Who doesn't love a crisp chenin blanc or a fruit-forward rosé poolside during the summer? Mixed with the sounds of the latest pop music hit and smell of Hawaiian tropic, summer wines are absolutely one of the best things things about the season. Sadly (or if you've been suffering under oppressive heat, thankfully), summer has gone away for 248 days.
The good news is that fall wine is here! While technically there is no such thing as seasonal wines, people tend to want lighter wines and spirits in the summer (think sauvignon blanc and gamay) and drinks with a heavier mouthfeel in the cooler months. You can of course feel free to continue drinking your favorite wine year round, but if you're interested in having something that will hold up well to richer dishes such as portobello stew or chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, keep reading.
Jordan Smelt, former sommelier at famed Cakes & Ale restaurant in Atlanta and current general manager at Rive Gauche Wine Company, gave us his take on wines you should be stocking up now.
According to Wine Folly, Gamay (pronounced gam-may) "is a light-bodied red wine that’s similar in taste to Pinot Noir. [It] is a cousin of Pinot Noir and it grows primarily next to Burgundy, France in a region called Beaujolais. Gamay wines are loved for their delicate floral aromas, subtle earthy notes, and surprising ability to pair with food (even fish!)." Sadly this varietal hasn't reach the popularity of pinot noir yet, but it is worth a try. Gamays are usually juicy and bright featuring a lot of fruit-forward flavors. Look for bottles from France, Oregon and New Zealand.
This wine is the one of the most popular varietals around, and for good reason. This wine can come across more fulled bodied but it is actually on the medium side, making it the perfect option to pair with food (barbecue anyone?) or enjoyed on its own. While France is a big producer of Cab Francs (and every other wine in this list), if you want some bang for your buck, try Cabs from regions such as Chile and Califorina's Central Valley.
Now this is one full-bodied wine that will make you feel warm all over. Syrah hails from France, Spain, Argentina and Chile, where winemakers have been cultivating grapes from centuries. A good Syrah has a fair amount of oak and tannins. Depending on the region, Syrahs have tasting notes of tobacco, black pepper, chocolate, and blackberries. If you're looking for a wine that will hold up to your favorite grilled blue cheese burger, look no further.
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