French Wine Tutor

French Wines I’m Sipping This Autumn

Fall can be a tricky season for wines. The weather changes drastically from one day to the next, parties flirt between outdoor and indoor spaces, and the forthcoming holidays – with all the dressings – may make you feel like you need to deliver a crowd pleaser every time. Here are my favorites for autumn, no matter the occasion.

1. Clos du Caillou Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc ($24, Bottle Barn)

What’s better than a solid Côtes-du-Rhône rouge? A solid Côtes-du-Rhône blanc! Where the reds of this category are a great go-to for summer BBQ, the whites carry a bit more weight and elegance, which makes them perfect for a variety of occasions. I’ve also found that these wines are great conversation starters because they simply aren’t well known. I love introducing new wines to friends!

2. Domaine de la Bégude Bandol Rosé ($35, Timeless Wines)

Everyone’s probably sick of my shameless Domaine de la Bégude promotion, but their wines are all worth drinking the whole year. This rosé in particular is not only a crowd pleaser, with notes of white spices, vegetal notes, and cherry, but it’s also incredible with food. On the palate, it carries a bit more weight than a traditional rosé, making it ideal to sip as the temperatures cool down a little bit. And of course, just dream of this view while you’re sipping:

3. Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Energies”, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux ($24, Astor Wines)

I’m a person who’s hard to sell on Bordeaux reds. I often find them too intense for everyday drinking, so I’m rarely pulling one out for any reason, if I’m being honest. But the duo behind Peybonhomme-les-Tours flips that Bordeaux reputation on its head to bring us a softer, more rustic cuvée with Energies. This lovely wine is Merlot and Malbec and is a fantastic balance between dark red fruits and earthiness. Bonus points: organic and biodynamic – plus aged in amphora for all you wine nerds out there.

4. Ferraton Père et Fils, Crozes-Hermitage, Calendes ($28, Empire State of Wine)

Looking for a solid Crozes-Hermitage on a budget? Ferraton Père et Fils will not disappoint! This is a stunning Syrah full of dark fruit, smokiness, and black pepper. It’s perfect for that early fall BBQ or a Christmas table where roast beef is the star. If you’re bringing this to a party full of people who love full-bodied wines, this one will not disappoint!

5. Château Tirecul Les Pins Monbazillac ($24, Millesima Fine Wine)

With Halloween on the horizon, it’s time to upgrade from candy and wine pairings to a more respectable, mature menu. That’s where dessert wines from the Sud Ouest come in. If you haven’t had much sweet wine and don’t want to drop a ton on pricey Sauternes, Monbazillac is a great appellation to start with. This one is a lovely example from the area, with notes of honey and pear, but well-balanced between acidity and sweetness. I’m here for more cheese plates as the weather cools down, too, and there is really no better pairing with some strong cheeses than a dessert wine from the Southwest of France.

No matter what your autumn plans include, there’s a wine on here for all! Profitez-bien de l’automne !


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