This past week, we were lucky enough to sit down and try some wines with Chelsie aka @Chelloveswine. I have to admit that when we were handed our first red wine of the night, and Chel started swirling it around like a wine pro, I was intimidated. I love wine, especially when it’s cheap. That being said, I am not educated in wines by any means (I mean I’m finally coming out of my boxed wine and Moscato days here). Thankfully Chel immediately made us feel comfortable, teaching us what we want to be looking for in our wines and educating us in a relatable and fun way —and admitted she was a boxed wine drinker at one point as well, so I feel better — which is why we knew she would be the expert all of us 20something’s need in our life when it comes to picking out the right wines for us.
So, in light of summer winding down, we asked Chel to break down the wines that are a must grab before your beach days are over and can carry you into fall.
I’m sure you’ve all had a wine called a red blend before. Almost every red wine is technically a blend (California only requires that the wine be made up of 75 percent of the grape it says on the label). Since blends can vary SO much, go for a red one that’s a mix of lighter bodied grapes (think Pinot Noir, Gamay) and full-bodied grapes (think Aglianico, Montepulciano). Tip: try your red wine slightly chilled so you can still enjoy it on a warm day. This also gives the wine a different taste than it would be room temperature.
Try this: Tendu Red Blend – $20.00
I find that a nice light-bodied red wine, like Pinot Noir is the perfect transition wine into fall. Pinot Noir wines are lighter than their cousin wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and that’s a good thing. Look for a Pinot Noir that is fruity and juicy but with hints of baking spices and earth to get you into that fall spirit.
Try this: Lange Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley – $26.00
This grape is the most planted in South Africa but is also a common grape grown in France. Chenin Blancs can widely vary based on where the grapes are grown and how the wine is made. Try to go for a Chenin Blanc that is fruit forward but with high acidity.
Try this: Longridge Chenin Blanc – $16.00
Viognier (vee-own-yay) can be another diverse wine. Some of them are light and fruity while others are creamy and warm. Viognier is often compared to Chardonnay, but don’t let that scare you! Make sure to find an unoaked Viognier if you’re not into that buttery texture and vanilla flavor an oaked wine provides.
Try this: Yalumba Y Series Viognier (this one is vegan!) – $11.99
We all know that rosé is the wine of the summer, but it also can be a nice transition wine into fall as well. Try to pick out a rosé that is more medium-bodied or one that is a darker shade of pink. You’ll want a rosé that is juicy and a little spicy too.
Summer Water Rosé – $15.00
Beresford Handpicked Grenache Rosé – $25.00
All of these wines being budget friendly (bless our NYC wallets), an easy transition into fall and overall just fun to try if you’re looking to switch it up. So, grab some friends, a few bottles and start tasting!