Alsatian Wines You’ll Fall For!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love the crisp cooler weather, the leaves changing, fall flavors, and wines that pair! I spent a lot of the warmer months of this year drinking domestic wines, especially due to all of the virtual tastings. When thinking about my fall menus, Alsace always comes to mind because of their versatility. Sure, I mean all wine is technically pair-able but there’s something about Old World style wines that call to me more during this time of year. It could be because I love visiting Europe and vineyards when the vines are changing, or it could just be because I enjoy Old World wines with fall flavors, but either way, it works!

I took an online quiz at the end of summer to see what type of Alsatian wine matched my personality. It was a fun quiz and paired me with Pinot Noir.  Alsace is a historical region in the Northeastern area of France, on the Rhine river bordering Germany. They produce predominately white wines from this region, but also offer sparkling wines, reds, and sweeter wines too. Because it borders Germany, you will find grape varieties here such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer dominate, but they’re very different than their bordering neighbor’s wines.

If you enjoy dry Riesling, you will enjoy Riesling from Alsace. It’s not to say that Germany and other winemaking areas do not produce dry Riesling, but this article is about Alsatian wines that you’ll “fall” for, and I think you’ll really enjoy this lineup with your favorite fall meals.

Meyer-Fonné Pinot Noir Reserve 2018- This beautiful Pinot is earthy and red fruit-driven upon the first sniff. It has a wildly attractive nose of under-ripe red fruits and typical Alsatian earthiness. This wine is farmed organically, and hand-harvested before being gently pressed. Felix Meyer is a rock star in Alsace and took over his family’s winery in 1992, where he started to modernize and export these fantastic wines. This wine would be ideal with grilled meats, however, for fall, I think some Pumpkin Ravioli topped with Pancetta and Balsamic Glaze would be a wonderful pairing with this wine! Trader Joe’s makes the best pumpkin ravioli, and you can easily make this a perfect weeknight meal. $29.99

Willm Alsace Riesling Réserve 2018- In 1896 the Willm family established the Willm Estate in Barr, at the base of the grand Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru vineyard. This wine is aromatic and full of intensity with citrus and flowers. This wine has great acidity and can easily pair with fish and white meats. For fall, you can pair this wine with a Baked Brie topped with Caramelized Pecans and Apricots! The lovely citrus and stone fruit notes in this wine will pair nicely with something warm and creamy, with the caramelized crunchy nuts. $17

Albert Boxler Pinot Noir 2015- North facing vines ideal for Pinot Noir, this wine is a newer addition to the Boxler winery portfolio. It’s a silky and smooth wine with nice spice-driven flavors. This one is ready to drink now and does not have to be aged if you do not want to, it’s perfectly drinkable now and absolutely delicious! Produced from granite soils and organic vineyards, this wine is a great wine to enjoy this time of year, as well as makes a wonderful gift for the wine lover in your life. Easily this wine can pair with Slow Cooked Short Ribs over Cheesy Polenta! $45

Lucien Albrecht 2018 Pinot Gris- A beautiful white wine with a complex nose of apricot, nuts, and toast. Lucien Albrecht is one of the most well known white wine producers in all of Alsace. This wine is made from fruit sourced from Estate vineyards and boasts apple notes with lemon and pear. On the palate, it has great acidity and would pair nicely with Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables, or Butternut Squash Risotto! $19

Dopff & Irion Pinot Blanc 2018, Cuvée René Dopff- A perfect Pinot Blanc for the fall season! It’s ripe and juicy with pear and apple notes. On the palate, it’s well-balanced and full of more apple, citrus, and minerality. It has a nice medium body and a great finish with nice white peach flavors. It’s a soft wine with a touch of smokiness as well and would pair great with an Arugula, Pumpkin, and Burrata Salad topped with Pomegranate Seeds. $15.99

Gustave Lorentz Pinot Gris Reserve 2018- A beautiful golden yellow with a nose of dried fruit and some smoke. On the palate, the dried fruit and smoke follow. Nice fruit and balance in this wine as well, it’s a very pretty Pinot Gris with a lovely long finish. The vineyards are certified organic and show the uniqueness of these wonderful grapes. This wine would be great with Foie Gras if you can get your hands on some, however if you can’t or you’re not into that dish, this wine will absolutely pair with Stuffed Mushrooms, and Soft Cheeses! $19

Emile Beyer Pinot Blanc Tradition 2018- 14 Generations of winemakers in this family, from the birthplace of Alsatian wines! This wine is meant to be consumed while young and has nice soft floral notes. It’s a delicate wine that can be easily enjoyed with lighter dishes and appetizers as well as consumed on its own. It has excellent acidity and soft yellow fruit notes, that make it a great pairing with Sushi! $15

Dirler-Cade Riesling 2016– The vines grow in pink sandstone soils at one of the finest Domaines in Alsace! The vineyards are also all certified organic and biodynamic. This wine is very expressive, quite bold in color with a powerful nose of peaches and ripe rich fruits. A lemony finish and some salinity to entice you to want to take multiple sips of this wine, because of its dryness and refreshing high acidity. This wine would be ideal with Smokey Ricotta Dip, Caramelized Pears, and Grilled Bread. $26.99

 

Overall if you’re seeking to switch up your fall wine options, I absolutely recommend checking out the Alsace section of your local wine store. These wines are available online as well, thanks to Wine.com, and some of these can be purchased through the website! Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!

 

 

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.