Summer is officially far behind us and Halloween is rapidly approaching. The urge for a comforting glass of wine seems to increase in direct proportion to the decrease in temperature and summer’s chilled chardonnay doesn’t satisfy the way it did just two months ago. It’s time to update the wine rack for the cold nights ahead.
Cotes du Rhone
If you are looking for a full, rich, peppery wine look no further than a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. Produced in France’s Rhone valley, not far from the Mediterranean Sea these wines tend to get heavier in body the further north you head. Rhone wines pair well with roasted meats and game animals but are just as good all by themselves. With a large selection to choose from it is easy to find a great bottle from under $20 at most wine stores. The Domaine Pelaquie Cotes du Rhone makes a great introduction to the region. With hints of black cherry, plum, spice and lavender and a 90 point rating the $15 price tag makes this bottle a bargain.
Chateauneuf du Pape
Also from the Rhone valley in the south of France, Chateauneuf du Pape is as rich in history as it is in taste. Originally considered too rustic for mass appeal the wines of Chateauneuf have experienced a renaissance, and major price increase, in recent years. Try the Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape, this bend of Grenache and Syrah grapes is lush with black fruits and berries and complimented with deep earthy and olive flavors. It pairs best with pasta dishes, spicy curries and game.
One could argue that any season is a good season for a glass of pinot noir. Made from black grapes, pinot noirs are produced all over the world but the grape itself is chiefly grown in the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noirs tend to have a light to medium body with lots of berry and fruit flavors. Perfect for a fall cocktail party, try the Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir. Made from organic grapes grown in the Napa valley of California this wine stands well on its own or pairs well with casual weeknight meals.