“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red,” said American poet Walt Whitman. O, but ye shall have it your way, Walt, ye shall have it. Though he was talking specifically about orchards, Whitman’s sentiment could as easily apply to grapevines. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are slowly darkening their hues. That just means its time to start drinking red, white and sparkling wines that are as weighty as they are well-priced. Fall in, people.
Taste: Black raspberry and blueberry, dried purple flowers, marvelous spice. Medium to full bodied and soft.
Drink It With: Steak tartare and grilled beef sirloin.
Factoid: A “Kaiken” is a wild Patagonian Goose that crosses from Chile to Argentina, over the Andes, just like itinerant winemaker Aurelio Montes, Jr.
Taste: A soft and round wine of ripe cherry and blackberry notes, embraced by sweet oak and a touch of smoky spice.
Drink It With: Salt-encrusted rack of lamb.
Factoid: Winner of New Zealand Wine Producer of the year in 2012 during the International Wine and Spirits Competition, this producer’s name translates as “head of the family.” So do the mantle right and go heavy on the pours for the matriarch and/or patriarch.
Taste: White floral notes give way to apricot and grapefruit character. Crisp and refreshing.
Drink It With: Soft cow’s milk cheeses, dried fruit and herb-encrusted pork loin.
Factoid: Out of the roughly 18.5 million acres of vines planted worldwide, only about 20,000 acres are devoted to Gewürztraminer. That’s the equivalent of 10 percent of all the land owned by Ted Turner.
Taste: Slight residual sweetness, showing bright hints of peaches and apple, underscored by a chalk-like minerality and racy acidity.
Drink It With: A feast befitting a queen, from Polish meatballs to curry chicken.
Factoid: The House of Hessen claims 800 years of history—with direct links to Queen Victoria, Emperor Wilhelm II and Tsar Alexander II.
Taste: A salmon-hued sparkler made in the Méthode Champenoise style, with creamy mousse, red berry, pear and toasty notes.
Drink It With: Grandma’s apple pie and also to ease into that fall time family holiday “camaraderie.”
Factoid: Vines grow at 4,300 feet in narrow valleys within in the Rio Grande Mountain range in New Mexico.
Taste: A full-bodied warming white that is rich with orange Muscat, overripe pear, peach and lemon notes with a hint of butterscotch and smoke.
Drink It With: Endive salad with Gorgonzola and rich, buttery fish dishes.
Factoid: A blend of 50-percent Marsanne and 50-percent Viognier grapes, the Hope Family, who helped pioneer the production of Rhône wines in California, began producing this label in 1996.
Taste: A blend of Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Sangiovese, the wine shows a plush character of sweet red cherries, licorice, tobacco and mocha notes.
Drink It With: Bold-flavored pasta dishes and hard Spanish cheeses.
Factoid: The Allegrini family owns the 16th Century Villa della Torre, a grand estate near Verona that was used as the home of Romeo for Carlo Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet (2013).
Taste: A lighter style, creamy on the palate, offering fresh tropical fruit flavors of grapefruit, honeydew and white peach, balanced by zippy acidity.
Drink It With: Rich and creamy soups and buttermilk fried chicken.
Factoid: You could walk right by this fully functioning winery in the way-too-hip Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and not even know it was there. But it is and has been since September 2010.
Taste: With a little age, this wine is a steal, showing black raspberries, dried red currants and meaty character.
Drink It With: Homemade pizza with pesto, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and broccoli.
Factoid: Located on the North Fork of Long Island, Lieb Cellars winemaker Russell Hearn is a competitive sailor who ruffles people’s sails on the Peconic Bay when not making cooler-climate wines.
Taste: Juicy, dark raspberries, cherries, sweet vanilla and violet notes. A bit of mocha on the finish.
Drink It With: Hearty stews and braised meats and pan con tomate.
Factoid: In Ribera del Duero, the main grape variety is Tempranillo (known locally as Tinto Fino or Tinto del País) and is created in more styles than a decade of self-reinvention by Beck.
Taste: Blackberries and blueberries mingle with sweet oak character and graphite notes.
Drink It With: Sautéed mushroom dishes and Asian-style baby-back ribs.
Factoid: Founded by Bruce Cohn, who managed the Doobie Brothers and whose mother is purported to have sung with Sinatra in Chicago—when people really knew how to sing.
Mixing your cocktail