The Perfect Wines for Autumn

Autumn is now well and truly upon us. While you may find yourself lamenting the loss of summer whites and rosés, Ideal Wine Company has plenty of recommendations to carry you through these shorter days and longer nights. This week, we bring to you five of our favourite wines for the autumn season.

Ideal Wine Company autumn wine
We’ve picked the best wines for the upcoming autumn months.

Primitivo/ Zinfandel – autumn in a bottle

These Italian and California red wines are the perfect start to your autumn collection. Both originating from the same grape, these two wines share many similarities. In their richer styles, with ABVs over 15%, the predominant flavours are jam and smoke. With notes of cinnamon, raisin, chocolate and tobacco, this wine is autumn in a bottle. With California producing an array of delicious primitivo and zinfandel wines, regions to look out for include Lodi, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and the Sierra Foothills.

Grenache – delicious no matter what

Arguably one of the most autumn-ready wines, Grenache is the obvious choice for this season. Character varies from region to region, with dried strawberry and herbs prominent notes in France and Italy and raspberry and clove being key in Spanish, Australian and American varieties. While there are changes between regions, the wine itself remains delicious no matter what. It’s hard to go wrong with this wine, but regions to particularly look at are Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cannonau, Paso Robles, Columbia Valley, South Australia and Aragon.

Rhône/GSM Blends – perfect for colder nights

Following on from Grenache, Rhône and GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) blends provide a more robust take on those berry and clove notes. With additional flavours of lavender, baking spice, and green herbs, this wine is perfect for the colder nights. Great regions to look out for are Côtes du Rhône, Priorat, Central Coast California and Columbia Valley.

Carignan – perfect food pairing

As many producers are reinvigorating old vineyards, Carignan is finally starting to shed its low-quality reputation. This affordable medium-bodied red is perfect for the autumn season. It is known for its cranberry, cured meats, and baking spice flavours. As this wine pairs so well with foods synonymous with autumn, such as turkey and root vegetables, it has been called its own ingredient in seasonal dishes.  Regions to look out for include Languedoc-Roussillon, Central Chile, and Carignano del Sulcis-Sardinia. In addition, as Carignan vines are productive, try to seek out old vines where you can.

Sémillon – full-bodied flavour

Autumn isn’t just the season for red wines, this is also the time to enjoy a full-bodied white wine too. With notes of honey and almond, this Bordeaux grape is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. In doing this, an otherwise lush and mouth-filling wine welcomes a new invigorating hint. This makes a perfect choice as a pour for the autumnal dark green vegetables, as well as pairing well with root vegetables. When looking to buy this wine, find one with some age or oak on it, and look out for wines made in the regions of Pessac-Léognan, Napa, Sonoma, South Africa, and Columbia Valley.

Foreign Office shifts to English wine

Around 52 per cent of wine served at high-end events at the British Foreign Office is now English. The government is increasing the number of wines made in England that they buy every year, as well as those served at official events. Ideal Wine Company take a look at why the shift to English wine has occurred.

Figures show that 3,052 bottles of wine were bought during the last 12 months. Of these, 1,500 are English (equivalent to 50 per cent). Ten years ago, English wines in the government’s cellar consisted of only 20 per cent.

Ideal Wine Company english wine
How is the Government shifting to English wine?

Serve British for Brexit

Miles Beale of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association is happy with this increase. He says: “We have urged government departments to ‘serve British’ and it’s great to hear that the FCO is stocking, serving and therefore supporting English wine.

“Consumers worldwide have woken up to the fact that English wine is a product of supreme quality.”

Government wine cellar
The government has had its very own wine cellar for many years. It’s looked after by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and is meant to be self-sustaining in financial terms.

Wines are generally bought young and left to mature. The annual statement for 2015 to 2016 shows that the cellar boasted 33,669 bottles of wine and spirits. The total value for the cellar’s inventory was £800,000 as at March 2016.

Selecting wine for events

Wines are selected for use at each event, depending on what kind of event it is and who is invited. The more senior the invited guests, the better the quality of wine they are served.

A private member’s bill was introduced in March by MP Nusrat Ghani to make sure that British consulates and embassies serve English wine at events. She said: “In a post-Brexit world, we must do all we can to get behind industries that show the sort of potential of our wine industry.”

Wine producer Jonica Fox, who is based in East Sussex, is also pleased with the figures. She said: “The Foreign Office is now flying the flag for us all.” As the UK is now home to more than 500 vineyards and produces millions of bottles of wine every year, it looks like this is one industry that could thrive post Brexit.

Wine tourism in New Zealand on the up

New Zealand has much to offer tourists. From beautiful, endless countryside to visits to the Lord of the Rings set, there’s something for everyone. Ideal Wine Company review where every wine lover should be visiting this year.

Wine lovers are also well catered for in this area, as figures show that New Zealand is becoming ever more popular as a wine tourism destination.

Ideal Wine Company new zealand wine
If you’re a wine lover, you’ll want to visit New Zealand this year!

