ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- As the days grow cooler and your kitchen habits transition from grilling to simmering, Robert Ryan, manager of Englewood Wine Merchants , offers some ideas for popping a cork and celebrating fall.
N/V Pierre Peters- Cuvee de Reserve- Blancs de Blancs- Les Mesnil Sur Oger, Champange, France
Why We Love It: "I always tell people you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy champagne, especially when this particular bottle is reason to celebrate in and of itself," says Ryan. This 100 percent Chardonnay-based vintage comes from perhaps the most highly prized vineyards making bubbles in all of France and is decked out with almonds, pears, peach, star fruits, a lovely minerality and fresh acidity.
2012 Dominique Lafon Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France
Why We Love It: It's the ideal bottle for get-togethers (think Thanksgiving) with great structure and lovely acidity, along with notes of gala apple and citrus. Produced by one of France’s most prolific winemakers, this bottle is produced by the same vineyard that produces Lafon’s single vineyard wines which can cost hundreds of dollars per bottle. This one is a lot cheaper, meaning you won’t feel bad about sharing it with your cousin. Price: $38.95
2013 Brick House Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Why We Love It: Gamay, the grape behind Nouveau, is very food friendly, simple, and bright. At it’s best it is a force to be reckoned with. Brick House Vineyards is one of Oregon’s top wine growers and produces everything biodynamically.
Robert Biale 2013 Black Chicken Zinfandel, Napa Valley, CA
Why We Love It: Pre-gaming it at the Meadowlands with some grilled meats? You'll love the jammy currant, blackberry fruits of this vintage, which is spiced with notes of black pepper, licorice and sage.
2007 La Spinetta Passito Oro, Piedmont, Italy
Why We Love It: Ripe apricots, peaches, honey, pecans, vanilla, and spices pull together to create the ideal dish for pairing with fall flavors. And though it's a tad pricier than others mentioned, it's one of those you won't regret buying. It's made from single vineyard Moscato grapes which are dried in the wine cellar to increase the level of sugar. The golden nectar is then fermented and aged in oak barrels for a period of two years.