11 Fall Wines Better Than a Pumpkin Spice Latte

You need only to look at the lines forming out the door at your corner Starbucks to realize that we’ve hit peak PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) season. Save yourself the line—and the sugar—and get your savory spiciness in a glass of wine instead.

1. Katherine Goldschmidt - Cabernet Sauvignon "Crazy Creek," 2011

By definition, Alexander Valley Cabernets are rich and voluptuous, with notes of rich cassis and dark berry. This Cab is no exception. Average price: $21
Photo from The Reverse Wine Snob

2. Boekenhoutskloof - The Chocolate Block, 2012

The winery producing this South African red has spent years denying rumors of adding chocolate to their oaky, spicy blend. We don’t mind, either way. Average price: $30
Photo from Wine Align

3. Qupé - Syrah Central Coast, 2012

Many of the widely available Syrahs in the U.S. are generic, cheap, and indistinguishable from the bottle next to them on the shelf. This Californian Syrah defies that with its savory, spicy flavors. Average price: $19
Photo from Wine and Good Food

4. Cocchi Americano Moscato d'Asti, NV

Cocchi is Moscato d’Asti, fortified and steeped in quinine-scented bark, orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon. With ice and a splash of seltzer, it’s simultaneously herbaceous and refreshing. Average price: $18
Photo from Cellar.com

5. Descendientes de J. Palacios - Pétalos, 2012

This full-bodied Spanish red has big flavors of blueberries, violets, and licorice. With its well-balanced structure, it pairs nicely with sharp cheeses and spicy foods. Average price: $19
Photo from Twenty Twenty Wine Merchants

6. The Chook - Sparkling Shiraz, NV

This South Australian red bubbly is rich and full-bodied. Aged in French oak barrels, it is bursting with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and cherries. Average price: $19
Photo from Wine Sellers Direct

7. Paumanok - Cabernet Franc, 2012

From the North Fork of Long Island, this dry, earthy red is highly perfumed and ready to stand up to most meats and fall fare. Average price: $23
Photo from Food & Style

8. Domaine de Triennes - Saint Auguste, 2008

This Cabernet-Syrah-Merlot blend is aged in old Burgundy barrels, lending its already beefy blend extra depth (not to mention a plummy, spicy character). Average price: $18
Photo from Vineyard Wine Shop

9. Château La Fon du Berger - Haut-Médoc, 2010

Classic cru bourgeois, this big red has a deep color with dark fruit and spicy oak to match. Average price: $14
Photo from Cellar Tracker

10. 4 Kilos Vinícola - 12 Volts, 2012

Herbaceous and aromatic, this Spanish blend pairs well with stews, hams, and roasts. With a lot of fruit and light tannins, it’s ready to pop and pour. Average price: $24
Photo from Vinnissimus

11. Domaine de Boissan - Côtes du Rhône, 2011

This red made from 100 percent Grenache grapes is aged for six months in old French barrels, with black pepper and hazelnut on the nose and black currant on the finish. Warming, through and through. Average price: $11
Photo from Atlas Vintners, and introductory image from Zillie's

Kelley Peters is a Brooklyn-based wine writer and educator. She still sometimes gets confused in wine shops.

See more articles
Share this article: