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Guide to French Fall Wines

Pascale Bernasse | Wednesday, Oct 8th 2014
fall wines

Fall is a time when the grapes in France hang heavy on the vine, surrounded by leaves of ochre and crimson, anticipating the harvest. It is also the perfect time to enjoy some more full-bodied wines after the lighter wines of summer. Here are some recommended fall wines to be enjoyed on a crisp, breezy afternoon.

Guide to French Fall Wines

Game dinners are a memorable treat. The flavors of wild game, such as venison, wild duck, or boar, pose a special challenge in terms of appropriate French wines to serve. These rich flavors seem to require a correspondingly rich wine, and the use of sauces expands the taste possibilities. Meanwhile lighter wines might better suit game birds such as quail or partridge, which are light and flavorful.

The traditional Thanksgiving turkey is not an easy fit with wine. The upside of that dilemma is that there is no “right” wine to serve. Turkey is not one of those meats that is automatically associated with any particular wine. And since our American family Thanksgiving is a celebration of plenty, it is appropriate that wines that go with it are neither expensive nor hard to find.

The northern wines of St. Julien are often said to favor slightly the sturdier wines of neighboring Pauillac, while those closer to the Margaux appellation are more subtle. The combination is delicious.

Perhaps you have enjoyed one of the delicious Rhône Valley wines, say a Châteauneuf du Pape. Or, you may have memories of a trip to the region, and sampling an assortment of fine regional wines. These suggested wines achieve a regional balance, as you explore beyond the wines that you have already enjoyed.

Of the world famous 1855 Classification, Pauillac has eighteen classified wines, including three of the five First Growths: Château Mouton Rothschild (since 1973), Château Lafite Rothschild, and Château Latour.

Wine tours to Bordeaux are not complete without a visit to St. Emilion. The perfect Sunday excursion from Bordeaux is to drive an hour and a half through the countryside to St. Emilion.

 What are your favorite fall wines? Please comment below!

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