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Quit Your Wining

As you pack up the pool toys and trade in your bathing suit for a plaid shirt and couch time, your wine glass also should transition to holding slightly bigger bodied, more substantial wines than it did in summer. There’s nothing quite like a great bottle of wine to help you to shrug off a crisp chill in the air, so I’ve compiled a list of wines that are sure to be more popular than a pumpkin latte.

Thankfully, we’ve got a few more weeks of the warm weather windfall, and what better way to enjoy it than with some not-quite-white-not-quite-rosé, super crushable pinot gris? Once in your life, you should treat yourself to the kind of wine that makes you feel like you should be throwing up Illuminati signs while yachting with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, even if you’re living on a kiddie pool kind of budget. Kelley Fox Maresh Pinot Gris is a perfect wine to not only let you channel your inner Bey, but to let you unwind on what’s left of the warm autumn days. Composed of 100% pinot gris that is fermented on its skins for more than two weeks, this dark, pink-hued beauty has the characteristics of both a rosé and an orange wine. Notes of strawberries, fresh cut roses and warm baking spices waft from the glass, letting you know you’re in for a real treat with this Oregon-bred nectar. On the palate, expect a fuller-bodied mouthfeel and perfectly placed acidity, balanced with deep red fruit flavors like cranberry and rhubarb. Though Kelley’s wines have a relatively low case production, they are still affordable for ballers on a budget, especially when you need the extra funds for  your tickets to the On The Run II tour.

Cabernet Franc is one of those grapes that perfectly embodies what a fall wine should be, and there’s no one that produces delicious Cab Franc quite like the French. Deep in Western France, within the region of Loire, lies a tiny high altitude winemaking area in Saumur known as Brézé. Arnaud Lambert’s Chateau de Brézé Clos de Mazurique is not only a mouthful to say, but offers a complex mouthful of aroma and flavor. On the nose, scents of wet forest floor, blackberries and cherries are accompanied by floral notes of dried roses and white flowers. Look for earthy notes, like tobacco, mixed with vegetal and floral components on the palate, all while maintaining a substantial amount of acidity that makes it a stellar accompaniment to all of your favorite fall foods. Not only is the Clos de Mazurique easy to gulp down in abundance, it’s easy on your wallet, making it one of the best examples of a wine that truly overdelivers for its price point. Wines hailing from this tiny hillside are some of the most coveted around, but don’t expect to find a lot of them at your local wine shop; most of these wines are bought up by wine nerds who know what’s what. With that said, cuffing season is upon us, so make sure to lock this one down before it becomes the one that got away.


Vini Conestabile Della Staffa Rosso Conestabile is another perfect transition wine to move you away from the thirst quenching whites and rosés of summer to the slightly more structured reds indicative of fall. This Italian stallion is made mostly with sangiovese that beautifully showcases red fruit like sour cherries, ripe strawberries and tart cranberries. This isn’t the kind of sangiovese that you’d expect to find in a chianti classico while enjoying your sopressata and chicken Parm on Federal Hill. The Rosso Conestabile has lighter tannins and subtle acidity, making it versatile for drinking with a light chill for the warm autumn days or at room temperature for the chilly nights. Give this one a whirl to help wean you off the summer sippers we’ve all relied on for the last few months, and feel free to pair it with a marathon of “Jersey Shore.”

The shorter days and busier schedules as we approach the holiday season tend to move a good glass of wine from the want category to being a full blown necessity. Whichever wine you choose, try to take in these last moments of summer and savor the fact that you won’t need to shovel yourself out from under a foot of snow… yet.