Wines to fall for…

Wines to fall for…

I will start by apologising for the pun in the title but there is a point to be made here. Autumn is the time when we have finished off all those lovely light, refreshing and easy to drink deck chair ‘quaffers’. This allows us to get back to the important business of rediscovering those wines we love. Wines with more depth and sophistication, perhaps a little elegance, some long lost tannins and plenty of flavor.

We can no longer pretend that autumn is not here, it has hit and hit hard since early-September, so go with the flow and embrace it, the colours, the leaves, and of course, the wines. Every cloud (and darkening evening has a silver lining), don’t dwell on the past, live a little and rediscover what you have been missing.

At this time of year I love white wines, a time to enjoy a little more richness, body and a textural element that makes them satisfying on the palate. Grape varieties such as Marsanne and Viognier that ripen under the warm sky of the Mediterranean or up in the Northern Rhone are perfect right now full of spice and pear, they can even show an oily, honeyed texture and a nutty flavor. Our own-blended Chemin des Pins Marsanne/Viognier (£8.01) is a perfect example soft and fleshy with peach and pear in abundance, but still plenty of freshness.

Blends are great at this time of year bringing together different elements that I am looking for which seems to vary and align with the changing weather. I’m even starting to think about Chardonnay but I’m not ready for a full oaked Burgundian number just yet – I still want freshness, fruit and maybe a hint of zest. What could be better than Kalkstein Weiss from Espenhof (£11.43) – a blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc made from grapes grown on chalk soil – you can expect juicy Mirabelle and yellow fruit, steely acidity and minerality but a hint of soft richness coming through from the Chardonnay – just enough to satisfy my cravings.

Moving to reds I’m not looking for a big hairy beast just yet just something a little cuddly to start. Château Goumin (£10.35) fits the bill it is more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon in style – which means plenty of blackcurrant fruit but also some herbal and green pepper notes. Soft and round, with just enough tannins to give it some structure, classic easy Bordeaux. On the other hand, you may prefer to be a bit bolder with your reds perhaps you can’t wait to dive straight in, then Pomares (£11.79) from Quinta Nova is more your style, plenty of ripe red fruits and a lick of warming toasty oak, this blend is the epitome of modern styles now emanating from Portugal.

And last but not least, don’t’ forget the rosé just yet, yes pretty delicate Provencal rosés are no longer top of the agenda but something with a little more body is just the ticket. Kalkstein Rose (£11.43) is packed with berries, spice and minerals and for those who just won’t let go, this keeps a little bit of summer to hand

Offer prices shown in brackets

Summer may be over but Thirsty have lots of winter fun coming your way this month launching Thirsty Service at churches around Cambridge and the opening of the Riverside Winter Garten. For more details:

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Carefully chosen, great value wines and craft beers.
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