Fall Food & Wine Pairings from Traveling Vineyard
Written by Missa Capozzo, Director of Sommology on August 30, 2017
The kids are headed back to school, the air is crisp and the leaves will soon be turning vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. This is the time of year we put the cover on the grill and start retiring the light, fresh summer foods and look for comfort foods and the flavors of fall. There’s only one thing that could possibly make fall fare even more delicious, and that would be pairing it with the perfect wine! Let’s talk fall food and wine pairings!
When I think of fall flavors, the very first things that come to mind is pumpkin and apple, both desserts and entrees alike. I think my entire world changed when I discovered that these flavors become even more delicious when paired with the proper wines. Who doesn’t love to indulge in those amazing pumpkin and apple desserts? So many of them are begging to be paired with our 2016 Beeline Muscat Canelli, Monterey County, California. This semi-sweet white wine has the perfect amount of residual sugar to neither compete with nor clash with the sweetness of desserts such as apple pie, pecan pie, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin pie, apple cider donuts—and how about a warm apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?!
Pumpkin-flavored dishes don’t always need to be sweet, however, and our 2016 Pebble Viognier, California is the perfect match for these hearty, savory dishes. Pebble displays its own notes of baking spice, which will complement those very same spices in various foods. In addition, Pebble is a weightier white wine, so it has the body to stand up to heartier dishes. Pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli is a perfect example of such a dish. Another favorite is pumpkin risotto, or even a side dish of sweet potatoes and cinnamon butter. Want to enjoy your Pebble Viognier with your entree and dessert? This wine is scrumptious with gingerbread, or even pumpkin pie squares with a gingerbread crust!
Maybe pumpkin isn’t your forte and you prefer comfort foods like a hearty, spicy chili. Our 2015 Calamity Sue Riesling, Lake County, California is the perfect white wine match. With just a hint of residual sugar and high acid, it will complement the chili spices and leave you with a flavor explosion on the palate. Perhaps you prefer a red, which we all tend to crave as the cooler weather sets in. Our 2016 Convict’s Reward Pinot Noir, South Eastern Australia would be a lovely choice to sip alongside your chili. The lighter red fruits and soft tannins will provide the perfect accompaniment to the chili spice without lighting your palate on fire!
In addition to chili, Convict’s Reward is a perfect wine for pork dishes, like pork chops or pork roast. Add some apple slices and cloves to your pork and bring out the warm spice and herb notes of the wine for a fabulous combination. Want to carry this wine over into dessert? Dark chocolate-covered strawberries would really make the strawberry and raspberry notes of this wine shine brightly.
So often on those cool fall evenings, we gather around the firepit in our coziest hoodies, the smoke filling the air with that comforting aroma of burnt wood. Nights like that make me want to slice up the smoked Gouda and pour a glass of our 2015 Marula Pinotage, Western Cape, South Africa. Marula has a rustic quality with notes of smoke, and makes such a beautiful pairing with smoked meats, cheeses and even bacon.
Cool weather always has me reaching for a hefty red wine that warms me to the core. Our 2016 State Room Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, Western Cape, South Africa provides us with a beautiful sipping wine as well as a fantastic food pairing wine. It’s a customer favorite! The palate bursts with juicy cassis and black fruits, as well as some earthy notes. With its medium to full body, State Room stands up perfectly to homemade mac and cheese or even a savory beef stew—the ultimate comfort foods. The luscious, juicy fruit flavors of State Room would make it an ideal complement to a deep-dish blueberry pie or chocolate torte on your dessert table.
I’ve added all my favorite fall foods to our Fall Food & Wine Pairings board on Pinterest, so stop by for some great ideas. Whether you prefer whites or reds, dry wines or off-dry wines, the perfect fall food and wine pairings are plentiful and sure to please any palate. So, bring on the colors and flavors of fall, and don’t forget the wine.