My Top 5 Favorite Fall Wines
Forget pumpkin-spice lattes and apple ciders, nothing goes with Fall better than a great glass of wine. Autumn is harvest season in Napa Valley, making it my favorite time to visit wine country and stock up on all the wines to get me through the cold season. Because, let’s face it, whether you’re cuddling up by the fireplace with a delicious glass of red, or toasting the holidays with a bottle of fresh bubbly, or simply letting the pain of Aunt Sharon asking you for the 50th time what you plan on doing with your life roll off your shoulders with some buttery chard, there’s no better time of year to enjoy great wine.
Which is why I rounded up my favorite Fall wines that I’m drinking right now:
I’m an absolute sucker for a great pinot noir. Pinot is the first type of wine I look for when scouring a wine list at a group dinner, or when picking up something to bring over to a friend’s house, because pinots are smooth, drinkable, not as expensive (or as heavy) as cabernet sauvignons and pretty much everyone loves them. They’re the people-pleasing wine.
So, when I find a pinot that I love, I like to stock up on it. Especially around the holidays. Because what goes better with turkey and stuffing than a smooth, light-bodied pinot noir?!
En Route’s $50-$80 pinot noirs may be on the expensive side of my wine collection, but every sip of this wine is sheer heaven. And, of course I love the name 🙂 You can bet En Route is what I bring out around the holidays when I want to impress guests, or give the best hostess gifts.
I first discovered Failla at West Coast Wine & Cheese in San Francisco, my go-to girls’ night wine and cheese spot in the city. The price at WCWC for a bottle of Failla is around $70, and you can bet we splurge on a bottle (and some burrata, of course) every time we go there. Because, to me, the difference between paying $50 for a decent wine and $70 for an incredible wine on any wine list is a no-brainer. That is, if you know it’s going to be a great wine. A lot of people don’t know the small wine label still, which I love because it’s a wine that gets people excited when they try it for the first time. Like I said above, if you want a people-pleasing wine, a nice pinot noir is your move.
If you buy direct from the winery, bottles are only around $40. Unfortunately, this small family-owned winery in Sonoma doesn’t ship, which is one more reason I stock up every harvest season. As if you needed another reason to visit Sonoma 🙂
Whereas pinots are what I tend to drink with good friends and what I love to pair with a killer fall cheese plate or thanksgiving dinner, nice cabernets are what I save for the really special occasions (aka, when it’s just my boyfriend and I and we don’t have to share with anyone else). Nickel & Nickel cabernet sauvignon has long been my favorite wine in Napa Valley, for it’s beautiful, smooth, single-vineyard finish that’s unlike any other wine I’ve ever tasted.
At $115-$185, these elegant single-vineyard wines don’t come cheaply, but I promise you they’re worth it in every sip.
During the summer, I stock up on Flowers rosé, but their Sonoma Coast Pinot is my go-to for a smooth, velvety fall wine. This beautiful pinot noir is full-bodied, dense and rich with tight tannins. It has delicate florals and red fruits that make it easy drinking, and it’s heavy enough to be a Cab lovers pinot.
My all-time favorite creamy, elegant, balanced, perfectly-caramelly chardonnay for an Autumn evening is DuMol. Trust me on this one, it’s worth the price if you like a good white like I do.
6. Jordan Winery Cuvee Champagne
Ok I know I said top 5, but we gotta add a #6 for bubbles, right!? When it comes to popping bubbly, whether it’s for my Fall birthday (November 19th!), or for celebrations during the holidays, Jordan Winery’s champagne is the move. The Healdsburg winery’s long-anticipated champagne just launched this year, and is currently only available direct from the winery or shipped to CA addresses.
It’s so smooth and so, so good. It definitely beats out any California sparkling wines I’ve tasted, since it is actually produced by one of the Champagne region in France’s top wine houses, AR Lenoble, in a joint partnership between California’s Jordan and France’s AR Lenoble.
It retails for $49 and makes for a perfect holiday champagne.
Cheers to the season!!