Transition Wines for Autumn

While we’re deep in the throes of cramming all of our favorite fall activities into a to-do list for the short window that is autumn in New England, there’s an equally important list that needs to be compiled: the list of yummy transition wines. Now is the time to pick up wines that help you forget the aggravation of leaving your house in the morning all layered up only to be sweating your proverbial ass off by noon.

Nothing brings me joy quite like finding a badass female winemaker who is breaking all the rules and producing some of the most exciting wine to hit the natural wine scene. Arianna Occhipinti is doing just that, pumping out small production wines that even those who turn their noses up at the thought of natural wines are gulping down in droves. Her SP68 Bianco offering is a blend of Sicily’s native Albanello and Zibibo grapes that see 15 days of skin contact after being pressed, imparting even more unique flavors unto this already stunning straw-gold seductress. Look for floral notes of lemongrass, juicy peaches and ripened nectarine to be met with savory notes of fresh plucked sage and coriander. It’s got a whole hell of a lot going on in one bottle, that’s for sure, but somehow the flavors aren’t muddied by each other — quite the contrary, actually. They do a delicate dance, playing supporting roles to each other’s act, making the overall performance command a standing ovation. Pair the SP68 Bianco with hearty fall soups, pumpkin ravioli or even some fruit-based desserts like apple crisp.

Amore-Rosso-Det-Web_grande RGBDid you ever wish that there was a wine out there that lets you know right away that it’s meant for a good old fashioned staying-in-and-gorging-ourselves-on-pizza night? Yeah, me too. Our prayers have finally been answered and it’s by one of my all-time favorite American winemakers and natty juice deity, Chris Brockway. The newly released Broc Amore Rosso is a nod to their widely popular Love Red, a red blend that cemented itself as a fan favorite by being an easy drinking, approachable food wine. The Amore Rosso changes course a bit, being wholly composed of Sangiovese, a grape most notably found in Italian wines. It still has the softness and fruit forwardness of the Love Red with a bit more zip of acidity, making it a perfect pairing for all of your mealtime faves, especially pizza! You can’t miss this one in the shop; it’s literally got a bunch of gravity defying pizzas on the label just taunting you to make your Friday plans a carb-loaded night in. Feel free to serve this one up with a slight chill.

I wanted to incorporate a wine on the list that would be flexible enough to match up to the most important food pairing of the season: leftover Halloween candy, specifically my favorites, Starburst and Skittles. So why not do it in style with the über limited Ameztoi Hijo de Rubentis Brut Rosé? I’ve written about the slightly frizzante version, Ameztoi Rubentis, before but this is their méthode-champenoise-made release. Although the Hijo de Ameztoi Hijo de Rubentis Brut Rose RGBRubentis translates to “son of Rubentis,” it’s more of a mac daddy than anything. The ripe strawberry and raspberry notes jump out at you like a 16-year-old trying to hide himself amidst a pack of appropriately aged candy grabbers. Lime-infused acidity in the mid-palate and dried roses on the finish marry perfectly with the fruity flavors of the tasty candy rainbow while the thirst quenching bubbly body washes it all down. The Hijo de Rubentis is no tricks and all treats with its price point too, leaving room in the budget to buy a dozen eggs to show the people who hand out candy corn and raisins the error of their ways.

Give these little ditties a try; they’re the go-to selections for all things fall. They’ll make the thought of having a pumpkin carving party seem like a great idea, help you through the clean up of said pumpkin carving party and, above all else, they’re the perfect partner for 20 or 30 Hocus Pocus viewings.

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