Fall into Red Wines for Fall

It’s not just your imagination. You want to drink more reds now that fall has fully settled in. Red wines are typically higher in alcohol to warm you from the inside, and certainly have more tannins, enabling pairing with richer, heartier foods. The serving temperature alone (not from a fridge) make red wines a logical, if not subconscious choice when the nights start to lengthen. Of course I drink red wines year round, but it’s hard not to reach for pinot noir with those just-foraged wild mushrooms, or gamay with that roasted turkey, or syrah with that spice braised brisket, or a warming, savoury red blend with my fireplace and couch. Here are 4 wines, and a rich beer, to warm you this autumn.

Locavore

Liquidity Wines Pinot Noir 2012 Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, BC *$25 Some of the complexities in this pinot noir come from a variety of clones (5) in the vineyard and coopers (3) in the barrels. Partial wild yeast, 20 year old vines and low grade intervention builds layers as well. The result, a characterful pinot noir that is certainly headed down the right path, and a producer to watch on the pinot hunt. Lovely scented wild strawberries and berry jam on the nose. Bright black cherry, earthy tobacco and perfumed raspberry rest on very gentle tannins, dusted with dark cocoa. Duck is a natural pairing here. 88 points.

Cellar Dweller

Cave De Rasteau La Domelière Rasteau 2011 Rasteau, Rhone Valley, France $20  +645655 I love that you’re finding the 2010 vintage on our shelves in BC, even though they’re mixed in with the 2011 and even though I’ve come across the 2012 vintage back east. Whatever the vintage, you can taste a consistent, quality GSM blend from one of the oldest wineries in the Rhone Valley (and even make your own little vertical!) The patina has worn well, showing light floral thorn and stone on the nose, before heading into a wild edged palate of violets, cherries, plum and a hint of lurking anise, tidied up with gummy/fuzzy tannins and lingering into faint floral black cherry. Not as fresh and primary as it once was, but none suffering for it. Pair with pork tenderloin and enjoy now, or pick up the 2011 or 2012 if you’re looking for fresher, more primary fruit. 89 points. 

Budgeteer

Colby Red California Red Blend 2011 California, USA $18  +201038 Ok – this breaks the ceiling of the Budgeteer category, but since winemaker Daryl Groom donated $42,000 to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation earlier this year, I think that entitles it to sneak in. Groom, former head red winemaker at Penfolds and Geyser Peak, came up with this wine for his son Colby, who had two open heart surgeries to treat his congenital heart disease before the age of 10. After his successful operations, Colby (now 13) asked his father if there was a way to give back and promote heart health, and Colby Red was born. Proceeds of this wine are dedicated to raising $500,000 for cardiac research around the world. See – red wine can be good for your heart! This is a red wine that has mass appeal – a round and lush and sweetish blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, petite sirah, zinfandel and merlot, sourced in California. Smooth, toasty, vanilla earthy branch and raspberry jam – simple and purposefully built to please crowds, raise funds and create dialogue. Success. 85 points

Adventurer

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Summit Reserve Blaufrankish 2010 Similkameen Valley, BC *$25 Blaufränkisch is a late ripening, higher tannin and massively spiced red that is commonly grown across Central Europe. Also known as lemberger, the grape pops up again across Washington State, and is a sometime player in BC as well. Though firmly rooted on West Kelowna’s Mt. Boucherie, the blaufränkisch grapes come from the winery’s vineyard down south in Similkameen Valley’s Cawston. Also known as lemburger, this wine shows a generous nose of fresh cracked pepper and wintergreen, fresh, tart cassis and thorny blackberry. The round, ripe palate carries black cherry, herbal cassis and blue plums across a bed of herbal tobacco leaf. Tannins are dusty, and carry through to the peppery finish. Try this rustic red with grilled sausages or chorizo spiced rice. 87 points.

No Wineos

Tofino Brewing Company Kelp Stout Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC 650ml bottles The folks at Tofino Brewing Company make me smile. “If there’s one sentiment that’s constantly repeated among craft beer drinkers it is, “This beer is good but it needs more seaweed!” If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times.” Well – if you like your beers dark, deep, salty and saline laced, this is the beer for you. Dark, rich and full bodied, with dark chocolate, espresso, birch caramel and rye-like rusticity, the first sip is intriguingly salty. After a few sips, it’s a bit too much sodium-centric for me. True locavores, the brewery used locally harvested kelp in the brew. Pairing with a big protein would work well – grilled beef or lamb preferred.  

DRINK This
Each week Treve highlights 5 timely and tasty picks. Her weekly choices include Locavore (BC wines), Cellar Dweller (wines to lay down for a while for maximum enjoyment), Budgeteer (wallet-friendly bottles under $15), Adventurer (wines for geeks, enlightening or pushing the envelope) and No Wineos (a non-wine pro-alcoholic beverage). So what are you waiting for? DRINK This!
DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. The price is suggested retail price, and may fluctuate depending on source. Wines are scored out of 100 points.

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. In addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for WineAlign, ...

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