We’ve had an intermittently warm and sunny autumn, allowing us to cheerfully pretend summer is kind of, sort of, maybe, still here. But as the evenings become darker, things generally feel cosier and the leaves are changing colour, perhaps it’s time to rethink the colour of the wines you are drinking.
Of course, any wine can be drunk any time of year if you so fancy but there are psychological and culinary reasons you might want to be more discerning when choosing wines in each season. You might think autumn is the time to forget the rosés but actually this time of year can be very amenable to the humble rosé. The darker hued, fruitier (but not sweet) rosés prove to be very good transitional wines as you leave behind the crisp, summery whites and light, dry Provence rosés and amble towards the heavier, wintry reds. In southern France the more intensely coloured rosés are sometimes called gastronomic wines or “rosé d’assiette”, meaning “wine for eating”. Here at Bambuni we sell some exquisite rosés of this type, ones that are surprisingly versatile with autumnal dishes and even spicier fare such as curries. The Mallorcan Macia Batlé (2016), made of Manto Black, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes is a fresh, fruity wine, heavy on the strawberry and raspberry, balanced with a good dose of acidity, perfect for a light curry or a tomatoey aubergine dish. Chateau Caze rosé (2016) from Fronton, France is another rosé redolent of raspberry, along with redcurrant and pomegranate. It is excellent with pork, salmon and goats cheeses. Madegrale’s rosato (2016), a blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano from the Abruzzo region of Italy, also has a wonderful raspberry flavour but with the classic Italian wine cherriness. This is great with some punchy Italian seafood meals featuring slightly heavier fish such as tuna.
If you’ve had your feel of the whites and rosés these past few months and are hankering for something redder and earthier to go with your game meat this season you could do worse than go for these superb Navajas Riojas: the classical 2010 Reserva is an amazingly good value mix of red fruit flavours and smoky licorice, while the 2005 Gran Reserva (Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes), slightly heavier and with a longer finish, has similar flavours but is slightly more complex, with a beautiful herby, spicy quality and hint of truffle.
A classic, versatile autumn wine is of course pinot noir, warming but lighter in body than the full-on wintry reds. Duck is a classic partner. Try our Cote de Beaune Village or the Pierre Bourée Fils Gevrey-Chambertin, rich, peppery and minerally, real autumn forest floor stuff.
Lastly, if you’re not ready to wave goodbye to the whites, try one of our fuller-bodied whites. Holly’s Garden (2016), a Pinot Gris with notes of honey, citrus and apple is perfect with pork. Or, as our identity-crisis autumn this year keeps threatening to change back into summer, you could just buy a bottle to neck in the back garden!