Types of Wine

A Round Up of Autumn Favorites


With the onset of autumn it’s time, for me at least, to start the long march back to bigger types of red wines! I love this season; it’s a time full of contrasts, warm days, cool night, fresh produce, hearty flavors, and the best part? I can cook again without over heating my apartment! So what types of wine go with a long day of cooking? Glad you asked.

When I start braising again (not to mention roasting and baking) certain types of wine take center stage in my kitchen. Not only is it a frequent addition to the braising liquid, but while spending hours in the kitchen it’s also a frequent addition to my glass. The rich flavors of slow cooked meals deserve to be paired with types of wine that can highlight the layered flavors of both the meal and the wine. I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorite types of wine for autumn with tips on pairing them!


Truth be told Barbera is one of my favorite types of wines any time of the year. In the summer a bright, fresh Barbera with grilled vegetable can be magic, but as autumn approaches I tend to prefer a richer style. I even enjoy Barbera with a little bit of oak in it, shockingly enough. Whether oaked or unoaked, great Barbera has zesty acidity and rich fruit that makes it a natural with roast pork or duck dishes.

Two Types of Barbera Wine to Try

2007 Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne
- Crisp and bright with the rich fruit of the vintage.

2006 Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery Barbera - Deep and fruity with an oaky edge.

Shiraz Blends

Shiraz Blends from Australia are a type of wine that has gotten more than it’s fair share of bad press lately. Truth be told these rich wines can really satisfy. In fact the style, really based on French wines, has spread to California and beyond. Their deep fruit and spicy character makes them perfect the perfect type of wine for braised beef, especially if there’s a bit of spice involved.

Two Types of Shiraz Blends to Try

2007 Vina Robles Red4 Blend - Packed with rich, sweet Paso Robles fruit.

2008 Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend
- Spicy oak and bold fruit in an opulent style.


As a type of wine Malbec falls somewhere between Barbera and Shiraz. Like Barbera it can be light to full bodied, but it has a spicier character that gives it some similarity to Malbec.  It’s a great wine to pair with steak, grilled or broiled, but also works well with gamier meats such as venison or even wild boar.

Two Types of Malbec Wine to Try

2008 Achaval-Ferrer Malbec - A brilliant wine from one of Argentina's finest producers!

2006 Clos la Coutale Cahors
- A classic old world red with austere tannins and dark fruits

Sonoma Cabernet

Cabernet from California is a type of wine that seems to have no season, people enjoy it year ‘round.  The key is finding the right style for each season, and for fall the red fruited, curranty Sonoma style works for me. This is a pot roast, prime rib kind of wine!

Two Types of Sonoma Cabernet to Try

2004 Alexander Valley Vineyards - Classic Sonoma Cabernet with red fruits and a gentle leafy top note.

2006 Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Cabernet
- Full of bright fruits and subtle complexity in a refreshing style.


For me Zinfandel is the quintessential type of wine for autumn; it's packed with spicy fruit, full bodied, and redolent of the spices of fall. It’s a type of wine that seems to find a home on my autumnal table. It’s also a great wine to try when fruit enters the recipe; try it with chicken or pork that has been braised with prunes!

Two Types of Zinfandel Wine to Try

2006 Holdredge Dry Creek Valley
- An elegant, complex Zin that marries power and grace.

2006 Trinitas Cellars Old Vine
- Black cherry and oak spice with lovely complex aromatics make this a winner.


Much like Barbera, Sangiovese is a type of wine that I enjoy throughout the year. As the days get shorter and nights grow colder I tend to reach for a fuller bodied example.  Many of the newer “mini Super Tuscans” are perfect for this season. They are  frequently rounded out with a dollop of Merlot, giving them a rich, smooth feel and they pick up some spicy oaky tones from their almost ubiquitous time in new oak barrels. I love them with roast or braised lamb dishes, but goat is even better!

Two Types of Sangiovese Wine to Try

2006 Querciabella Chianti Classico - Pure and elegant with a silky feel and wonderfully transparent fruit.

2005 Pepi Two Heart Canopy - A big bowl of fun fruit that speaks of bottled California sun.

Côtes du Rhône

A good, hearty Cotes du Rhone is an autumn stand-by. This type of wine works with just about anything you can throw at it due to its aromatic depth and mouth filling texture. I have always been a big fan of Cotes du Rhone with braised vegetable dishes and have enjoyed them with many version of Cassoulet, the heavier on the garlic sausage the better!

Two Types of Côtes du Rhône to Try

2007 Chateau de Beaucastel Coudoulet de Beaucastel - It doesn't get much better than this, rich, complex and layered with dense fruit.

2008 Cline Cellars Cashmere - the name says it all, a Rhone blend from California that is powerful and sensuously smooth.

Mentioned in this article


  • While most of the country basks in autumn's splendor, we here in South Florida will be doing what we mostly always do in the fall: enjoy not-so-hot temperatures during the day, no appreciable changes of color in the leaves—plus, a month or two more (at least) to enjoy crisp summer whites. Our "fall" usually starts in mid to late December...but to heck with that, I'll find my way to enjoying some hearty and bold red wines right now. Cheers.

