How to Drink White after Labor Day

Posted September 16, 2015

Stacy Brody


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When I leave my apartment in the morning, I feel a refreshing autumn chill in the air. Apples are on sale at the farm market. I can wear my boots again. I’ve been waiting for this since June. It’s that cozy time of year. The mornings are cool enough for hot brewed coffee, and I can cook in my kitchen without overheating. I’m going to celebrate harvest season with roasted winter squash, creamy soups, and hearty stews.

Then, the expected comes to pass. Everyone comes in looking for red wines. Red wines only. I only drink white wine in the summer. I only drink white wine before Labor Day. I only drink white wine on cruises.

Tough luck, too bad. If you come to my house, you’re going to drink white wine year-round (same goes for rose wine, actually). Now, I’m not saying you have to drink crisp Pinot Grigio into December (though I imagine that would go well with at least one course in the Feast of the Seven Fishes). I am saying you should keep an open mind.

We’ve got a few full-bodied white wines that I think you’ll just FALL for. Ha ha ha! Sorry.

The Neighbor Sauvignon Blanc

Coming from Napa Valley, this is a rich, ripe white wine. On the nose, you’ll notice the varietally characteristic grapefruit aroma. On the palate, you’ll find a lot more: tropical fruit and juicy fig notes with vanilla undertones. This wine is smooth and round, with a weightiness to it. That richness makes it a great match for anything roasted - from butternut squash to cornish game hen.

Semillon-dominated Bordeaux Blanc

Often overshadowed by the region’s well-known reds, Bordeaux Blanc is a phenomenal option for autumn. These white blends include Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. While Sauvignon Blanc has risen to stardom, Semillon is not as well-known. Semillon is what gives these blends richness, roundness, and weight. So, for that comfy-cozy fall wine, look for one with a greater percentage of Semillon. Clos Floridene Blanc 2013 fits the bill! While 2013 was a so-so vintage for reds, it was STANDOUT for whites. This wine garnered attention from Eric Asimov in the NY Times wine column and also earned great praise from Robert Parker, who gave it 90-plus points and writes that it is an “impeccably well-made, outstanding white Graves.” Plus, our Bordeaux buyer and industry veteran Jeff Davis can’t stop raving about it.  

Toasty Champagne

It doesn’t warm up till nearly noon these days, so stay home in your fuzzy pajamas. (Bonus points to those of you who still own footie pajamas.)  There’s nothing wrong with Champagne before noon so long as it is paired with brunch. Try the Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Quality Brut with some lovely scrambled eggs or a frittata. Not only does this Champagne offer toasty bread and brioche notes on the palate, it is also seasonally appropriate with lovely pear and apple aromas.

Off-Dry Riesling

Because I will always fight for this variety and will find a way to include it in most of my articles.

While there is some truth to the statement above, I included off-dry Riesling in this list for a reason, a delicious reason. Every year, when cauliflower comes into season, I make this killer curried cauliflower soup. Off-dry Riesling goes superbly with the warming spices of this creamy bowlful of goodness.

Plus, cabbage will be at the market soon. Make something good. Get in touch with your German side!


It gets dark by 8pm now. Relax. Take advantage of the longer nights. Wind down with dessert wine. With a creamy mouthfeel, and warming notes of honey and caramel, Sauternes is ideal for this time of year. (I’ll talk about Port when it gets cold. Really cold. Like, there is snow on the ground cold.) Enjoy Sauternes on its own or with cheese and sliced apples.

Eat butternut squash soup and creamy risottos and all that harvest-time goodness. Have Champagne brunch in your pajamas. Share with us how you do white after Labor Day. @WineLib_StacyB.

Stacy comes to Wine Library from the production side of the industry. After studying agriculture in college, she found herself working at a local winery and, at harvest season, snacking on as many Pinot Noir grapes as she could take before the winemaker noticed. She enjoys reading, hiking, and scoping out what's in season at the local farmers' markets.
Product Label.

Ployez Jacquemart Extra Quality Brut

92+ John Gilman - View from th...

Item: 54006

750 mL

Retail: $44.99

$29.96 per btl

Item: 87375

750 mL

Retail: $16.99

$11.99 per btl

Product Label.

Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes Half Bottle

98 Neal Martin - Robert Parke...

Item: 87796

375 mL

Retail: $69.99

$44.98 per btl

Product Label.

The Neighbor Sauvignon Blanc

9 Delectable - Delectable Wi...

Item: 88919

750 mL

Retail: $29.99

$14.99 per btl

Product Label.

Clos Floridene Blanc

90-92 Robert Parker - Robert Par...

Item: 90012

750 mL

Retail: $34.99

$24.77 per btl