National Cherries Jubilee Day is held every September 24th in recognition of the famous dessert prepared initially for Queen Victoria. This year, we’re celebrating by sharing a selection of wines that showcase cherry aromas and flavors. If you love cherries, be sure to give each of them a try!
When enjoying Red Burgundy, a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, or one from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a common theme among the taste profiles of all these wines is cherries. Whether you prefer the lighter, tart styles from cooler climates or the ripe, lush fruit of regions with a bit more warmth, this grape offers something for everyone.
Best produced in France’s Beaujolais region, the Gamay grape will often display notes of cherry, especially in bottlings from some of the region’s ten cru villages. Look for wines from Fleurie or Moulin-à-Vent that reveal an Old World charm, unique sense of place, and plenty of red fruit character.
Northwest Italian wines made from Nebbiolo are deceptively light in color yet brimming with fresh cherry flavor. Barolo and Barbaresco are the most prized examples from Piedmont, known for their firm, age-worthy structure. Still, don’t forget some of the region’s more under-the-radar appellations like Gattinara, Lessona, or Langhe.
Barbera is another Piedmontese grape that reaches its highest expressions in the towns of Asti and Alba. The bright cherry aromas and flavors found in these bottles, along with softer tannin and fresh acidity, make for a youthful, food-friendly style of red wine that’s easy to love.
Considered in many circles to be the most noble of Italian grapes, Sangiovese has sealed the reputation of Tuscan viticulture through wines including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Brunello di Montalcino. For Brunello in particular, sour cherry notes often appear in younger bottlings, while those with age tend to exhibit more candied cherry qualities.
Amarone della Valpolicella
One of Italy’s most potent and velvety red wine blends, Amarone della Valpolicella, is produced from partially dried grapes, most typically Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. This Veronese delight frequently boasts dried cherry or cherry cordial flavors coupled with mouthwatering acidity and a long, rich finish.
Tempranillo receives the honor of Spain’s top red grape, playing an essential role in the wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. These regions’ warm, dry climate often contributes features of ripe or baked cherry that meld beautifully with the oak barrel influence found in many bottles.
In northwest Spain near the Atlantic coast, Mencía grapes flourish and inform the wines of Bierzo. Vibrant, fruit-driven styles may deliver tart or sour cherry notes along with fresh acidity and tannins, allowing for myriad pairing possibilities.