SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
The fall is one of the best times of year to indulge a little bit. If you are like us and need a warm-up from the cool temperatures, we have rounded up five of the best fall wines this season.
Our top pick is the 2010 bottle of Santa Maria alla Pieve di Gaetano Bertani Amarone Classico. The ruby red Italian wine has a delicious scent of preserved cherries, spices and dried rose petals while the taste has a smooth velvety finish. This Amarone is made by one of Italy’s most historic wine families, the Bertani family, who was the first to bottle Amarone. They had been calling the wine Recioto Secco and it was “coined” Amarone in 1936 in the Bertani’s Villa Mosconi cellars. Today, Gaetano Bertani continues the tradition of crafting beautiful, traditional Veronese wines. This special occasion wine is the perfect accompaniment to any holiday dinner or a gift for the wine aficionado on your list this holiday season.
The 2014 Chianti Ruffino is a blend of Sangiovese plus other red varietals, including merlot and cabernet sauvignon giving the easy drinking wine its ruby red color. The grapes were harvested during the last two weeks of September with an alcoholic fermentation, aided by racking and punching down, for about two weeks at an average temperature of 79°F (26°C) in temperature-controlled stainless steel and concrete vats. The wine was then further aged for four months before bottling. Pair it up with traditional Italian dishes (think ravioli, pizza or beef carpaccio) for the perfect night at home.
Bordeaux lovers get their fix with Planet Bordeaux’ selection of wines without having to travel to France. The collection includes standouts like Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux Supérieur Blanc, Bordeaux Rosé, Bordeaux Clairet, Bordeaux Rouge and Crémant (sparkling).
When it comes to fall, even though the flavors get bolder, you can still keep your flavors light. For example, a bottle of Smoke Tree Chardonnay is well balanced with scents of jasmine, elderflower, and toasty aromas and flavors of vanilla, lemon, Pippin apple, Asian pear and white stone fruit.
If you are looking to stay with the bolder flavors, try the 2014 Smoke Tree Pinot Noir. This wine has aromas of plum, dark cherry, forest floor, raspberry, and cola with a taste of ripe plum, raspberry, and watermelon fruit flavors.
Kellie Speed is a native Bostonian and a freelance writer/editor/copywriter with more than 20 years experience writing for a variety of local and national publications, including JustLuxe, Wicked Local, AOL's City's Best Boston, Upscale Living magazine, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Mohegan Sun's Legends and Amtrak's Arrive. She is the Boston restaurant writer for Gayot's travel site and also contributed to Moon Metro's Boston guidebook published by Avalon Travel Publishing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.