Autumn is a strange season for wines. In some parts of the country, we’re still enjoying the final throes of a long, hot summer, and in others, temperatures are dropping. Either way, we’re not quite in crisp white wine with salad and seafood territory, nor are we fully ready for rich, deep reds for hearty Sunday roasts.
The best way to look at it from a wine perspective is that autumn is the season where anything goes!
Variety is key
If you’re still having barbeques then go for a chilled, delicious Pinot Noir or Picpoul to keep the summer going. Or, if the rains teeming down and there’s a decided nip in the air, go for a bold wintery red. Just because it’s early in the season, doesn’t mean these aren’t still warmingly delicious.
So, the message is to have a good variety of wines ready for any eventuality as we go through the early autumn season. And, of course, always keep your eyes on the upcoming party season too.
Whites for Autumn
For whites, choose something that is refreshing and light for the late summer sun, but also has a bit of strength to work well with a home-cooked meal too.
A South African Colombard fulfils both of these in a way that no many whites can. It goes beautifully with hearty dishes, such as pies and stews, so it’s ideal for early autumn going into winter. However, it’s also delicious as a light accompaniment to supper al fresco in the warm late summer sun. It’s basically a wine that works all year round, which sounds good to us.
Another good choice is something like Domaine Saint Paul Colline Picpoul de Pinet, simply because it’s really good with all kinds of food. From grilled seafood to a hearty meal at the table, this works well. It’s very refreshing and everyone loves it. It’s an easy crowd-pleaser at a dinner party and works well whatever the outside temperature.
Reds for autumn
A good Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot will see you right through this season, all the way to Christmas too. It has a depth of flavour that works really well with slow-cooked meals and roast dinners, and also matches a decent BBQ side of beef if you are blessed with sunny days in October.
Another good choice is a Western Cape Reserve Shiraz, with a bright and fresh flavour. While it goes well with all kinds of food, it’s very comforting and delicious when enjoyed on its own. Ideal to quaff by the fireplace as the weather starts to turn.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to enjoying wine. If you want a light fizz in November, then don’t let anyone stop you! Add in some Pinot Noir, chilled or at room temperature and Malbec for the colder nights, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the best wines this autumn.