Food & DrinkJK Wine

A Fall Guide to White Wine: Autumnal Alternatives to Reds

A wine vineyard in the fall
A Dr. Konstantin Frank vineyard in New York in the fall. (Courtesy of Dr. Konstantin Frank)

This month on the docket, we’re speaking autumn into existence. With the incoming cold weather, it’s only natural that everyone has red wine on the brain. 

Red wine season is exciting, so please indulge your wintry heart, but there are also plenty of white and sparkling wines that pair perfectly with the changing weather. 

Here ye, hear ye: Here are our favorite white wines to drink in fall, found nowhere else but Charlotte’s local wine shops. Do yourself a favor and pepper these wines into your rotating autumn picks. 

Dr. Konstantine Frank gewürztraminer from Bohemian Wine Bar

While everyone is stocking up on their favorite herbaceous ingredients for fall dishes, let’s talk about the aromatic contenders for your glass. Our first specimen for the ol’ swirl and sniff is a long-standing lady of sophistication, gewürztraminer! Our favorite go-to gewürz is chock full of rose petals and white pepper — a perfumed diva, you can’t miss her. 

A pioneer in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York, Dr. Konstantine Frank is a multi-generational producer now spearheaded by his great-granddaughter.

War Pigs Gönc from Rhino Market 

Fall needs a skin-contact wine — not any more red than it is white, and you could argue that it’s both. For our second contender, let’s take a trip to Slovenia (we’ll be quick, promise). Located in western Slovenia near the Hungarian border, Gönc has made a global name for its stellar skin-contact creations using native grape varietals. 

War Pigs is made of 100% yellow Muscat, but this wine is anything but a one-woman show. Picture a bed of white flowers from which you can devour peach rings while you listen to The Mamas and The Papas. Gönc is a producer we return to again and again, so it’s only right that this one made it onto our list.

Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato from Bohemian Wine Bar

Now that we’ve mentioned a tried-and-true, we want to mention our newest discovery: We give you Pigato, a rare grape from Northwestern Italy. The name derives from the Italian word for freckles due to the brown specks found on the grapes.

Jerry admits, this is the wine you could use to lure him into the white van—a bright wine with aromatics of mountain breeze, gripping pear and baklava depth on the palette. This wine is screaming for baked brie and acorn squash. We’ll have what she’s having.

Pepiere La Pepie Muscadet Sevre Maine at Bar à Vins

No dinner party is complete without that one guest who wants to argue both sides of politics and offer worldly experiences that no one in the room can relate to. For them, we suggest you offer this year’s habitually eclectic Muscadet Sevre et Maine.

This is a southern French wine made from melon de Bourgogne. The wine is typically made sur lie, which is a fancy way of saying that the dead yeast cells were steeped in the wine, creating a heavier, more rounded weight on the palate. 

We promise we don’t hate red wine

Listen, we don’t mean to say you shouldn’t drink red wine in the fall. You should! But red wine is heavy, and what happens when you make your famous mac and cheese? Do you really want to drink cabernet with that tuna casserole? 

White wine is a delight with food, so when it’s time to have a potluck, or when the holidays come and you need to temper your family with a large holiday meal, be sure to add white wine, sparkling wine, and maybe even a skin-contact to the collection of red wines that you serve. 

You won’t regret it.

Read more of Jerry and Kara’s local wine adventures here.

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