If you live here in Central Texas, you are getting your first whispers of Autumn. We have had a few chilly mornings and have broken out the jackets, on occasion anyway. If you live up north, you are in full fire mode. You have already shoveled your way out of the house and, more than likely, stepped in your first puddle of melted snow. You are well into sweaters and Syrah.
It isn’t so simple here. The calendar says it is November, there are scarves and sweater-coats in the fashion magazines, but it is still hitting the 80s on occasion. The change of seasons can be a hard time for fashion if you don’t want sweat in your corduroys and you’re over your sundresses. It can also be hard on wine choices when you are really wanting to open a Zinfandel and you are done with Sauvignon Blanc. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my sundresses as much as I love my Sav. Blancs, but I am ready to usher in big reds and cozy sweaters.
I will drink both red and whites all year-long, depending on the menu, but there are some varietals that, I think, lend themselves to traditionally oppositional weather reports. In summer, a slightly chilled Pinot Noir is lovely. An oaky or buttery Chardonnay drinks nicely by a fire. Some wines are like denim: when paired well, they work all year around. Those are the wines I think of at this time of year. Viognier is versatile; Pinot Noir rarely disappoints. If you are wanting Italian, think Sangiovese or Barbera. Grenache can be big and juicy or light and easy. And, of course, I never turn down a good glass of bubbles.
What are your favorite transitional wines? Like a light sweater or favorite skirt, you never put them away for the season. Add a scarf or tights, over a sundress or with a tank top, some things are too lovely to keep in the closet, no matter what the temperature.