As the weather changes in many parts of the country, so does our wardrobe, our weekend rituals and, of course, our wine choices.
There is something about the brisk air and the changing color of the leaves that entices us to reach for a more medium-bodied, less chilled wine.
But this fall, reach for something new. While we are all so excited to pour a Pinot Noir, we asked some of our favorite pros for some other nontraditional fall selections.
“Barolo and Barbaresco!” suggests Antonio Galloni, wine critic and founder of Vinous, one of the world’s premier wine publications.
Barolos and Barbarescos are made from the Nebbiolo grape, grown in Piedmont, Italy, which is in the northwest part of the country, near Switzerland.
Nebbiolo wines are known for smelling like roses. So definitely decant them. They have tons of acidity and tannins, which will work great with the heavier food you start eating in the fall.
Barolos, one of Italy’s great wines, have been dubbed “king of wines and the wine of kings,” because, well, Italy’s kings loved them. And both can often be expensive, but, as always, there are definite values out there.
Discover the Jura
“I am gravitating towards lighter reds like Beaujolais, red Burgundy, Nebbiolo and reds from the Jura,” says Sharon Sevrens, sommelier and owner of Amanti Vino wine shop in Montclair, NJ.
The Jura, named after the Jura Mountains in France, is located between Burgundy and Switzerland and has been attracting winemakers.
This up-and-coming cool climate region produces wines similar to those in Burgundy and Switzerland. One of the most well-known grapes from the region is the Poulsard (or Ploussard as the locals call it). It’s a red grape used in dry reds and sparkling Rosés. And it often is blended with Gamay or Pinot Noir.
Warmer Climates Still Need Change
And even if the weather doesn’t change much, there is still a ritual of transition with the seasons.
“When I lived in NYC, I would go from a Gruner Veltliner in summer to a Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Malbec in winter,” says Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan. “But now that I live in LA, I’m going from Oregon Pinot Gris to red Burgundy.”
It’s like going from skim to whole milk vs. heavy cream, she says. “It’s different, but not much.”
So reach for something different this Fall. And be sure to let us know your new favorite.
Some Fall Splurges to Try
Fontanafredda Serralunga d'Alba Barolo 2011, Piedmont, Italy, $43
Cherries and licorice flavors. Firm tannins Drink now or hold.
Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 2011, Piedmont, Italy, $52
Herbs, orange peel, dried red cherries. Great texture. Drink now.
Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru Rouge 2011, Burgundy, France, $45
Ripe, lush Pinot Noir. Spice flavors and ripe acidity.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.