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Wine Varieties to Savor This Autumn

autumn wine tasting guide

As the autumn season arrives and the leaves begin to change, it's the perfect time to delve into a variety of wines that capture the essence of fall. Each wine brings its own distinct flavors and characteristics to the table, making it a delightful experience to explore.

Zinfandel offers a tantalizing blend of smoky and spicy notes that are sure to awaken your taste buds. On the other hand, Grenache presents a delightful array of sweet red fruit flavors that add a touch of warmth to your palate.

For a taste of rustic charm, consider indulging in a Cru-level Beaujolais, where you'll discover a depth of flavor that perfectly complements the season.

If you prefer something a bit more elegant, Valpolicella and Bardolino wines showcase hints of red cherry and floral undertones that elevate any autumn gathering. And for those who appreciate a more earthy and herbal profile, Cabernet Franc is an excellent choice that promises to impress.

By exploring these diverse wine options, you can enhance your autumn meals and gatherings with a touch of sophistication and warmth that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the season.

So, why not elevate your wine experience this fall and savor the rich flavors that these varieties have to offer?


red wine grape variety

Zinfandel is a perfect wine choice for autumn with its smoky and spicy flavors. This robust wine complements hearty dishes like spiced squash and cassoulets, elevating the dining experience with its bold taste.

Zinfandel from various regions offers unique characteristics: Lodi is known for its smoky hints, Sonoma produces minerally versions, and Paso Robles showcases fruity notes. This diversity allows wine lovers to explore a range of flavors within the same varietal.

As the season transitions and temperatures cool, Zinfandel's complex and warming qualities make it an enticing option for those seeking innovative and gratifying wine experiences. Each sip of this versatile wine beautifully captures the essence of autumn.


What makes Grenache a great choice for autumn?

With its sweet, red fruit flavors like strawberries and raspberries, Grenache pairs wonderfully with hearty fall dishes. Originating from Southern France, Grenache blends have a rustic undertone that complements the crisp autumn air.

Spanish Garnacha offers a fruit-forward essence, while Italy's Cannonau adds a complex tobacco twist. Old-vine Garnachas from different Spanish regions provide a rich, concentrated experience.

The variety of Grenache styles ensures there's something for every palate, making it a versatile and exciting option for autumn wine lovers looking for both tradition and innovation.

Beaujolais (Cru Level)

french wine from beaujolais

Beaujolais (Cru Level) presents a rustic red wine with floral aromas and gentle tannins, perfect for the autumn months. These wines originate from specific crus within the Beaujolais region, each showcasing unique qualities.

For instance, Fleurie stands out for its fragrant bouquet and delicate structure, while Morgon offers a robust, fruity profile. These wines are incredibly versatile when it comes to food pairings, complementing dishes like roasted salmon and seasonal cuisine beautifully.

Whether you're hosting a casual get-together or a formal dinner, Beaujolais (Cru Level) wines are sure to impress your guests. Embrace the spirit of the season by exploring the diverse range of expressions found in Cru Beaujolais, enhancing your autumn wine selection with a touch of innovation.

Valpolicella and Bardolino

As we delve into autumn wine choices, Valpolicella and Bardolino stand out with their red cherry fruit flavors and floral hints, primarily from the Corvina grape. Valpolicella, especially in its Ripasso variation, boasts a more intricate and robust profile, making it a fantastic match for heartier meals. On the other hand, Bardolino offers a lighter, more floral experience, perfect for laid-back dining occasions like enjoying a pizza.

Valpolicella Ripasso and Bardolino both feature the versatile Corvina grape, elevating the fall dining experience with their unique characteristics. Valpolicella Ripasso, with its rich and complex flavor profile, complements dishes with bold flavors, while Bardolino's light and floral notes make it a great choice for casual meals.

Cabernet Franc

red wine grape variety

Cabernet Franc, one of the parent grapes of the renowned Cabernet Sauvignon, is a wine choice with a unique and rustic charm that is perfect for the fall season. This grape shows its versatility in both French and American variations. French Cabernet Franc is known for its earthy and herbal notes, while American versions, particularly those from Washington State, stand out for their lively red fruit flavors.

The 2015 French vintage stands out for its exceptional balance and depth, making it a standout choice for wine enthusiasts.

For those looking to expand their wine palate, Cabernet Franc pairs wonderfully with hearty autumn dishes like roasted meats and root vegetables. Its complex flavors and medium tannins make it a great match for the rich and savory tastes of the season.

Consider trying a French Cabernet Franc for a taste of its earthy complexity or opt for an American version from Washington State for a burst of vibrant red fruit flavors. Whichever you choose, Cabernet Franc is sure to add a touch of sophistication to your fall wine selection.


Autumn brings a delightful array of wines to savor, such as Zinfandel, Grenache, Beaujolais (Cru Level), Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Cabernet Franc. These wines offer a diverse range of flavors that cater to different tastes, enhancing the dining experience by pairing well with hearty fall dishes.

While some may question the need for seasonal wines, they truly elevate autumn gatherings with their complex profiles, blending rustic charm with refined sophistication. Embrace the opportunity to explore these unique wines and discover how they can complement and elevate your autumn dining experiences.