Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
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.
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.