Vintage local wine writing pulled
from the Local Winos cellar

The six Colorado wines of fall

By Jacob Harkins | Local Winos Magazine editor

What defines a wine as “fall?” Technically nothing. The fact is that just about every wine can be worked into any season based on circimstances.

So when the good folks over at Everyday Colorado on Fox 31 sent a query last week to appear on the show talking fall wines, I went with feel and food to define the autumn flavors.

Crisp whites seem so summery, and huge reds scream for a ski lodge and fireplace. Wines that fall in between that spectrum of boddy seemed just about right. With that in mind — and autumn veggies and turkey on the table — here are six fall Colorado wines I brought on the show:

  1. The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey 2012 Wild Canyon Harvest ($12, available early November): This blush-style rosé is our answer to Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s released within months of harvest and is a light and sweet wine not to be taken too seriously. Instead of the Gamay grape of Beaujolias, it’s a blend of 28 grapes that are literally picked from the backyards of Cañon City residents. Drink this on the porch during unseasonably warm fall days.
  2. Sutcliffe Vineyards 2011 Viognier ($25): This is a sexy wine aged in neutral oak and allowed to go through maloactic fermentation. This gives it a buttery note similar to Chardonnay, but with vibrant fruit and acidity to balance. Serve with any gourd cooked with butter.
  3. Carlson Vineyards 2010 Laughing Cat Riesling ($13): Despite being about 4 percent sugar, this Riesling brings a punch of acidity for balance. It’ll work well alongside the turkey and is a good introductory wine for those looking to progress past one-dimensional sugar bombs into the more serious wines of the world.
  4. Jack Rabbit Hill 2009 M&N ($28): This earthy blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier is light enough for the turkey and will pair beautifully with the other flavors of fall.
  5. BookCliff Vineyards 2010 Reserve Syrah ($25): With notes of molasses and Syrah as the grape, this is an apt companion for braised short ribs. Anyone ready to tailgate with a Colorado wine?
  6. Graystone Winery Lippizan Pinot Gris Port ($21): This white wine port was the basis for a fabulous wine cocktail in the spring, and it’s smokey, nutty flavors make it perfect for chocolate- and nut-inspired desserts.
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