As the weather begins to cool down, it’s a great time to gather with friends and family to enjoy festive dinners and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. Here are some of our top suggestions this season. Angels & Cowboys Red, ($22) From one of California’s favorite designations, Sonoma, this ever popular red blend coupled with a graphic label exudes flavors of berries, dark cherry and fig accentuated with warm spice and dark chocolate. The perfect balance of texture and flavor and an impressive wine to bring any fall or holiday party. Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2013 ($19) Orange wines, which are produced by oxidation or grape-skin contact, are great transition wines between seasons. They retain a slightly tannic taste that is reminiscent of red wine, while maintaining firm acidity that will refresh the palate. This skin-contact wine boasts a rich, fruity bouquet with a full palate. Casa Silva 2014 Los Lingues Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($19) This is a full-bodied wine with aromas of ripe red fruit and notes of black pepper balancing its deep volume. 2013 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($43) Miljenko “Mike” Grgich has been called “The King of Chardonnay” since the winery began in 1977, and you can taste why in this classically-styled wine: winemaker (and Mike’s nephew) Ivo Jeramaz did not allow the chardonnay to undergo malolactic fermentation, preserving its natural acidity and differentiating the wine from other “buttery” chardonnays typically produced in Napa. The wine displays ripe peach, mango and tropical flavors, with a note of minerality that’s brought out through food pairings such as fresh seafood, roasted chicken, grilled pork, and creamy cheeses. Criterion 2013 Carménère from Colchagua Valley ($17.99) The hints of cinnamon and nutmeg will truly leave them in awe(tumn) with sweet spices pairing beautifully with fall foods.
2014 Elouan Pinot Noir ($24) Elouan is the result of California winemaker Joe Wagner venturing up to Oregon, one of the world’s renowned Pinot Noir regions, with a goal of producing Pinot Noir with depth of flavor, vibrancy and suppleness. Sourcing fruit from the Umpqua, Willamette, and Rogue Valleys, Elouan’s flavor profile includes red plum, bright cherry, minerality, dusty earth, and a hint of sweet tobacco, creating rustic layers of flavor with soft refined tannins that pair nicely with pork loin, pan-seared salmon, or Peking duck. Indaba Chenin Blanc 2015 ($11.99) This South African Chenin Blanc is a great party white; crisp enough for Sauvignon Blanc drinkers, with enough body to satisfy Chardonnay lovers. Indaba Wines have consistently been awarded best-value and best-buy accolades. Indaba Merlot, 2014 ($11.99) Crafted in a fresh, clean style, this velvety Merlot from South Africa offers enticing aromas and bright, juicy flavors of cherry, dark berry and plum backed by subtle mocha and herbal nuances and a delicate minerality. Committed to social responsibility, Indaba wines donate a portion of the brand’s global sales to the Indaba Education Fund, a fully accredited 501c3, which supports early childhood development by providing infrastructure, learning materials and teacher training at schools established for wineland workers’ children. Luce della Vite Lucente 2012 ($29) A superb blend of Merlot and Sangiovese showcased by a vibrant purple color, this wine offers a beautiful bouquet of black cherry and wild strawberry aromas, followed by a round, velvety palate, enlivened by sweet spices and fresh notes of eucalyptus. Consider pairing this fall red with Pecorino cheese, prosciutto crudo, crusty Tuscan bread, and of course, plenty of extra virgin olive oil for dipping. 2013 Mesa Pinot Noir ($48) Our elegant single block, single clone Pinot Noir has a spice element to it that melds really well with the earth and bright fruit on the palate. It goes well with fall fare, especially truffles!
Mezzacorona Pinot Noir ($10) Pinot Noir is the perfect red to bridge the gap between summer and winter as its vibrant aromas and flavors are the perfect complement to both lighter dishes like grilled or roasted chicken and pork with autumn squash, but can hold up to something heartier like charcuterie, and red meats. Mezzacorona’s Pinot Noir displays aromas and flavors or bright red cherry, blackberry, and brown spice. Purple Heart Red 2013 ($19.99) Drink this wine with a conscious- a portion of proceeds benefits the Purple Heart Foundation. Rich, up-front fruit and velvety balanced tannins make this wine an easy match for end-of-summer/fall barbecue favorites. Reckless Love, red blend ($19.99) This medium bodied wine is like walking down the aisle of a farmer’s market and eating a dark cherry, a ripe raspberry and an over-ripe cranberry all at the same time. The finish lingers jussst long enough for you to reflect on it, then encourages you to take another sip. Stemmari Nero d’Avola ($10) This indigenous Sicilian varietal is the perfect companion on crisp fall nights. The wine’s deep ruby color reflects with shades of violet and the bouquet gives off notes of currant, wild strawberries, and pomegranate. The soft and velvety wine tastes distinctly fruity. Risotto, baked pasta, red meats, lamb, savory cheeses, and classic Sicilian dish Spaghetti alla Norma. Sunday Funday, white blend ($11.99) NOT an oaky Chardonnay. This California Chardonnay-based blend explodes with pear, pineapple, apricot and lime. Most refer to it as a tropical fruit blended with a splash of weekend mischief. Viansa Gewurztraminer 2015 ($22) This is a brighter wine with delicate aroma of lychee, rose petal and flavors of honey, ginger and pineapple. Underlying spice notes make it a great match for spicy foods. It pairs well with spicy and aromatics foods from all over the world. Viña Errazuriz 2015 MAX Chardonnay ($14.99) Framed with notes of dried fruit, this white wine embodies signature fall flavors with hints of baked apple, light vanilla and an oaky finish.