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Red wine

3 Red Wines for October


Summer grapes are on their way out. As fall sets in, it’s time to turn to different red wines that complement the vibrant harvest foods and unmistakable autumn atmosphere.


Syrah is a popular red wine that has been successfully produced in many regions throughout the world. It is full-bodied, fruity, and just a little spicy (in a way that pairs well with fall flavors).

While browsing Syrah wines, you may also encounter Shiraz wines shelved nearby. Syrah and Shiraz actually refer to the same grape. Wines produced in cooler climates tend to be called Syrah, and winemakers in Australia and other warmer areas more often market their wine as Shiraz. Syrah is usually considered a leaner, more elegant, almost savory wine, while a Shiraz will tend to be fruitier and less subtle.

Some producers age their Syrah in oak barrels, which can imbibe it with tones of vanilla and additional spice. Other notes common to many Syrah wines are smoke and pepper.

Syrahs to watch for:

  • Lismore Estate Reserve Syrah – South Africa
  • Les Jamelles Syrah – France
  • Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Syrah – Italy
  • Weingut Ziereisen Gestad Syrah – Germany
  • Tensley Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah – USA


Barbera is a darker red wine originating in Northern Italy. Barbera is the third most produced grape in that country, and has been around for a long time—it’s at least one thousand years older than the popular Cabernet Sauvignon.

While Barbera’s dark color may make it appear overly bold or intimidating, most wine drinkers actually find a good Barbera to be a very light and accessible wine. It is known for its fruity flavors and aromas, and is often described as having hints of cherry, strawberry, and blackberry.

This complex fruit flavor makes it a great wine to pair with the transition from summer (strawberries) to autumn (blackberries). A good Barbera will be dark, complex, and warming, while still being bright and fruity enough to leave you feeling refreshed instead of overstuffed when paired with a fall feast.

Some excellent Barbera options:

  • Fratelli Alessandria Priora Barbera d’Alba – Italy
  • B. Burlotto Aves Barbera d’Alba – Italy
  • Giacomo Conterno Cerretta Barbera d’Alba – Italy
  • La Spinetta Vigneto Gallina Barbera d’Alba – Italy
  • Domini Villae Lanata Lo Zoccolaio Sucule Barbera d’Alba – Italy

Pinot Noir 

No secret or surprise here. A good Pinot Noir is a go-to fall wine for many households, and its enduring popularity comes with good reason.

Pinot Noir is considered on the lighter side of red wines, and this makes it very food-pairing friendly. It is an extremely versatile table wine that complements the wide varieties of seasonal produce, mixed flavor profiles, and spice-forward dishes that come to your table in the fall months.

The most sought after Pinot Noirs come from the Burgundy area of France, but Oregon, California, and several countries in South America have also been producing very high end Pinot in recent years.

Pinot Noirs to try:

  • Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir – USA
  • Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir – New Zealand
  • Zorzal Eggo Filoso Pinot – Argentina
  • Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir – Chile
  • Ata Rangi Pinot Noir – New Zealand

White Wine Honorable Mention: Semillon

If you’re looking for a white wine instead of a red, consider Semillon for your fall table. Semillon is known for its thick finish, zesty profiles, and being rather bold as whites go. It stands up well to intense fall flavors.

Some solid Semillons:

  • Matias Riccitelli ‘Old Vines from Patagonia’ Semillon – Argentina
  • Château Coutet, Sauternes – France
  • Tyrrell’s Wines Vat 1 Semillon – Australia

When you’re stocking up this fall, remember that Payless Liquor is your one stop shop for all your seasonal red wines. Stop by or place an order today!