Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.
Pumpkin fever began a little early this year and now it’s in full swing. If you’re the type to rev up your day with a pumpkin latte, try these wines to wind down.
1. California Chardonnay. With their toasty vanilla notes, creamy texture and flirtation with sweetness, some oaked California Chardonnays are the wine equivalent of the pumpkin latte. All they’re missing is coffee’s bitterness, but who really wants that from a latte, right? Wine to try: 2013 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve.
2. Gewürtraminer blends. Gewürztraminer is a honeyed, aromatic white that smells like pumpkin pie spices and often borders on sweet. Blending it with other grapes can help tame its overtly floral perfume. Try the 2012 Hugel Gentil.
3. California Pinot Noir. If you’re more of a red wine lover, the fruity, softly tannic, oaky styles of California Pinot Noir will be up your alley. Try the 2012 Mark West, which has vanilla and spice notes—perfect for people with a pumpkin latte affliction, er affection.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.