The best drinks to try in autumn
The arrival of autumn heralds a change in appetite, so drinks editor Susy picks some richer, riper wines to match the cooler weather, plus three satisfying softies for Sober October (or any time).
The best white wines to try in autumn
Made from local grape varieties in Pyrenean foothills, this is a fuller-textured dry white with fleshy peach and a dab of sweet stem ginger. Lovely with ham or pork pies as well as cheese and onion quiches. Available from Sainsbury’s (£8).
Journey’s End Honeycomb Chardonnay 2020, Stellenbosch, South Africa 13.5%
A gorgeous chardonnay, juicy but fresh, lightly oaked and showing plenty of sun-kissed pineapple, orange and butterscotch, though it finishes dry. Look no further for your partner to roast chicken… Available from Marks & Spencer (£9).
The best rosé to try in autumn
A riper, richer rosé than the delicate paler styles of summer, bright cerise with plenty of strawberry and cranberry. Could take on charcuterie or spicy seafood. Available from Tesco (£9).
The best red wines to try in autumn
Robust but mellow red from the nero d’avola grape, brimming with soft, ripe blackberries and red cherries, with a little wood spice from barrel ageing. Snap it up to match beef casseroles or rich pasta bakes. £8, down to £7 from 6 October until 2 November, Asda.
This southern French red is full-bodied but well-balanced. Expect black fruit like brambles and damsons, and a firm structure to take on steak, venison or a chunk of full-flavoured hard cheese. Available from Waitrose (£7.99).
Testimonio Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah-Tannat 2020, Mendoza, Argentina 14%
A trio of grapes makes this intensely flavoured red with a twist of black pepper over cassis and black cherry fruit – one to decant to let it open up. Match with roast lamb or medium-hot spicy Indian curries. Available from The Co-op (£10).
The best dessert wine to try in autumn
A good-value honeyed dessert wine with citrus and apricot flavours, perfect for pairing with fruit puddings, and especially the Michel Roux’s apple tart on p123. Serve chilled. Available from Waitrose (£6.49).
The best drinks for Sober October
If you’re doing Sober October – or maybe just cutting back at the moment – here are three soft options that have impressed us recently:
Fresh ginger, yuzu juice, lime leaves and peppercorns have all gone into this refreshing spritzy soft drink which has a distinctive spicy kick on the finish. Available from Sainsbury’s (£2.25/500ml).
With its herbal hints of sea buckthorn and rosemary, citrus note and subtle spice, this is one of the best canned cocktails around, and it’s alcohol free. Available from The Alcohol Free Co (£2.39).
Cider suits the season and here’s a non-alcoholic version that’s satisfyingly succulent and juicy, lightly sparkling and not too sweet. £1.70, Ocado.
The best spirit of the season
There’s a warming, subtle streak of chilli here as well as lashings of blood orange juice, and the gin is dry and tangy on the lingering finish. Drink it neat over ice. Available from Master of Malt (£25/70cl).
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