Mellow Wines for Autumnal Days...

Andrew Barrow

Now those warm evenings are departed and so too have the accompanying fresh, crisp summer wines. It's time to chill out with these Autumn choices.

Mellow Evenings...

Although the blackberries have long since departed from the hedgerows, you can't walk under a tree without a conker thudding through the branches as the leaves, once green and plush now golden and crisp, pile up into deep drifts – there is a softer, mellow feel. The dark days of winter approach, game is now in season and autumnal mushrooms and pumpkins grace the table. Such a mellow mood requires mellow wines to match.

Mellow Wines...

Chardonnay

For a treat the Abbots & Delaunay Zephyr Chardonnay 2012 (Averys £16.99) would bring just the right combination of Autumnal mellowness, weight and flavour to accompany creamed mushrooms. It’s a super wine, lovely texture, hint of oak and mineral.

Pinot Gris

Perhaps though even this doesn’t quite have the right level of ‘mellowness’? The extra richness and softer style of a Pinot Gris (new to the market Te Pã Pinot Gris from Marlborough, New Zealand is a wonderful option) would be more suitable, especially with chicken in a herby, cream sauce.

Wild Strawberry Cafe

At a birthday BYO at the Wild Strawberry Café in Prestwood (just outside Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire) recently I splashed out on a slightly richer style of Pinot Gris, the Greywacke 2012 Pinot Gris also from Marlborough, New Zealand (Wine Society £17.50). An inspired match for pan fried seabass with a fricassee of chorizo, clams, braised fennel and buttered samphire served alongside. A superbly cooked dish, full of autumn flavours, made even more heavenly with the wine.

Red Wine

Reds too come into play. Game birds, meaty stews, venison all see so right with the season of blowing leaves, damp woodland and afternoon bonfires.

I’ve a bottle of Blau Montsant 2012 (£8.95 Wine Society) breathing in a decanter; this I am ensured will be a joyous match for a simple Merguez Sausage, bean and tomato dish I’m rather good at recreating.

Tuscan Chicken for autumn
 Via Culture Discovery

In conversation with a friend who lives in Florence, we got down to discussing food and wines, keeping in with the autumn theme she has suggested a typical Tuscan dish for this time of year – Chicken with Fennel Pollen and Potatoes. Nope, I hadn’t heard of fennel pollen either but it is available from Amazon surprisingly. For a wine suggestion she also states that it would go great with 'budget' rosso di montalcino/montepulciano or upgrade to Brunello/vino nobile. So before the last of the leaves are blown from the trees and winters grip envelopes us all this is what I am planning for next weekend!

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