It’s the most wonderful time of the year — fall, that is. The air remains warm, the breeze is barely chilled, and the sun seems to be shining every day of the week. We love weeks like the one upon us, with those unseasonably summer-like temps smack in the middle of autumn. So what do we drink when Mother Nature messes with our heads (in the best possible way, of course). We’re looking to medium-bodied, mineral-rich whites to quench us from the heat yet permit us to savor the flavors of fall. Here are six of our favorite picks for unseasonably warm autumn days:
Domaine de l’Ecu Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Granite
This Loire Valley native, crafted from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, is one of our favorite bottles for warm fall days. The vines, 45 years or older, grow in stony, granitic soils, creating a layered, mineral-forward taste profile. The winery is certified biodynamic and hand harvests all of its fruit. Its Muscadet Granite ages on its lees for 15 to 18 months, adding a yeasty zest to the finish. Bonus points: l’Ecu Muscadet Granite comes in standard-size bottles and magnums, perfect for those with an extra-thirsty palate.
Stock & Stein Trocken Riesling
Literally translating to “the vine and the stone,” Stock & Stein’s Trocken Riesling presents the perfect example of what a dry Riesling should be; well- balanced and reflective of its terroir. Citrus and light stone fruit on the nose carry over to the palate and mingle with strong minerality, typical of Rheingau Rieslings. The zippy acidity makes the wine perfect for pairing with grilled vegetables and a variety of Thai sauces (hello, autumn evening take-out sessions).
Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc
We’ve all had a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc in our lives, most likely from France or New Zealand — but Greece? We assure you, this one’s not to be missed. Alpha Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc presents a strong, typically Sauvignon nose, with mineral-rich aromas of tropical fruit. The palate is strong and fruit forward, with a crisp, lime-touched finish. This refreshing white is ideal with grilled fish and Mediterranean dishes. Last-minute barbecue to round out the season, perhaps?
Gerard Millet Sancerre
When it comes to French Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre is king. Generally lighter and more refined than the wines of neighboring Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerres produce a fruit-forward, mineral-driven profile that’s ideal for this weather. Gerard Millet’s Sancerre is everything we look for in SB — crisp and clean, with flinty minerality typical of the region. Ripe fruit flavors and fresh acidity make it a killer post-apple picking drink for the porch.
Kaltern Pinot Grigio
Trust us. This ain’t your mother’s $6 magnum of Pinot Grigio that’s been in the fridge for weeks on end. Kaltern Pinot Grigio is a stunning example of what can be done with this highly aromatic grape. The wine is bright in color, with a full-bodied nose of ripe, yellow stone fruit. The palate is juicy and fresh, with light nuances of honey — a perfect wine to sip while executing all of your fall baking plans.
Vinum Chenin Blanc
Tart apples and juicy acidity are all the things we want out of our unseasonably warm-weather whites. Vinum’s Chenin Blanc bursts with flavors of refreshing, ripe stone fruit while maintaining a mouthwatering, zesty acidity. The grapes are picked at night to maintain freshness and preserve this acidity, then are hand sorted, pressed, and fermented cold to keep the aromatics high and expressive. The wine makes a stellar aperitif, perfect for sipping on the deck while watching the leaves fall.