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Cool Weather, Cool Wines
October 1st, 2015
Peggy Fiandaca
The temperatures are finally coming down, the last of the grapes will be harvested at LDV Winery in next few weeks, and the winemaking has begun with our incredible 2015 harvest. This vintage had us juggling space in our 4,000 square foot winery, bringing in new barrels, and bottling finished wine to make room. 2015 is an exciting vintage.

Cooler weather, fall flavors from the garden, and the bounty on our dinner table call for some cool wines. By this I mean, reds! Big, bold red wine that can stand up to fall flavors. We drink red wines year round but for some reason people start buying and drinking red after Labor Day. Big reds don’t have to be harsh or have that alcohol burn on the finish. Don’t shy away from the higher alcohol content wines (above 15%).  

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Alcohol Wine Primer: yeast plays an important role of converting the natural grape sugars to carbon dioxide and alcohol. At harvest, we determine sugar levels in the grapes that will indicate the alcohol level in the finished wine. This is the art of the grape to glass process.

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The key is getting well-balanced red wines. It is important that the wine have structure (i.e. tannins) and a full-flavor profile to balance the alcohol. At LDV Winery, we specialize in these rich, balanced wines.

Following are some reds that pair beautifully with the tastes of fall. Think grilled rack of lamb with a 2012 LDV Syrah, butternut squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and crème fraiche paired with our 2012 Grenache, or The Signature Petite Sirah with mesquite smoked prime rib with caramelized onion, wine reduction. Wimpy wines cannot stand up to these big flavors. A few other wines to look for in your favorite wine shop include an old-vine Grenache or a California Zinfandel full of dark-berry fruit and lush tannins.

So pull out that sweater, decorate with pumpkins and gourds, buy some interesting squash at the Farmer’s Market, and open a big, bold red as you make this soup that screams fall weather. Here’s our recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. Enjoy.