Typically, this is where I would spend the next 400 words waxing poetic about finding the ideal wines to match what is unquestionably Arkansas' best season: fall. And sure, the fact that this is my wine column endows me with authority to speak on such things, but, in truth, there are many people around the state just as qualified — in fact, for most of them, it's their job! So, with that in mind, I thought it best to let some of Arkansas' greatest wine minds speak for themselves and let you know what they're looking forward to drinking this season:
Susie Long | Wine Director, Petit & Keet/Cypress Social, Little Rock
Trefethen Family Vineyards' Dragon's Tooth ($60) is my go-to bottle if someone is looking for a bold red that's "not too [whatever]." As the base of the blend, malbec brings a lush fruitiness; petit verdot comes in to provide structure, and classic California cabernet sauvignon rounds out the blend. Everything this third-generation, family-owned winery touches is gold, and this bottle is extra shiny.
Josh Mills | Host, Acquired Tastings Podcast, Little Rock
As the weather begins to cool and the leaves show their brilliance, my heart begins to fill with joy, and my palate begins to shift. Fall is a season of texture, layers, and time to be outside, and I love wines that match those textures and layers. This is why I enjoy the sangiovese-based Tenute Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino Manachiara ($30). Coming from the hills of Tuscany, these wines offer a tannin texture that adds depth to the rich, earthy strawberry and cherry notes, matching the indescribable feeling of fall. It pairs well with roasted meats, stews, chili, and most cheeses. Perfect for watching the game or the leaves change.
Weisi Basore | Proprietor, Bar Cleeta, Bentonville
Autumn in Arkansas, for me, is all about patio drinking around the fire pit (and football on TV), hence my recommendation being the Kellerei Kaltern Lagrein Classico ($21). Finding a lagrein is a rarity in our parts, but finding one that drinks so opulently and opaque is special. A solid, tannic finish with blackberry and forest herbs on the palate serve this lifted beauty slightly chilled with grilled meats, charcuterie, or solo (as long as you're by the fire!).
As always, you can check out what I'm drinking via Instagram at @sethebarlow, and you can ask your wine questions via email at email@example.com.