Autumn seems to have curled its colourful leaves around us which have landed on the ground as if by magic. Certainly I seemed to have missed the transition from summer. Wines also have seasons and they also have a way of subtly showing their colours without you noticing.Â When I say wines have a season, of course there is a season in wine production but all are available all year round.Â There is however an emotional side to seasonal wines and we have our favourites almost subconsciously depending on the time of year.
Wines evocative of spring are â€˜crisp and whiteâ€™, summer â€˜sparkling pinksâ€™ and dear old autumnâ€™s are certainly fruitful as we get our primeval stores in to cope with oncoming winter.
I love the seasons and the sense of familiarity alongside change they bring.Â We complain bitterly about the weather even if it is too hot yet I for one would not like to live in constant sun, snow or even just mild climates.
Although we do produce some wines in the UK most are from the Old World (Europe in the main) and the New World (Australia, USA, New Zealand for example).
Matching wines and foods with the areas they come from is a good rule of thumb, Rioja with tapas, New Zealand Sauvignon blanc with green lipped mussels. However as with all rules, they are meant to be broken and your personal taste is all that really matters.
We are traditionally at the tail end (no pun intended) of the shooting season in this country so there is a lot of sense in seeking out gamey wines for the rabbit stew.Â Look no further than a good Claret from Bordeaux.
We are subconsciously starting the hibernation process so are seeking nutritious, well stocked foods such as casseroles and lots of lovely carbs like dumplings to keep us going.Â I would generally recommend hearty reds. For a special occasion go traditional with a well matured Burgundy such as Gevrey Chamber tin.Â This wine has a beautiful dark red color and a nose of plum and oiliness. The plum carries on in the flavour and is beautifully balanced with fine wooden tannins.
For a more mid range cost yet bags of fruit try New World Malbec from Argentina. This grape variety has become the National Variety of this exciting new region and they have flown in â€˜wine doctorsâ€™ from the old world to develop this wine as an important part of their emerging economy.
Letâ€™s not turn our back on whites. We have turned up the heating so can still enjoy a chilled white â€“ Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand to drink alone as an aperitif or try a lustrous French ChardonnayÂ to go with a hearty fish pie with buttery mash.
If youâ€™re doing the full dinner party rather than venturing out, why not splash out on a bit of luxury with a dessert wine.Â Expensive due to labour costs and fruit yields, these are still worth every penny as they slip down sweetly and leave your guests with a warm autumnal glow.