ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I would like to conduct a wine tasting that features some wines that might be good transitional wine styles from “summer wines” to “winter wines.” What would you suggest for “fall”? I know you can drink all wines at any time, but what would you say would be a more representative for that season of change?

—Laurie L., Seneca Falls, N.Y.

Dear Laurie,

What a lovely idea! Yes, you’re right that wine is an all-seasons beverage, but if you’re eating seasonally, it would make sense to be drinking seasonally, too. I certainly drink more whites and rosés in warmer weather and more robust reds in colder weather.

Without knowing what your specific “summer” or “winter” choices are, a few things come to mind off the top of my head. For reds, Syrah- and Grenache-based wines and Pinot Noirs strike me as autumnal, and of course, so does Beaujolais. These reds are light- to medium-bodied and have a range of spicy flavors that I believe will pair well with autumn fare. Similarly, with whites, I’d suggest Viognier, Roussanne or Chardonnay. And the most versatile year-round wine of all? Champagne and other sparkling wines.

—Dr. Vinny


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