Wine lovers flock to NZ

In fact, the recent figures from trade body NZ Winegrowers shows that wine tourism has sharply increased with a quarter of all tourists visiting a vineyard or winery while in New Zealand.

The figures state that the 24 per cent of tourists from overseas that visit vineyards has leapt from 13 per cent just four years ago.

Tourism up in general

So far in 2017, New Zealand has welcome around 3.65 million visitors to its shores. This is an increase of 10 per cent on the same time in 2016, according to figures from the NZ government.

The trade body (NZ Winegrowers) has been quick to capitalise on the increase in tourism by launching a brand-new website. The site acts as a hub for information on wineries and vineyards for tourists to visit.

Marketing director Chris Yorke says: “Wine tourism provides an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our wines in the unique locations where they are grown and produced.”

New website launched

The new website contains information on more than 450 wineries and vineyards. Visitors can filter by regions and by four kinds of experience: vineyard tours, wine tastings, dining and staying at vineyards that offer accommodation.

CEO of Tourism NZ, Stephen England-Hall, puts the popularity of wine tourism down to the wide appeal of visiting sites at any time of year across different regions. He says: “Our research has found that wine visitors spend more, stay longer, and visit more regions than the average international holidaymaker.”

Auckland offers the most wine and vineyard experiences with 90 to choose from. Even the area with the least wine attractions in the country (Gisborne), there are still 14 to discover.

Prosecco popularity not slowing down

There’s a special day for everything these days, and everyone’s favourite sparkler Prosecco is no different. This year’s National Prosecco Day fell on 13 August 2017, and was celebrated in style, particularly in New York. Ideal Wine Company discover what’s so tasty about this year’s National Prosecco Day.

Ruffino, the major Italian winemaker, got together with The Doughnut Project to come up with a match made in heaven – Prosecco flavoured doughnuts.

Ideal Wine Company prosecco doughnuts
Prosecco doughnuts are the new craze!

Cocktail infused doughnuts

A series of cocktail themed doughnuts had already been showcased celebrating New York bars by The Doughnut Project, so they were the obvious choice for the Prosecco version.

Co-owner of The Doughnut Project, Leslie Polizzotto, says: “We’ve done many alcohol infused doughnuts in the past. Because of our track record, we were approached by Ruffino to do a Prosecco doughnut in honour of National Prosecco Day on 13 August.”

Limited sale window

The tasty treats were on sale at The Doughnut Project’s shop on West Village Morton Street in New York until 20 August. They predictably went down a storm with New Yorkers.

The Prosecco doughnut is the latest in a long line of products aimed at bringing the fizzy favourite ‘out of the bottle’.

Prosecco popsicles

Earlier in 2017, a UK based company called Pops created Champagne and Prosecco Bellini flavoured popsicles. Also on trend were a variety of sparkling wine infused products including wine lollipops and gummy bears flavoured with rosé.

It’s no surprise that Prosecco has captured the hearts and minds of consumers happy to buy spin off products. A survey taken recently by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) showed that a whopping 97% of those interviewed between the age of 18 and 24 drank Prosecco.

The report also showed that sales of the popular wine leapt by 12% over the last year. Even more impressive, a survey by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young taken in 2016, showed that sales of sparking wine throughout the UK increased by more than 80% from 2011-2016.

Increased consumption is expected to continue with predictions of an increase of around 19% by 2020.

Stay in Tuscany’s specially built ‘wine town’

Tuscany is a beautiful place for a holiday, particularly if you’re a wine aficionado. There’s something magical about the rolling Tuscan countryside, with culturally rich cities sitting in among ancient greenery. Ideal Wine Company discusses why this is a perfect getaway destination.

And, to create a holiday destination perfect for people who love both northern Italy and wine, a new wine ‘town’ has just opened in Bolgheri. Situated on the Tuscan coast, this ‘World Wine Town’ offers tastings, restaurants specialising in wine, self-catering apartments and even holograms of Italian winemakers.

The wine resort opened last month (June 2017) in the recently restored farm estate of Casone Ugolino. It’s taken 15 years to develop and cost €12 million, which came from banks and private investors.

Ideal Wine Company Tuscany wine town
Why should you visit Tuscany’s wine town this summer?

Museum central to wine town

A wine museum is situated just on the edge of Castagneto Carducci. This three-storey celebration of the region’s wine history boasts the holograms of Gaddo della Gherardesca, Niccolo Incisa della rocchetta and Piero Antinori, all presenting stories of their wine making family history.

The huge museum space was designed by Academy Award winner Dante Ferretti and promises to wow visitors. The museum costs just eight euros to get in, and of course this includes a wine tasting.

Plenty to taste and try

There are three restaurants in the resort, including a faithful reproduction of an Old Tuscan inn. For a real taste of the old world you can eat at Osteria Vinality, or go for Mercato del Borgo, which serves up very local food.

All of this is ideal for the wine lover’s perfect holiday. They can even stay in the self -apartments and use this wine town resort as the base for their Tuscan holiday – if they can bring themselves to leave its grounds that is!

The resort is planning to open a wine education centre in 2018, to catch the interest of the next generation of wine lovers.