    Sep 22, 2010 at 2:52 PM

  • Snooth User: eduardodelvino
    Hand of Snooth
    116938 40

    I wholly agree with the Marquis Philips Sarah Blend and the Archaval Ferrer Malbec...will have to get to work trying the others but like most all Sebastiani wines..keep an eye out for Barbera from Baja..

    Sep 22, 2010 at 4:54 PM

  • Snooth User: TommyJay
    335731 34

    I'm cutting and pasting like a madman so I can add these to my list of wines to try. I've had the Cashmere, and agree it's a wonderful blend. Have you tried any of the Macchia zins? I have an Archaval Ferrer Malbec on the rack. Had a 2005 Jordan Alexander Valley Cab last night for our anniversary dinner. Not too shabby!

    Sep 22, 2010 at 5:29 PM

  • I am just excited about the new Snooth iPhone application. I now have a real reason to upgrade my phone to the next generation.

    Sep 22, 2010 at 6:41 PM

  • Snooth User: outthere
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    324443 4,712

    Cline was pouring Cashmere at the Sonoma County Ag/Farm Bureau Crab Feed back in the spring and it has been a regular fixture in our home since. Have the Beaucastle as well. Is it ready to drink?

    As for Znfandel, if any of you try anything new this year try something from Bedrock Wine Company. It will amaze you.

    Sep 22, 2010 at 7:49 PM

  • Snooth User: Sago Palm
    556981 3

    Being Canadian, we are limited to the selections by Vintages and LCBO. We look forward to going to our winter home in Fort Myers. Are we able to purchase the wines you recommend at our local Total Wines retailer??

    Sep 22, 2010 at 8:44 PM

  • Snooth User: vanessa9
    586782 1

    You are missing out on the great wines from Chile and Argentina


    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:44 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 9,098

    Sago Palm, here's a link where you can hunt through the offerings of the Fort Myers Total Wine outlet:
    If they're not able to satisfy, here's a much better wine merchant that's based in California but that will ship most anywhere:
    Just punch 'Barbera' or whatever into their search box, and you'll be served up a wealth of options.

    Sep 22, 2010 at 11:03 PM

  • Snooth User: lisamattsonwine
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    372258 384

    What did you think of the Jordan 2006 in comparison to the other Sonoma Cabernets you've tried?

    Sep 23, 2010 at 12:07 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 231,033

    I loved the Jordan, it was priced at a higher level than the wines recommended here so it may have to wait for a Wines for the Holidays article!

    Sep 23, 2010 at 8:24 AM

  • @TommyJay: Haven't tried the Macchia Zins, but the Macchia Sangiovese "Amorous" is VERY good and runs about $15.00. Another good zin is the Sobon Estate Old Vine Zin for a whopping $8.99. That one is always a crowd pleaser. I do video reviews if you're interested in checking them out here, and recently posted one for the Sobon Old Vine Zin: http://www.OCWineAndLifestyle.com.
    Happy Tasting!

    Sep 23, 2010 at 10:44 AM

  • Snooth User: lisamattsonwine
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    372258 384

    Thanks, Greg! Jordan Cabernet is definitely versatile enough to work with many foods on holiday dinner tables.
    Looking forward to seeking pur that Vietti Barbera.

    Sep 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

  • Snooth User: lisamattsonwine
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    372258 384

    Thanks, Greg! Jordan Cabernet is definitely versatile enough to work with many foods on holiday dinner tables.
    Looking forward to seeking out that Vietti Barbera.

    Sep 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

  • Snooth User: Vinbansal
    430551 5

    Has anybody tried Alta Vista Malbec? If you have, let me know what you think.

    Sep 23, 2010 at 2:03 PM

  • Snooth User: Ekktar
    587208 2

    Recently tried the Beaucastel Cotes du Rhone next to Tablas Creek's Espirit Beaucastel. I brought the French and my friend brought the Tablas, which was better in every way, we thought, from nose to finish.

    Sep 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM

  • Snooth User: Sago Palm
    556981 3

    thanks dmcker

    Sep 23, 2010 at 5:28 PM

  • Snooth User: Hawk101
    554560 37

    Delighted to see Sonoma on your list. Often eclipsed by neighboring Napa, I prefer some of the Sonoma cabernet/cabernet blends. A good one on one comparison is provided by Silver Oak with both a Napa and an Alexander Valley cabernet bottling. I prefer the Alexander Valley bottling each year that I have had the chance to taste both.

    Sep 24, 2010 at 12:30 PM

  • Snooth User: patticake5
    527784 14

    Can anyone suggest a good red for pizza? We like a variety of toppings on pizza with the traditional red sauce. E.g. gouda cheese, broccoli, walnuts, artichokes and asiago, salty Kalamatas. Certainly not all on the same pizza but when we make pizza we go beyond the basic cheese and pepperoni. Looking for a wine to complement our creations.

    Oct 06, 2010 at 10:09 AM

  • Snooth User: rqf1313
    520818 18

    Stone crab season has started in South Florida. This means plenty of Riesling. Albarino and other fruity whites. You can also wear a white suit all winter in South Florida too.

    Oct 18, 2010 at 2:25 PM

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