The 2017 harvest and fermentation process is just about underway for many wineries in northeast Ohio. While it has been a weird start to the season, cool days, colder nights, we’re looking at producing a great vintage this year. Since the weather has been so cool in the past two weeks, I have noticed one of the neatest shifts in wine drinkers – more and more people are drinking reds.
I would love to pat myself on the back and say this is simply because I am pushing how good red wine is at the winery, but as much as I wish I could the credit, Mother Nature has much more to do with this shift than I do. Mother Nature? How does she play into what you drink? The simple answer – she changes the weather.

Right around the middle of September many wine drinkers who are accustomed to drinking chilled whites, blush and rosé wines in order to cool off from the summer heat, now start to find that a chilled wine isn’t what they want on a cool day. So as the leaves begin to change and Mother Nature brings us these cool fall temperatures, many wine drinkers start to change. The preference of wine is switching to a heartier, bolder red wine – a great choice that perfect to sip in front of the fireplace.

But have no fear white or blush wine drinkers, many wineries are starting to market to your tastes and offer some excellent wines to pair with the fall nights. If you are up for some adventures – look around for an oaked Chardonnay or a dry Riesling. My favorite white wine for fall though is a spiced white wine that I can make from almost any of my favorite white wines:
1/2c water
1/2c sugar
2 Tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup honey
2 lemons
2 bottles white wine
Simmer (but not boil) the water, sugar, rosemary, and honey for 10 minutes. Add in the wine. Peel the lemons and add in the peels. Let sit for a length of time to seep in the flavors, without boiling.

If you are like me and switch wines with the seasons, we will rejoin our sweeter white and blush drinkers around mid-May when the summer temperatures start to take over again.

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more information on the winery, please visit