Best Wines for Autumn
As the man responsible for putting all the deals and offers together for the Virgin Wines website, I can honestly say that autumn is the toughest season to cater for.
I like to offer our customers a really personalised experience online. So I have all these rules and algorithms running in the background to make sure that when you’re on our website, you’re seeing offers that are relevant to you. It’s no different to what Amazon and other online retailers are doing.
Autumn wines – anything goes
But then autumn comes along, and makes it really difficult to tailor wine deals to you. First there’s the weather. If it’s good then BBQs, and chilled Pinot Noir and Picpoul are still a possibility. If it’s bad then you might even be flicking the central heating on and breaking out the BIG BOLD wintery reds.
What I’m getting at here is autumn is the season when anything goes, and having variety in your wine rack is the only way to prepare yourself for whatever get’s thrown at you in September and October.
White wines for Autumn
I want a wine that is light and refreshing for when the sunshine comes out, and something with a bit of backbone that will also work well if I’m stuck indoors with a nice home-cooked meal. That’s not a brief that any old white wine can fulfil.
But I’ve got two wines in mind from our range.
Firstly – The Outsider Riever Colombard. I’m absolutely obsessed with this wine and looking at the customer reviews I’m not the only one. On the weekend I had a shortcrust pastry pie filled with cauliflower cheese – that’s the kind of food I normally associate with autumn and winter – and this South African Colombard went so well with it. The Outsider featured in my last blog post about ideal wines for summer drinking, so I’m officially making it an “all-year-round” wine!
Second up – Domaine Saint Paul Colline Picpoul de Pinet. Why? Because it’s one of the most food-friendly wines you’ll find. And, whether you’re grilling seafood on the BBQ or making delicious paella to serve up at the kitchen table you’ll want this bottle to hand. Extremely moreish and very refreshing – it honestly doesn’t matter what season it is, this Picpoul is amazing!
The Vat 27 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is my first pick. I’ll be buying a whole 12 bottle case to see me through until the New Year. It has everything you need for when the BBQ makes way for roast dinners and slow cooked meals. But, if you do get a freak sunny day at the start of October, the Vat 27 is THE wine to pair with a huge slab of BBQ’d beef (marinated the Tuscan way, in olive oil, rosemary and garlic salt).
My second choice is the Billy Bosch Western Cape Reserve Shiraz. As it says on our website, this isn’t a big Shiraz like the much-loved Aussie versions. This is fresh, bright and not unlike a Northern Italian red in its style. I’ve chosen the Billy Bosch because firstly it is the KING when paired with BBQ fare like herby sausages and sticky glazed American style ribs. But it is also amazingly warming and comforting when drunk on its own. If I had a real log fireplace I can imagine myself drinking this sat in front of it.
But it’s all about variety
Those 4 wines alone won’t see you through a whole season. I’d also recommend you add some Pinot Noir. It can be served chilled or at room temperature. You can also add some Malbec for when the nights turn colder. And some crisp (unoaked) Aussie Chardonnay and Italian Gavi to give you even more variety over the next few months.