Tracker Pixel for Entry

Four must-try wines for fall

by Megan Bartholomay | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Beer Snob | September 20th, 2017

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory.

Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello pumpkin spice, infinity scarves and football games.

Guys, fall is here and our wine drinking habits tend to shift from crisp whites to rich reds. Listen, I promise it’s okay to drink rosé in the winter. I won’t judge you. In fact, I’ll probably be across the bar from you doing the same, but here are a few varietals to cozy up to once the first leaves fall and we can see our breath on the way to work.

Dolcetto

This fruit-forward Italian gem literally translates to “little sweet one,” but it’s not sweet by any means. Typically, Italian wines tend to be more earthy and barnyard-y, so by Italian standards, dolcetto is much more fruit-forward than other Italian varietals.

And Italian wines can be a little confusing: is it named for the grape or for the region? The answer is generally just as confusing: It depends. In this case, dolcetto is the grape. I like to describe it as a more intense and earthy pinot noir with a touch of tobacco and sometimes a bitter acidity.

But don’t be turned off by that, it’s the reason this wine, also grown in California and Oregon, pairs with great casual food like a wild mushroom pizza or a spinach lasagna. Plus, dolcetto offers a lot of what there is to love about Italian wines, but usually at a much lower price point.

My pick: Franco Serra Dolcetto d’Alba, Italy ($12.99)

Grenache

I feel like little is known about this underrated varietal, but it actually appears in some of the most expensive wines in the world and can rival cabernet in its complexity (and it’s actually the most widely planted grape!). It varies in flavor depending on where it’s grown and is known under the names garnacha or garnatxa (Spain) and cannonau (Italy). It also has a deceptively light coloring, similar to a pinot noir, but offers a much more robust structure.

This dry, medium-bodied red wine is super easy to drink, with bright aromatics, supple red fruit flavors, hints of vanilla and a soft, smooth texture with balanced acidity. Head over to your local cheese shop and try it with a chunk of Manchego, or sip it with a spoonful of fall beef stew.

My pick: Don Ramon Tinto, Spain ($11.99)

Zinfandel

You’ll rarely hear me be snobby about wine. In fact, the Court of Master Sommeliers (who I studied with) is staunchly anti-wine snobbery, and I always want wine to be approachable and fun.

I can’t remember who said it, but the way they summarized wine was to say, “It’s not art, it’s groceries.” In a way they’re right, but I think it can be both.

But back to the wine snob thing for a second because it might seem like I’m being one here. One thing people say that makes me want to spit is, “I didn’t know zinfandel was red!” Sigh. Yes, it’s red and, in my opinion, it should only be consumed red. There. I said it.

Sorry, white zin. You are neither white nor zin (nor rosé for that matter). Please get off my planet. Look, if it works for you, great, but also know that zinfandel is traditionally a red wine.

Here’s the deal with zinfandel (aka primitivo in Italy): it’s delicious. The end. Seriously though, you’ll get a lot of structure with its jamminess, blue fruits and black pepper. Try it with perfect end-of-summer dishes like BBQ ribs and a good old fashioned cheeseburger.

My picks: H. Mynors Old Vine Cuvée Zinfandel, Sonoma, Amador and Lodi Counties, California ($17.99) and Big Smooth Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi County, California ($19.99)

Rosé

Ok, I went there, but only because I genuinely believe all wines transcend seasons. I personally don’t subscribe to drinking certain varietals at certain times of the year. The only wine “rules” I abide by are pairing rules, and those I pretty fiercely observe.

If you don’t, you can get some pretty nasty flavor combos; think the worst Lay’s potato chip concoctions: Haggis and watermelon? Orange juice and mint? Pepperoni dogfart? I’ll pass.

Here’s the thing about rosé, just because it’s pink, doesn’t mean it’s going to be sweet. And rosés have a bad rap, thanks to jerks like white zinfandel (see above).

The rosés that are trendy, hot and inspiring blogs and hashtags are typically drier and crisper than their sugary counterparts. But often they’ll be composed of very different varietals, ranging from grenache, syrah, cabernet, carignan and a handful of others, so you don’t always know what you’re getting.

As we move into fall, you can be sure these rosés will pair with an array of items from the sea, like some curried mussels or salmon, and even holiday favorites like a big ol’ turkey.

My picks: Summer Water, Central Coast, California ($18.99) and Haut Vol, Languedoc-Roussillon, France ($15.99)

Hey! I’m always curious about your wine questions. What would you like to hear about or see covered in the wine world? Hit me up at megan.bartholomay@gmail.com. Until next time, salut!

Recently in:

News

​Man and the moon

by C.S. Hagen

VALLEY CITY – Lowell Busching shuffled into The Vault, pointed to the staff-less counter featuring self-serve sandwiches, Kuchen, and coffee before launching into a history of the building, once a bank. Books and magazines are…

You probably won’t be connecting an Ethernet cable to your smartphone anytime soon. But it’s usually worth running Ethernet cables to the devices that matter, if you can—gaming and media PCs (or consoles), backup devices, and…

Thursday, July 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m.Zandbroz, 420 N Broadway, FargoAuthor Sarah Coomber will be making an appearance at Zandbroz for a reading and signing of her recently released memoir, "The Same Moon." Recently wed and soon…

It’s no secret Theodore Roosevelt loved North Dakota. It’s also no secret North Dakotans love Teddy. He left us with a legendary legacy and it’s no wonder that the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library will be in the…

Gadfly

​Freedom???

by Ed Raymond

There Seems To Be A Lot Of Confusion About What Freedom Is!At a recent conference of the evangelical Christian’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Chairman Ralph Reed, long a hard worker for the Moral Majority’s Jerry Falwell, had…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Teresa Farrelltara.Ekren@essentiahealth.orgLove it or hate it, it’s rhubarb season! Rhubarb brings back good memories for me.Growing up on the family farm, my siblings and I would head outside with a bowl of sugar, snap off…

High Plains Reader had the opportunity to catch up with Sarah Shook, front woman of the North Carolina based punk country band Sarah Shook and the Disarmers. We had a chance to talk about life and love from the road, where she…

Legendary British skipper Tracy Edwards, who in 1989 led the first all-female crew of sailors to compete in the tough-as-nails, 33,000-mile Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, makes for a convincing heroine in filmmaker Alex…

Arts

‘Local American epics’

by Sabrina Hornung

The US Postal Service recently released a set of stamps celebrating the New Deal era post office murals that were federally commissioned during the Roosevelt administration, though the mural that graces the walls of the New…

The annual mainstage summer musical, produced by Trollwood Performing Arts School and sponsored by Bell Bank, opens Thursday, July 11. This year’s performance is Disney’s “Freaky Friday.” Trollwood Performing Arts…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights…The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and…