bonfires, red-rusted bridges, and withering crops from a land that
is simple yet persistent. Wines that best match a New York fall are
venerable, skin-fermented whites and licentious, bestial reds.
Skin-fermented white wines range from fruit bombs to wines
as light as fallen leaves. They often possess enough structure and
heft to pair with the foods that warm a brisk fall evening, along
with just enough acid to embrace a milder, sunny autumn day.
With a structure more common to reds, these whites can come
across as serious. But hedonism is at the heart of wine, so don’t let
a little tannin prevent you from crushing an orange wine during
the year’s final barbecue.
Autumnal reds, for me, tend to be lighter and more lithe, with
higher acidity and lower alcohol. Above all, I look for earthy, rustic
flavors. I look for bramble and turned leaves, tar and dried roses. I
look for characteristics that don’t just distract me from the death
of summer, but rather convince me to welcome fall. These wines
should provoke thought and contemplation, but also fit into the
season’s last kayak trip. (Pro tip: See below for the perfect lazy
urban kayak trip.)
Autumn is the season that
best showcases what makes our
little part of America so special.
Temperate weather. Colors of
fire. Aromas that convince us to
travel home, sit in our mother’s
kitchen, and eat leftovers. Fall
is a swan song; the last charge
of the summer mind before
winter closes in. I believe the
wines I drink in the fall should
SERIOUS WHITES AND EARTHY REDS MATCH THE SEASON
NIAGARA SKIN-FERMENTED WHITE PRODUCERS
Chateau Niagara Winery; chateauniagarawinery.com
Leonard Oakes; leonardoakes.com
Liten Buffel; litenbuffel.com
Southbrook (Ontario); southbrook.com
NORTHERN ITALIAN SKIN-FERMENTED WHITE PRODUCERS
Franco Terpin; francoterpin.com
Denis Montanar; denismontanar.it
JURA, FRANCE PRODUCERS
Domaine de L’octavin; octavin.fr
Domaine de Saint Pierre; domaine-st-pierre.com
Domaine Overnoy; find it on Facebook
WINE-FUELED KAYAK TRIP
SHUBB’S LAZY LOCKPORT KAYAK TRIP
Launch kayaks into the Erie Canal at Stevens Street in Lockport.
Paddle slowly, with the current, through the locks.
Pause to take in the beautiful architecture, or to retrieve your bagged
cell phone that fell overboard and floated into the spillway.
Coast toward Widewaters Marina. Mainly just lie back and ignore all the
guys fishing off the docks.
This kayak trip, if executed according to the above instructions, should
last just long enough to finish two mags of natty wine.
BY ZACK KLUG
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel