By Denise Oliveira
As the temperature drops, the sun sets earlier, and the leaves start changing colors, your cravings for mojitos and margaritas are probably giving way to something a little warmer, more earthy, autumnal.
To bring you this list of great wines that are perfect for a fall evening, we spoke with the owners of Gowanus Wine Merchants, in Brooklyn. Here are some bottles they’re recommending as the weather cools, including the prices at their store. The descriptions and commentary are courtesy of co-owners Rick Lopez and Tom Hyland.
Colle Di San Domenico Falanghina 2012 – The Falanghina grape, known for its beautiful floral aromatics, is grown in volcanic soil and renders a very balanced and food-friendly wine that goes with any sort of seafood. When it’s chilly out but you still feel like having a white wine, this one has enough personality and body to be thoroughly enjoyable. $14.99
Campos de Estrellas Cava “Brut Nature” – Cava is essentially the champagne of Spain, and this sparkler comes from grapes grown near Barcelona. As in champagne, fermentation happens right in the bottle. It’s called Brut Nature because no additional sugar is added, resulting in a complex and dry sparkling wine with plenty of depth yet a freshness on the finish. This is the perfect bottle to kick off a dinner party, bring to a friend’s house, or simply drink with any lighter foods that might be hard to pair with other wines. $14.99
Christopher Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2011– The Willamette Valley of Oregon is arguably the most perfect area in the U.S. for growing Pinot Noir. The J. Christopher winery started back in 1996 with the goal of making a Burgundy-style Pinot and they’ve definitely succeeded. Medium-boddied, this wine has flavors and aromas of sour cherries, currants, rhubarb, and blackberries. This is the perfect wine for Fall when you want something red that’s not too big, as it’s truly delicious and almost too easy to drink. $28.99
Domaine La Manarine Côtes du Rhône 2012 – There are lots of Côtes du Rhone out there, but the La Manarine is more interesting than most. It is made up of 100% Grenache grapes from a vineyard planted 35 years ago. When you make wine from old vines, the result is loaded with personality and depth. This wine is rich, full-bodied, spicy, and flat-out delicious. This is the perfect bottle to pair with lamb and other red meats, or on its own. If you’re out raking leaves or walking through the park on a chilly day, this is just the thing to welcome you home and warm you up. $15.99
A final tip from Lopez and Hyland: If you’re throwing a dinner party and want to serve all of these wines, lead with the Cava and then serve the Falanghina.