Chinon: Spicy Red For Cooler Days

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Grape: Cabernet Franc
Region: Loire Valley, France
Price: under $30

The weather continues to change, sweaters are being pulled out and we’ve retired our flip-flops.

One of our fall favorites is Chinon.

Chinon is a Cabernet Franc from the historic village of the same name located right in the middle of the Loire Valley. Light but warm, it is ideal for these finicky October days. A good Chinon will have a forward berry smell, some zippy spice and be a playful expression between fruit and acidity. The balanced fruit and acid characteristics of this wine make it an ideal match for many different foods. It’s not too heavy to weigh things down and not too light to get lost. Although the wine is best with the heartier food associated with this time of year, as there is a bit of spice in the wine and it could overwhelm very light, delicate food flavors.

Chambers Street Wines carries a great selection of Chinon, including the star Chinon producer, Philippe Alliet. Alliet’s Chinons will cost you a bit more ($29 – $37) and tend to be darker than a traditional Cabernet Franc. Other Chinons start at $16. Sherry Lehmann has three different Chinions ranging from $10.95 – $35.