The Best White Wines For Cool Fall Days
Upgrade your fall wine game with these amazing seasonal whites.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Labor Day has come and gone. Days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin spice season is threatening our drinking regimes.
While you may lean towards a cozy red for those cooler early-fall nights, hear us out: crisp, fuller-bodied whites are the perfect companion to this season’s temperature drop.
Here are our favorite somm-cosigned bottles, from opulent white beaujolais and decanter-worthy Tuscany ambers to quirky, bright whites from Coastal Italy and no-ABV wines for the designated drivers.
Martha Stouman Post Flirtation White
Martha Stoumen’s glorious, California-kissed wines qualify as the perfect dinner party wines. Groovy label for requisite Instagrams? Yup. Will everyone like it? Yup. Even the moms? Yup. Even the natural wine snobs? Yes, them too. (Beer drinkers? Well, that’s a them problem).
Made primarily with Colombard blended with Marsanne, Roussanne, and a touch of Muscat, it drinks like a warm summer day (even when that season is long behind us). $29
Jules Desjourneys Beaujolais Villages
Beaujolais is oft associated with zippy gamay nouveaus or more austere bottles of cru beaujolais….seldom white beaujolais. Likely because a white beaujolais is a rarity, accounting for just 1% of total wine production in the region. So let’s drink more of it!
Made entirely of chardonnay, this bottle of white beaujolais boasts lengthy acidity and just a touch of oak, with crisp orchard fruit notes and a clean, fresh, finish. Pro tip: if you’re going to try white beaujolais, look for a bottle from this producer—it’s helmed by Fabien Duperray, formerly one of the go-to agents for top-level Burgundy wines who now watches his own old vine parcels in Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent. $30
Caruso e Minini Grillo
This wine drinks like it was made on an island off the coast of Italy. Slightly mineral (think the waves crashing onto the rocky shores), loaded with savory herbs and fresh citrus (Sicily is renowned for lush citrus), and powerful grip (thanks to the towering active volcano crowning the island that imparts distinct gritty characteristics to the soil). Best of all, it’s a budget bottle and perfect for fall BBQs. $20
Le Ragnaie Toscana Bianca
Note the birds on the label: this high-altitude Tuscan wine is produced in an area known for it’s bird catching. Thanks to its location high above the mountains, flocks would fly up one side of the hillside, hang out at the top, then fly on down the other side. Local birdcatchers would wait quietly with a massive net, capturing the flocks as they came over the peak.
No birds were harmed in the making of this wine, but young winemakers Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti pay homage to the area history via the bottle’s quirky labels.
Their Trebbiano/Malvasia blend is hyper-autumnal; Plush, subtle tannins golden hue, with dried apricots and slight oxidization. Let it decant for half an hour to bring out the full flavors! $26
Best’s Foudre Ferment Riesling
Hear me out: Australian Riesling. Best’s version has that rapier minerality you expect from, say, an Alsatian bottle, but they lets their Riesling sit on the skin for an extended time before wild fermenting in French oak foudres. What results is wildly perfumed, honeyed, floral, rich, oak-aged Riesling with driving texture and balanced acidity. $29
Banish away the notions of the oak California Chardonnay coveted by your mother and her book club. Made in Victoria, Moorooduc’s Chardonnay is crisp and opulent, with focused flavors of lemon, pineapple, hazelnut, and butterscotch. It’s 100% wild yeast fermented in French oak with partial new oak. Wine aside, the vineyard is carefully protected by Samwise Gamgee (a poodle) and Reg (the resident peacock). $45
Alright, time for a history lesson. This wine is made in Slovenia’s Brda Valley, right on the foothills of the alps and just a short jaunt from the crashing waves of the Adriatic. When Slovenia was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the government made vineyards turn out low-quality, high-yield wines: yucky stuff, cooking wine swill sold in massive quantities. When the country gained independence in the early 1990s, a handful of winemakers decided to take back Slovenia’s wine history, making carefully-crafted small-production, high-quality wines.
Štekar produces elegant wines in a traditional Slovenian manner, carefully hand harvested and organically grown. The Emilio is made with skin-contact Italian friulano; hazy, peachy, and aromatic, with firm tannins that hold up well through richer foods. Think glorious Northern Italian orange wine at a serious discount. $22
Acid League White Proxies
So this isn’t technically a wine, but if you’re an abstainer, this wine proxy subs in as a perfectly serviceable thing to sip through dinner. Each bottle is made by blending grape juice (think Gewurztraminer, not Welch’s) with teas, spices, and bitters to make a drink that sips like a small-batch wine. The company focuses on subscriptions of ever-rotating bottles, delivered to your door each month. $70/three
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre
Sancerre is a household name in the world of wine; known as France’s stronghold for perfumed Sauvignon Blancs. Within the region, Domaine Vacheron is one of the best, showcasing just how great Sancerre can get. Sip on their Sancerre, as crisp as the fall weather with flinty, white pepper and bright notes of sage and citrus. Beautifully sculptured and biodynamically farmed from highly-coveted parcels! $45