Whether Junior’s headed to advanced placement or detention, the 2010 Trapiche Finca Ambrosia Terroir Series Single Vineyard Malbec from Mendoza is complex and big enough for a celebratory toast or a drowning-of-sorrows session. Concentrated, with potent aromas of wood smoke, lemon peel, blackberry and tar, it’s layered and plush.
First Batch of Chili
The pot’s been simmering all day, filling the house with mouthwatering anticipation. When the dinner bell rings, pair it with a 2012 Robert Biale Black Chicken Napa Valley Zinfandel. It’s spicy, with black plum, berry, cinnamon and clove, plus a touch of toasty oak. It will add even more nuance to this king of comfort food.
Whether you’re hiking or headed to the orchard, pack a bottle of Michigan’s The Ledbury hard cider for your alfresco feast. Slightly sparkling, with notes of ripe orchard fruit and hints of dried hay, this off-dry cider is an ideal pour when soaking in October’s last days of warm sun among the kaleidoscope of autumnal hues.
If you’re dreading the coming cold, take in the last innings of summer’s game while drinking Sleight of Hand’s 2013 The Magician Riesling from Columbia Valley, a wine that will transport you to warmer days with every sip. Bright and fresh, it’s loaded with sappy fruit, and scores well with spicy sausage, peanuts and the year’s final box of Cracker Jack.
First Cold Snap
It’s sunny, the trees are clinging to their last few leaves and there’s frost on the windows. Rather than throw another log on the fire, let it smolder, wrap that wool throw tighter and pop the cork on a 2011 Saint-Joseph from Les Vins de Vienne. Just like the day, it’s savory and complex, effortlessly bridging the sweet berry fruits of summer and the dried herbs of autumn.