Wines to keep you warm
With the changing seasons comes a change in our tastes, towards fuller- bodied bottles
Icling to the dying days of summer for as long as possible, hoping against hope that the days won’t get shorter and the temperature won’t drop. Sadl y, i nevitably, the weather has changed, the leaves are turning and autumn has arrived.
As the season changes we move on from the lighter wines of summer to something a l i ttle more warming, not necessarily to anything quite as big and powerful as the robust winter reds, but we certainly drink more red wine, or white wines with a little bit more body and texture.
We still drink fresh, crisp whites and light reds from time to time, of course, but many of us instinctively drink seasonally. Sales of rosé plummet, and of red wines increase, once the sun disappears.
Choosing a wine is as much about mood as about the food you are serving. I often find myself returning to old favourites, such as the Protocolo below. Like a favourite old coat or jacket, or a cosy blanket returned to the sofa, they offer a certain comfort at this time of year.
My favourite autumnal wines include mellow Riojas, some of which can have a definite aroma of autumnal undergrowth, as does mature Pinot Noir.
Both are perfect for all of those game dishes that become available for the next few months, or pork with roasted vegetables – onions, butternut squash and root vegetables.
If you add a couple of apples the white Château Saint Auriol below would work well. If you add a little spice a fuller- bodied Grenache or Shiraz would be perfect.
For white wines with a little more richness and body, go for Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne or maybe a Godello, from Spain.
All of these work really well with white meats and fuller- bodied fish dishes. I had a great fish pie this week that was perfect with a medium- bodied Chardonnay. Chenin Blanc from South Africa also has that comforting cushioned richness that seems just right on a colder evening. I have also enjoyed several warming curries in the past few weeks.
My lamb bhuna worked a treat with the Grenache Noir below on a damp Thursday evening; the Château Saint Auriol went nicely with a creamy chicken curry.
Around this time of year all of those back- to- school expenses start to bite.
If you are self- employed the taxman is waiting impatiently for his annual payment.
So, this week, four budget wines, all widely available and all well under ¤ 15, to keep us warm in the cooler evenings.