5 Tips for Fall Sips

5 Tips for Fall Sips

Fall is André Compeyre’s favorite wine season because reds are back in the game in a big way. As the beverage director of The Regency Bar & Grill in New York City, Compeyre oversees a seasonally evolving wine list of 700 bottles, with a French, American and Italian focus. And since his wine-pouring pedigree touts some of the world’s top restaurants—including Le Gavroche in London, Les Jardins de l’Opéra in Toulouse, France, and Alain Ducasse at The Essex House in New York City—who better to help wean us off those summery rosés?

Here are Compeyre’s top five pointers for popping open fall wines.

Fall doesn’t mean you have to skip the fizz.

“Colder weather will not prevent me from opening Champagne, but I may shift from the lighter, floral-style blanc de blancs to more complex bottles of bubbly with orchard fruits and toasty notes,” says Compeyre.

“For a good example of this richer style, think about trying Billecart-Salmon’s NV Brut Sous Bois Champagne this fall,” he says. The unique cuvée is entirely fermented in oak, lending additional complexity to the wine.

Similarly, beer lovers can replace light wheat ales with fuller-bodied brews as the mercury dips. “Try the earthy, hoppy and crisp Ommegang’s Hennepin Farmhouse Saison out of Cooperstown, New York,” he says.

Let savory seasonal ingredients be your wine guide.

“Porcini mushrooms help usher in fall flavors, and chanterelles are on the way, too. So it’s perfect timing to open some of those light, but still rich, reds,” says Compeyre.

“Since this is now the time of year to dig into pot pie, stew and my longtime favorite, cassoulet, wine lovers should look to hidden treasures from the Southwest of France that can stand up to, but not overpower, these heartier fall dishes.”

Compeyre recommends Tannat-based blends for these dishes, like Alain Brumont 2009 Château Montus, a Tannat-Cabernet blend from Madiran, or Carignan-Syrah-based wines from the Languedoc. Compeyre’s other favorite regions that produce light, fall-appropriate reds include the Southern Rhône and Provence.

Go for Gamay.

Since that beloved wine staple, Beaujolais Nouveau, won’t hit shelves until Nov. 19, Compeyre says to seek out other Gamay-based wines in the meantime.

“The best Gamay on my list right now is Evening Land Vineyard’s 2012 Seven Springs Vineyard Gamay, from the Eola-Amity Hills in the Willamette Valley, Oregon,” says Compeyre. “Gamay, in general, needs to re-conquer wine lovers. The best examples of this underrated grape taste very close to great Pinot Noir. While you can still enjoy beautiful sunny days, serve these wines at around 55˚F.”

The four-day event that celebrates Connecticut’s culinary scene featured 150 vendors serving up savory snacks, sweet desserts, wine tastings, and more.

The four-day event that celebrates Connecticut’s culinary scene featured 150 vendors serving up savory snacks, sweet desserts, wine tastings, and more.

Cocktail lovers, get inspired by familiar fall fruits.

“Since its reopening in 2014, The Regency Bar & Grill has presented a different selection of signature cocktails every season,” says Compeyre. “Each bartender gets a turn making their own. For fall, we’ll begin preparing new drinks by welcoming cooler-weather fruit like apples, pears, cranberries and pomegranates.”

Compeyre suggests looking to local farms and distilleries for crafting seasonal cocktails at home, but says vodka and gin will pair best with fall flavors in drinks.

Revisit your summer travels when choosing fall bottles.

“If you were vacationing abroad this summer, fall presents an excellent time to tell stories about your trips over wine from the regions you visited, or with bottles you brought back,” says Compeyre.

Or, Compeyre suggests trying wines from far-flung wine regions to help you dream about that next vacation.

“I like Krsma Estates’ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Hampi Hills in India, or Jonathan Tishbi’s 2007 Special Reserve Sde Boker, a Merlot and Cabernet-dominant blend from Israel,” says Compeyre. “My summer vacation got me to the Basque Country, Gascony and the Languedoc, but these other countries are on my ultimate travel bucket list.”

11 Spots to Sip Wine and Soak Up Fall Views

Published on September 24, 2015
Topics: BeerFall winesWine Trends