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Fall Favorites

Autumn has arrived, which means time to break out the sweaters and slow cooker! But did you know that the changing of the seasons also signals the opportunity to transition to wines that are appropriate for the fall?

Just as there are refreshing summer wines like rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, and heavier winter wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, there are autumn wines as well. And just as you'd expect, they fall somewhere between light and fun, and robust and serious. Here are some suggestions for reds and whites to try as the days become shorter and you're in need of some comfort.

Grenache (and its Spanish counterpart Garnacha) is a classic choice for the fall. Medium-bodied and brimming with seasonal flavors such as fig and vanilla, it's the obvious wine to bring on a leaf-peeping picnic. Wine to try: Apostura Spanish Old-Vine Garnarcha

As a moderately robust red, Syrah is the perfect companion for all those slow cooker dishes you're now in the mood to cook up, from chili to short ribs. Save its more powerful cousin Shiraz for those bitterly cold winter months — this is a lean yet savory wine to sip on a brisk evening. Wine to try: Querencia Mendoza Syrah

It's time to put away the Sauvignon Blanc and bring out the Chardonnay. The full-bodied profile and creamy mouthfeel of traditional Chardonnays are exactly what you need to pair with fall dishes like roast chicken and lemon-butter white fish. Wine to try: Trilus North Coast Chardonnay

The Gamay grape, poster child for France's Beaujolais region, is light in body and mild in tannins, making this red refreshing and easy to drink — a great quaffer for this time of year. The fruit-forward flavors also pair well with the season. Wine to try: Stefon Beaujolais SNL

Pinot Noir
With fall dishes like berry-glazed pork chops and mushroom risotto taking over the menu, you'll need an earthy wine to go with them. Nothing's more earthy than Pinot Noir, and the baking spice flavors of cloves and cinnamon complement the season wonderfully. Wine to try: La Foret Vin de France Pinot Noir

For something completely different, try Viognier this fall, a big-bodied white whose claim to fame is its distinctive aromatics. The creamy texture and moderate level of alcohol also makes it great for heavier dishes. Wine to try: La Colline Sacree Pays d'Oc Viognier

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