And just like that #snapsfingers… Autumn is gone and winter has arrived with a BANG!! Time flies, when you are having fun – well, so the saying goes! I am sad that my favourite time of the year has drawn to a rapid end.
Autumn is my all time favourite season. Just stop for a minute and close your eyes. What do you see when you think of Autumn? Can you not feel that gentle warm autumn breeze softly caressing your hair, taking the fallen leaves, swirling and waltzing them all around your feet, while showing off their golden hues of yellow, orange and red.
You hear….Shhhh listen… the birds! With an industrious chattering and singing, they are happy, because the days start to cool down. Even the sun is more charming, as it is lazy and sublime, giving you a warm glow that lightly embraces your skin.
I don’t know if it is just me, but have you not notice that even the Autumn skies are more spectacular than any other season? From about late February to early June, the sunsets during these months are just absolutely breathtaking! As the days start to grow shorter, the night skies are extremely dramatic with colours bursting with pinks, reds and oranges.
What do you smell? I find even autumn has a certain aroma! Living in the country, as temperatures start to drop, you get a whiff of wood burning fires, as the rural towns make fires during the night. As the dew starts to fall, it leaves a crisp, earthy and damp scent in the mornings. The aromas of forest floor, wet grass, rotting leaves, the first rains, are all odours that you associate with autumn.
Even autumn as a certain taste. As temperatures gets more comfortable, you start to long for more comforting foods, but yet still light enough for those warm and toasty days. Light curries for example Cape Malay, Morroccan, and Thai is the call for the day. As we move deeper into autumn, we start to enjoy stews, rich pastas, risottos, roasts, muffins, and home-baked pies.
Foods that contain autumn fruits like apple, figs, pears, pawpaws, pomegranate, gooseberries, sweet melon and plums all are in season. Add your favourite spices that have a warming happiness to them, complimenting any autumn food fare. Just think cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg, cardamom and pepper.
Taking all of the above – and BAM… Congratulations, you have just created your very own personal list of Autumn Wines!
Just think, wines that have notes or bouquets of apples, pomegranate, gooseberry or earthiness, wet forest floor, or lovely spice such as cloves or white pepper. When deciding on a red wine it is best to keep in mind that you don’t want those big bold and heavy red wines like a Pinotage, Merlot, Tannat or Petit Sarah, but one that can still carry some weight to compliment a hearty meal.
For those hot days you get in Autumn, you want a gorgeous white wine that is bold and big to hold up to a slightly spicier and comforting food. A wine that has a slight smokiness or lightly wooded, like your Chardonnays, Viogniers, and even a wooded Sauvignon Blanc can work.
And this my boozy friends, how you determine how to select a wine or two for the season. I was going to give you a list of wines you should try this autumn, (if you hurry Winter only officially begins on the 21st of June) but these wines are so good you can drink them any time of the year if you want. I know I do 😀
Our Top Five Favourite Wines This Autumn:
This has to be one of my favourite Autumn white blends for the season. It just screams Autumn. If you remember it is a Chenin Blanc blend with Viognier, Rousanne and Grenache Blanc . The nose gives great tension and poise, brimming with roasted almonds, sweet cashews, Turkish delight, lime zest, apricot and orange marmalade, wild honey and pineapple. A fresh, vibrant palate offers weighted density and length. Layers of rolled oats, white pepper, floral jasmine, mint, ginger and creamy lemon meringue are supported by subtle oak presence. Enjoy with chicken tagine with apricots and roasted almonds or aromatic Asian dishes.
The recommended retail price is R198 per bottle at the Vondeling tasting room or selected stores.
I have to admit that I only started enjoying Chardonnay in the last year or so. This cultivar has had a bad reputation in the past and sadly I drank those, which was off putting. However, I am fortunate in having to taste amazing Chards and this is one of them.
Resting for 11 months in the best French Oak Barrels, you get flavours of pear and melon enhanced by a peachy taste. Each sips offer a lively and long-lasting mouth feel. Good wood maturation has offered a complexity and structure. This is another excellent white wine that will keep for 5 years.
This wine is perfect with Soft cheese (goat and emmental), fish pâté, Bouillabaisse or Salmon will all work splendidly with this vintage, along with chicken or sushi dishes. Bouchard Finlayson 2016 Missionvale Chardonnay R276 per bottle from the Estate
One would not think that a Sauvignon Blanc would be classes as an Autumn wine, however the style in how this wine was made. Let’s just say this is not your average Sauvignon Blanc. Even better this wine can be drunken now or you can keep it for another FIVE years. That is something when it comes to white wines.
White nectarine, grapefruit, blackcurrant and cape gooseberry marry on both the nose and palate. Acidity and spice form the backbone, dominating on the palate, while a creamy texture rounds out the overall mouthfeel. A lingering mineral finish completes the experience.
This wine will be enhanced by a food pairing such as shellfish, a Thai curry accented by ginger and lemon grass, a savoury tart tatin or a single wedge of salty pecorino.
The wine is available at the Steenberg cellar door at R160.
As the weather changes so do our taste in wines. Autumn calls for those gorgeous “lighter” red wines such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfindel, and Cinsaut.
Bouchard Finlayson’s Pinot Noir the Galpin Peak has to be my all time favour Pinot Noir.
First impressions you get this earthiness on the nose, followed by excellent colour and bold palate complexity. Dark red fruit with a savoury mixture of cherries, plums and cinnamon drifting into an extended palate feel! The French oak contribution will allow for an extended maturation.
Pinot noir always expresses itself best with good food that is not sweet or to heavily spiced. Enjoy with Emmental cheese, salmon, duck or beef!
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016 sells atR355 per bottle at the cellar door.
terra del capo sangiovese
This is has to be my favourite Sangiovese! What I love about a Sangiovese is that it is tastes like being under the Tuscan sun. It is earthy, more savoury, you will pick up sun-dried cherry tomatoes, cherries, plums, spice and smokiness.
The Terra del Capo from Anthonji Rupert is produced from fully ripe grapes which were gently crushed, fermented and then matured in 500 litre French oak barrels for 12 months, with a final bottle ageing for an additional 10 months.
The wine displays bright ripe cherry and blueberry aromas; layers of spice highlight and smooth a vivacious fruitiness, skillfully balanced by a gentle hint of oak. Although complex, it is very approachable and lingers on the palate culminating with a light cocoa finish.
As an Italian cultivar, takes no wine connoisseur to figure that this wine will pair well with slow braised tomatoes, classic Italian Lasagne, Osso Bucco or Pasta Napolitana. For lighter-meal alternatives, or simply enjoy on its own. Stay tuned as I do plan to go in much more detail with this Italian styled wine in the very near future.
This wine retails for R85 per bottle available directly from the Terra del Capo Tasting Room, or select specialist wine stores nationwide.
What is your favourite season? What wine did you enjoy this Autumn? Please feel free to comment and remember don’t forget to subscribe. Till next time – remember dinner is on me xxx.