Inspiration / Food & Wine

Wines for autumn entertaining

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Anna Spooner Anna Spooner / 01 October 2019

Anna Spooner from our Tastings & Events team shares some ideas for wines to crack open over the coming months

Autumn is a great time of year for entertaining. I love having friends to stay for the weekend, going for long walks and warming up afterwards with drawn-out dinners bursting with seasonal ingredients and the excuse to pair these with intensely flavoured wines. Although I'll miss the long summer evenings and sitting out late on the patio, the six autumnfriendly wines I've picked have me actively looking forward to the nights drawing in.

Pinot Gris 'Les Prélats' Domaine Ginglinger 2017

'Les Prélats' features in my wine-rack all year round but October seems to be the month when I drink it most. If we are lucky enough to have an Indian summer, I can't think of anything better suited to evenings in the garden: fresh enough to sip with some nibbles but rich enough to cope if you are braving the last barbecue of the year.

The Society's White Rioja 2018
Enjoy The Society's White Rioja with a home-made fish pie with a touch of nutmeg in the mash.

The Society's White Rioja 2018

This is a relatively new wine for The Wine Society, and from the moment I tasted it I knew I had my 'house white'. It's rich, spicy and unctuous – all the things you need in autumn. I like to serve it with home-made fish pie with a touch of nutmeg in the mash. Comfort food and a wine that will set the tone for a night in with close friends.

Serve Bogle Vineyard California Chardonnay 2018 for the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken
Serve Bogle Vineyard California Chardonnay 2018 for the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken

Bogle Vineyard California Chardonnay 2018

For me, stocking up on comforting California chardonnay is about as cyclical as the leaves turning gold and the winter wardrobe coming back down from the loft. The savoury notes in this wine mean it punches well above its price point and I love surprising friends with a California chardonnay for under £15. Although, be warned! If you serve it with roast chicken you'll struggle to get people to leave, so choose your guests wisely!

Newton Johnson Walker Bay Pinot Noir 2017

Last year I was on holiday in South Africa and was lucky enough to tag along with Jo Locke MW on her buying visit to Newton Johnson. I was bowled over by the approachable but top-quality nature of the wines and in particular their pinot noir (for which they're famed). Autumnal brambles, cherry and a touch of forest floor practically fall out of the glass. For me, this is a Sunday lunch treat wine: ideal after a long dog walk when you've worked up an appetite.

The Society's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a great weapon for your vinous arsenal at this time of year. Herbaceous, fruity and not too tannic, it can go with a whole host of foods from takeaway pizza with friends on a Friday to roast beef with extended family on a Saturday. If you're after a crowd-pleasing bottle at a purse-pleasing price then look no further. It's wise to have a case on standby at all times, in my view!

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a great weapon for your vinous arsenal at this time of year. Herbaceous, fruity and not too tannic, it can go with a whole host of foods from takeaway pizza with friends on a Friday to roast beef with extended family on a Saturday.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a great weapon for your vinous arsenal at this time of year. Herbaceous, fruity and not too tannic, it can go with a whole host of foods from takeaway pizza with friends on a Friday to roast beef with extended family on a Saturday.

Ventoux, Les Cinq Puits 2016

I will rave about Ventoux wines to anyone who will listen. The only problem is, those who listen (and taste) are universally converted so my secret is out. Ventoux wines have the classic rich, fruit and spice flavours we associate with southern Rhône but thanks to the cooling influence of the mountain, they're often fresher in style than the likes of Châteauneufdu-Pape. For that reason they're great with food and make for sophisticated but quaffable wines. Oh, and they're a fraction of the price of their famous neighbour too so you won't mind opening another bottle.

Anna Spooner, Tastings & Events Co-ordinator

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