Red Wines To Drink Now, According to Top Sommeliers

National Red Wine Day is this Saturday, October 15th and in anticipation of the holiday – and as fall continues and winter approaches –  we have rounded up some of the top sommeliers and wine directors around the country to give us their thoughts on which red wines to drink now, and some dishes to pair them with.

Joe Campanale New York City

Joe Campanale, Beverage Expert and Founder of Annona wines

Campanele, Beverage Director and co-owner of dell’anima, L’Artusi, Anfora and L’Apicio, recommends the De Fermo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Prologo” 2013 for fall and winter drinking.

“This wine is made in one of the two best areas of Abruzzo, Loreto Aprutino,” Campanele explains. “It is a complex and structured Montepulciano made in a completely natural way. It has a distinctive personality not often found with the Montepulciano grape and is such a pleasure to drink. Wines like the De Fermo were what initially drew me to start making my own Annona wines in Loreto Aprutino, where the microclimate is outstanding.”

Pair with: lamb, grilled meats and BBQ.

Dan Davis, the “Wine Guy” at Commander’s Palace

Davis, the “Wine Guy” at famed New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace, has a few choices: 2012 Charles Joguet “Cuvée Terroir” Cabernet Franc, Chinon, Loire Valley, France and the  2012 Badenhorst Family “Secateurs” Red Blend, Swartland WO, South Africa.

“I have long been a fan of the somewhat underappreciated (and often under-priced) Cabernet Franc wines of the Loire Valley,” says Davis. “Charles Joguet’s wines display all of the rustic beauty and purity of fruit that Cabernet Franc has to offer.”

Pair with: earthy mushrooms, hearty legumes and squashes, game birds and meats like a nice rich pork or duck cassoulet with loads of aromatic Herbes de Provence.

“For several years now there’s been an ongoing revolution in the wine world of South Africa, the ‘Swartland Revolution,’ with the region seeing drastic improvements in the quality (and quantity) of wines being produced,” explains Davis. “A blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and old-vine Cinsault, this wine is bursting with bright fruit and food-loving acidity—and it is a steal.”

Pair with: everything from redfish with brown butter to poultry to lamb.

Dan Davis, Commanders Palace Wine Room
Sherri Griffith Aldo Sohm

Sheri Griffith, General Manager and Sommelier at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar

Griffith suggests the J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

“To me it’s the perfect time of year to drink this pinot,” she says. “It’s like fall in a glass: earthy with warm notes of baking spices.”

Pair with: Aldo Sohm Wine Bar’s chicken coq au vin or a beef stew.

Alex Berlingeri, Corporate Beverage Director, Sant Ambroeus Hospitality

Sant Ambroeus Hospitality’s Berlingeri goes with the Nero Di Troia Parco Marano, Giancarlo Ceci 2011.

“I chose the Parco Marano because it has an intense and complex nose with notes of dry flowers and spicy dark sensations, he explains. “It is gentle on the palate with well integrated tannins and a long smooth finish.”

Pair with: Roasted meats and aged cheeses. 

Alex Berlingeri Sant Amrboeus

Marissa Copeland, Sommelier at David Burke Kitchen

Copeland is digging the 2013 Syrah, Estate blend of Stolpman from Ballad Canyon in California for fall and winter.

“The Stolpman winemaker is a new generation “super-star winemaker” called Sashi Moorman and he is doing great things!” Copeland says. The Syrah has a great depth, and elegance.”

Pair with: Young roast rack of lamb with olive oil whipped potatoes, greens and a natural jus

Ron Carey Simbal

Ron Carey, General Manager, Sommelier and Beverage Director at Simbal, Los Angeles

Simbal’s Carey is all about the 2013 Mas Champart, Syrah/Grenache blend, Saint-Chinian, Languedoc, France.

“For the fall & winter, this a lovely medium to full bodied red with a note of light spice with a rustic quality,” he says. “It’s a versatile red wine at the table, especially with a variety of meats. Not to mention it’s just a gem of a wine in a region often overlooked for quality reds but great value.”

Pair with: grilled pork ribs, red meats

David Giuliano, Beverage Director of The Clam, Market Table and The Little Owl

Giuliano’s pick for fall and winter is cru Beaujolais, namely Morgon, Fleurie, and Brouilly.

I love Gamay (the grape in Beaujolais) in the fall,” he explains. “It brings the purity of fruit and elegant acidity of a Burgundy together with the rustic, almost savage qualities of the Northern Rhone to make this wonderfully complex wine that pairs beautifully with all of the flavors of the autumn harvest.

Pair with: Turkey, Coq au vin, light stews, lamb and a variety of cheese and stewed fruits.  But really, what doesn’t it go with?

