Column: Time for sweater weather wine

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Commentary by Elizabeth Morse

Pulling out sweaters and jeans this week has reminded me that with the change in weather, new, bolder wine selections are in order. With cool temps, we often want something that’s going to “warm us up.” In wine speak, that translates into heavier-bodied, full-flavored reds. There’s a great little wine shop at the northeast corner of 116th and Olio Road in Fishers called Tasteful Times. You can find each of the wines I’ll mention there. It also has a fun selection of artisanal, local fare, which I love. Tell ‘em I sent you.

One of my very favorite varietals is inky, toffee-full Petit Sirah. For me, fall is permission to indulge! McManis ($12) makes this scrumptious, value-driven bottle. Dark black fruit is nearly overpowered with caramel and cocoa. Think about a dried blueberry covered in dark chocolate milk duds. The flavors are big, the finish is long and the price is low. If you’ve never given Petit Sirah a try, this is a great jumping-off point (#getinmybelly).

2017 Fidelity Red Wine Crazy Creek, Alexander Valley, will set you back a little more than $15. A Bordeaux-style blend (merlot, petit verdot and cabernet sauvignon) is a great value from California. The merlot contributes flavors of ripe blueberries and cordial cherries. The cabernet adds structure and a nice long finish while the petit verdot brings color, tannin and a pretty whiff of violets to the table. New French Oak adds warm vanilla to this bright little number (#yummy).

Vindicated Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County ($18) stands out as a deal. If you’ve traveled to this area, you’ll know what I mean when I say that this wine “smells” like Sonoma.  Bright and brambly right off the bat (think ripe with blackberries and raspberries) with a little cocoa and lots of warm wood in the background. And the tiniest hint of eucalyptus. Medium tannins and strong structure with 14.4 percent ABV will warm you right up. This wine tastes way more expensive than it is (#winning).

As always, let me know what you think and happy fall, y’all.

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