If your wine tastes change when the seasons do, you are not alone. Shifting into spring, I opt for lighter and more fruit forward wines. Whereas in the colder weather I tend to favour the oaky and smoky flavours. This year I decided to go a bit out of my comfort zone and look for some reds from France and specifically Côtes du Rhône. I got to investigating this region a bit more and came up with two magical winners to share with you.
XAVIER VIGNON 100%
The first Côtes du Rhône I opened for this article was Xavier Vignon 100% (2015) and it was delicious. It was exactly what I was hoping for, light tasting and smooth, with approachable tannins. I tasted and smelled cherries right off the top and it was really fresh. There was a hint of smokiness to me, but very soft and not in any way overwhelming. This wine was perfect for a Friday night catch up with my husband. We both felt like we could sip and enjoy it on its own and it held up to both of our expectations.
DOMAINE AUTRAND CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
The second bottle was Domaine Autrand Côtes du Rhône Villages (2016). In this region, the wines must be no less than 50% Grenache, which I love. Grenache for me is a total warmer weather varietal and I actually enjoy it after it has been in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Being slightly chilled lends itself to drinking in warm temperatures, but I also feel like it helps the fruit come out and settle down the higher acidity. I am by no means an oenologist, just a girl with some preferences. This wine had lots of red fruit notes, like cherries and raspberries. There was a slight spice and I found the finish much drier than the Xavier, something I liked.
A lot of wine drinkers will switch from red to white or rosé as the temperatures get hotter, but if you love red there are always options. For those looking for a light and fresh red to bring to Easter dinner, to the cottage for May Long or to that summer BBQ, I encourage you to check out the Rhône section at any of your liquor stores and enjoy!