Mattie Jackson's Top Picks for Fall Wines Under $25
Fall is officially here in Nashville, y'all! Forget about the days of pumpkin flavored everything, Top Sommelier, Mattie Jackson of SALT & Vine is sharing with us her favorite choices of fall vinos under $25.
In the world of great Italian vino, the country’s whites live regrettably in the shadow of great Brunellos, Barolos, and other remarkably distinctive reds. And while neutrality and gluggability are the story of many, the chilly, fog-laden mornings and steep sites of Piedmont yield a fleshy, mineral driven white known as Gavi that proves a delicious companion to poultry any way this fall. Comprised 100% of the local Cortese grape, Gavi has more grace than your summer Sauv Blanc and more focus than your curvy Chardonnay.
Forge Cellars Riesling
One of the first American wine regions planted yet one of the last to be nationally recognized, Finger Lakes AVA in New York state is home to five tributaries that snake through the northeastern countryside, catching and harboring each and every ray of sunlight in order to ripen their grapes in the biting autumn temperatures. Finger Lakes lies at the highest latitude for viable viticulture – 50 degrees north – and is parallel to Germany’s Mosel, the world’s most hallowed region for premium Riesling. Forge Cellars boasts an unexpectedly vibrant and fully dry style that sings alongside all our favorite fall root veggies.
Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco
Kind of red, kind of rosé, kind of sparkling? Lambrusco’s diversity and uniqueness of style makes it one of our favorite wines to accompany a breath of fall dishes. Unfortunately branded as a poor quality, sweet, and slightly sparking, or frizzante, red wine in the 1960s, today’s quality Lambrusco is slowly showing resurrection in American markets. The wine can range from inexpensive and off-dry to vibrant, delicate, and bone-dry. And with its home in the region of Emilia-Romagna where Parmigiano-Reggiano and prosciutto di parma find its origin, the premium drier styles prove a chameleon to nearly all fall fare. From roasted beets to cured meats, it begs for citrus and salt in any dish. Try Lambrusco with feta cheese and watch it come to life!
Another overlooked red grape from northern Italy, Corvina does all the work but wears little recognition as the backbone behind Veneto’s luxurious Amarone della Valpolicella. Scaia shows the grape in its purest form – dark and brooding in flavor yet bright and silky in texture. Savory notes of coffee and cured meats reminisce fall cuisine while the lightness in body proves a great match for veggies, grains, and a variety of proteins alike. Corvina shows its more rustic edge alongside grilled bratwursts or andouille sausage.
Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge
Lying inconspicuously at top Mount Ventoux east of the prestigious vineyards of Chateauneuf-de-Pape and the massive landscape of Cotes-du-Rhone, the secret of Ventoux is one to be shared with your closest wine-drinking confidants. True to classic Southern Rhone style, the wines tend to be Grenache driven with supplement from other local varieties. Prices magnificently out-value CDP, and their generous style offers greater depth, structure, and savory flavors than quaffable CDRs. At the very least, they show consistency, interest, and weight, while at their best, they explode with buoyant red fruits and a meaty masculinity. Drink with anything off the BBQ.