David Giuliano Beverage Director Market Table, Little Owl, The Clam
Olivia Moravec Sommelier

Olivia Moravec, Wine Director, Craigie On Main

Moravec is loving the 2014 Patrimonio ‘Sempre Cuntentu’ by Giacometti (Corsica, France) for fall.

“This wine is a little funky, a great value, and from a region that you don’t see wine from every day – unless you live in Corsica,” she says. “The acidity and light texture, make this a super versatile wine with food.”

Pair with: roasted duck, mushroom ragout.

Adam Petronzio, Wine Director at Oceana

Petronzio has not one but two choices for autumn and winter wines: Pinot Noir, Joseph Swan “Cuvee de Trois” 2013 Russian River and Chateau Lynch Bages, Pauillac 2002 Bordeaux.

“Pinot Noir to me is always one of the most elegantly balanced of red wines,” he says of the Pinot Noir. “This wine works on so many levels.”

Of the Bordeaux blend, Petronzio explains, “Lynch Bages is one of those Bordeaux houses that turns out great wine vintage after vintage.”

Pair with: homemade beef stew.

Adam Petronzio Wine Director Oceana
Kamal Kouiri Molyvos

Kamal Kouiri, Wine Director at Molyvos

Kouiri goes with the 2010 Xinomavro, Old Vine, Alpha Estate from Amyndeon.

“First of all, Xinomavro is my favorite red Greek grape varietal,” he admits. “This wine is produced from grapes that are sourced from 95- year-old bush vines from a single vineyard, which is 660 meters above sea level, and is aged for 24 months in Allie oak casks and a minimum of 12 months with no treatment or filtration before bottling. It has intense flavors of forest berries, warm spices, and tomato paste with an herbal quality and great balanced acidity.”

Pair with: roasted lamb or rabbit stifado, a classic Greek dish that we are proud to serve at Molyvos.

Sharon Coombs, Sommelier at Craft Los Angeles

Coombs is all about the Pinot Noir, August Kessler, 2012, Pfalz, Germany this season.

“This German Pinot Noir is overall light bodied but still well structured — meaning it is great on it’s own and paired with lighter dishes, but also can stand up to the full flavor of richer foods,” explains Coombs. “The taste and bouquet of this wine, with its mushrooms, black currant, dried cherry, baking spices, and even a touch of ginger, bring thoughts of cooler weather and cozy fires.”

Pair with:  Mushrooms, pasta with black truffle, and game meats such as roasted duck or braised rabbit.

Sharon Coombs Somm

Vincent Mosso, Wine Director at Gemma at the The Bowery Hotel

Mosso picks a trio of reds for fall and winter:

Piedmont- Barolo, Brico Ambrogio Paolo Scavino 2006.

Pairs with: risotto with white truffles and any type of cheeses.

Veneto – Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Speri 2009.

Pairs with: veal saltimbocca, steak, and pork dishes.

Tuscany – Brunello di Montalcino Uccelliera 2007.

Pairs with leg of lamb, bistecca alla Fiorentina and pappardelle with wild boar

Lauren Blake Somm

Lauren Blake, Wine Curator of Craveable Hospitality Group

Blake chooses the Henry of Pelham Baco Noir, 2013 from VQA (Vintner’s Quality Alliance) Ontario for colder weather.

“This is a new grape variety for me, and a new region,” she says. “I’ve had just two Baco Noirs, and I’m really impressed with the polish on Henry of Pelham’s expression. It’s light and fruit forward (think black cherry, crushed ripe berry, baked blueberry), with an underlying, savory herbal lift from American oak aging. Lots of espresso/baker’s chocolate notes on the finish; a light to medium bodied wine that delivers more complexity than the price point suggests. I think it’s perfect for the fall, when temperatures can vary but the scent of fallen leaves surrounds us.”

Pair with: roasted quail and, in general, braised game with root vegetables, butternut squash bisque, or even something a little heavier, like onion soup gratinee or lamb shank with polenta and preserved fig.

Arnaud Tronche, Owner/Beverage Director at Racines NY

Tronche gives us a few picks for fall and winter reds, including 2014 Cavallotto Langhe Nebbiolo Bricco Boschis, 2011 Domaine Hauvette and 2013 Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Les Beaumonts.

“The Cavallotto Langhe is a great nebbiolo from a classic producer,” he says. “It’s  earthy, floral, ripe fruits with grainy tannins.”

Pair with: game dishes, and you’ll see the magic work.

“The Domaine Hauvette is a small domaine located in one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, Saint-Rimy-De-Provence,” explains Tronche. “This wine, 60% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, 10% Grenache, and screams Provence with garrigue notes, elegant but ripe red fruits and fine tannins.”

Pair with: rabbit and mushroom dishes.

“The Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Les Beaumonts is if you want to splurge and maybe celebrate a special occasion this fall,” he says.

Pair with: a simple meat dish with a touch of cranberry sauce.


Arnaud Tronche Racines NY

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