Football is back, harvest is underway, there are parking spots in town, and it’s clear that fall is upon us. I don’t know exactly why, but I always look forward to the change of seasons. Maybe it’s because I enjoy a new lineup of beverages.
As we move from summer to fall, we leave behind light, crisp and fruity wines like sauvignon blanc, albarino and grenache and transition to heavier wines with more tannin and higher alcohol levels. If you’re looking for a couple of wines to try this season, here are a couple of my favorite fall wines.
For white wines, try Brandborg Gewurztraminer with its wonderful classic aromas of citrus (think lemon with notes of pineapple) and ginger. Made in Elkton, this Southern Oregon wine is off-dry with crisp acidity making it a perfect companion to Asian food or any other entrée with a little heat.
Pinot noir’s earthy flavors make it a great fall wine, and my favorite is our very own Puffin Pinot Noir. Puffin Pinot Noir’s complex flavors of red cherry, black cherry combine with a smoky earthiness that is sure to please. This pinots’ flavors of smoke and earth give a nod to Burgundy while still fully representing the best of Willamette Valley. I enjoy a nice glass of pinot noir with pork tenderloin, turkey or mushroom dishes.
For those of you who like your red wines a little bigger, Angel Vine Columbia Valley Zinfandel is an excellent choice. Our staff loves this zin from Angel Vine and named it a Wine Shack “Wine of the Year” in the past. Made with fruit from the Columbia Valley, this delicious zinfandel is packed with flavors of cherry and currant with hints of chocolate. This food-friendly wine pairs nicely with a bowl of chili, grilled turkey or burgers.
Speaking of chili … if you like chili as much as I do, give Lujon Syrah a try. Made with fruit from Walla Walla’s Spofford Station vineyard, this purple colored Syrah is loaded with flavors of plum and savory smoked meat. I love this wine and find that it goes well with stews, grilled meats and yes, chili.
I’ll give you one more fall drink to consider. I’d like you to try Atlas Blackberry Cider. Based in Bend, Atlas makes my favorite lineup of ciders, and their blackberry is delicious. Made with local fruit, this cider nicely blends tart blackberries and fruity elderberries, to create a glass of off-dry deliciousness. This cider packs a punch of fruit flavors without any hop flavors that often ruin the cider experience for me. We have this on tap at Provisions 124, and its crispy blackberry flavors make it a crowd pleaser. Atlas Blackberry cider goes nicely with a wide range of foods, or enjoy it by itself.
Whichever beverage you enjoy this season, please do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive. We’ll see you at The Shack or Provisions 124.
Steven Sinkler is the owner of The Wine Shack, Puffin Brand Wines and Provisions 124 in Cannon Beach. His column runs regularly in the Cannon Beach Gazette.