it is made from the Melon (mel-oh) or Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. It features notes of lime, green apple, pear, and seashell.
Save: Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet Sevre Et Maine 2021 ~$15
Splurge: Delhommeau Muscadet de Sevre et Maine 2020 ~$24
Gewurztraminer is one of my favorite wines to drink because there are so many different expressions of it made. It’s grown all over the world, but primarily in Alsace, France, Alto Adige, Italy, and the United States. It’s known for intense floral aromas with a ginger-spice note, as well as tangerine and grapefruit on the palate. Some Gewurtaminers are dry and some are sweet. The sweet versions make for really fun food pairings wines, such as with blue cheese or spicy food.
Save: Thirsty Owl Gewurstraminer 2021, Finger Lakes, NY – Hints of rose petal and lychee fruit with a bright spicy finish. ~$20
Splurge: Dopff au Moulin Gewürztraminer 2015, Alsace Grand Cru – Off-dry with notes of lychee, pineapple, honey, and stone. ~$50
Nero D’avola is the island of Sicily’s most important red grape variety. This grape is known for producing a wine that is full-body, has robust tannins, and has fruit flavors. This is a great wine to drink this fall because it is often compared to Cabernet Sauvignon and has similar tasting notes such as black cherry, plum, tobacco, and licorice. This wine is great to pair with meat-based dishes and in the fall would pair perfectly with a beef stew.
Save: Zabu Nero D’avola 2020 ~$20
Splurge: Donnafugata Mille e Una Notte 2018, Red Sicilia DOC, blend of primarily Nero D’avola, Petit Verdot, and Syrah, notes of berry fruit, spice, and eucalyptus. ~$80
Over the last couple of years, Tannat has become a grape variety that I really enjoy. This grape is originally from the South-West of France but interestingly enough, it was brought to Uruguay where it is now the #1 grape variety. In Virginia, it’s also become a widely planted grape. It grows well in Virginia due to its thick skin and ability to retain acidity really well. Fun fact: Tannat has some of the highest polyphenols (antioxidants) of all red wines which is why it’s considered “good for the heart” ;). This wine typically has notes of black fruits, baking spices, and smoke. It is paired best with something rich and fatty such as a steak, red meat chili, or cheese & charcuterie.
Save: Establecimiento Juanico 2018 Don Pascual Coastal Tannat, Uruguay ~$15
Splurge: Walsh Family Wine Bethany Ridge Tannat 2019, Virginia ~$47
Ahhh Lambrusco, such a unique Italian wine! Lambrusco actually translates to “wild grape” as it’s technically a family of eight closely related grape varieties native to Italy. This wine is typically sparkling and can range from dry to sweet. It’s such a fun wine to pair with food! Last year I made a candy + cheese board paired with Lambrusco, but you could also pair this with pizza or any Italian dish with red sauce would be delish!
Save: 90+ Cellars Lot 172 Lambrusco, Italy ~$12
Splurge: Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano 2020, Emilia-Romagna, Italy ~$26
For more fall-themed content, check out my Easy Fall Recipes & Wine Pairings post!