Out of all the seasons Mother Nature has to offer us there’s nothing quite like Autumn. From the sight of the leaves turning gold to the nip in the air and even that bracing stroll in the countryside kicking up the leaves as you go, the season has plenty of character. You may be tempted to dust off that scarf or delve into the shed to locate that rusty rake to gather the crispy leaves with, but there’s still the odd warm day which offers a chance for some late-summer basking. If, like me, you live in a cottage you may have to also contend with a visit from a certain long-legged friend in search of warmth. However, if you’re not a fan of spiders, you may have a spare glass to hand!
Autumn is also the time to try some wines that will brighten up even the darkest of days, each of them so beautifully crafted, you could also paint a picture of them. Full-bodied and spicy reds will be perfect at the first sign of frost, but they still feel too heavy, so grab some rich and flavoursome whites instead. Wines from countries such as South Africa, Chile and Australia would be a good place to start a search of the supermarket shelves, often being richly textured and fantastic with a wide range of foods. However, local varieties such as Torrontés from Argentina and Marsanne from the Southern Rhône in France are waiting in the wings to be discovered, and you won’t be disappointed. Richly textured white wines are also perfect when paired Autumnal fayre, especially those complimented by rich creamy sauces, perfect for when the weather turns much colder.
Time to throw a few logs on the fire and sit back in your favourite armchair and pour yourself a glass. Here’s my favourite selection of wonderful whites to help you sip away those Autumn blues.
Broglia Gavi di Gavi, Piedmont, Italy.
From one of the top producers in Gavi, this wine combines a wealth of citrus lime and fleshy peach flavours, often associated with good Gavi. Hints of almond and a wonderful minerality takes this wine to another level. An intense finish rounds of its captivating character. Pair with roast chicken, mushroom risotto or baked cod.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Zind, Alsace, France.
Alsace with its picture-postcard buildings and winding narrow streets is one of the countries driest regions due to the imposing Vosges mountain range which acts as a rain shadow to the region. Alsace is also the home to many rich and intense white wines from the likes of Riesling, Gewurtztraminer (spelt without the umlaut here) and the versatile Pinot Gris. Oliver Humbrecht MW has produced this intensely-flavoured white that is delicious upon release, but will also develop well given a few years in bottle.
La Vieille Ferme Blanc, Luberon, France.
Looking for a great alternative to everyday Pinot Grigio? This delicious tipple is often my fridge-door white as it combines an attractive richness of pear and peach fruit flavours with a light, fresh texture and a bright finish. Serve with rich, creamy pasta dishes or alongside white meat and fish.
Yalumba Organic Viognier, South Australia.
This unoaked, aromatic white with its fresh palate is expertly crafted by the talented team at Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned wine producer. Showing lovely peach, apricot, lemon and lime notes, it’s delicious with rich seafood dishes or paired with Asian stir-fries.
Tilimuqui Fairtrade Single Vineyard Torrontés, Argentina.
This organic Fairtade wine is made with Torrontés Riojano grapes, a variety born and bred in Argentina. One of three varieties, it produces the purest of fruit flavours of the trio. Bursting with ripe peach and lemon notes combined with a refreshing acidy, it is perfect for sipping with friends.
Rustenberg Chardonnay, South Africa.
A serious benchmark South African Chardonnay produced by Rustenberg, one of Stellenbosch’s most dramatic estates, with beautiful hillside vineyards. Striking apricot and orange-peel aromas are interwoven with notes of coconut and vanilla through excellent oak integration. Concentrated and refined, this is perfect with grilled chicken.