October 21, 2014
Fall Wine Pairings
Last summer we published a Summer wine series, where we featured several varietals and styles that are more popular in the summer months. Now that fall is in full swing, lemon, thyme and peaches are out, and squash, rosemary and oranges are in. That means that along with heavier dishes with stronger flavors, it’s time to start enjoying heavier wines with stronger flavors. While many recommend light, dry wines for the summer, like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, many experts suggest wines with fuller bodies and flavors, like an oaky Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Viognier.
Wine is easily paired with many of the seasonal foods that you find in the fall – apples, squash, heavier dishes, and of course, pumpkin flavored everything. There are several extensive guides to fall food pairings that you can find online here, here, or here, but below is a quick overview:
- Apples and Riesling: the semi-sweet wine pairs well with crisp apples in the fall.
- Cranberries and Zinfandel: the fruity and juicy Zin balances out the tart flavor of cranberries.
- Pumpkin and Pinot Gris: The acidity of the Pinot Gris will even out with the earthy texture and flavor or pumpkin.
Fall also brings football, meaning that it’s tailgate season. And while we have nothing against enjoying a beer with your wings, we published a handy guide to pairing wine with your favorite kind of chicken wings for your next tailgate.
We can't talk about fall flavors without mentioning pumpkin spice...everything. Well, it should surprise no one that you can also find pumpkin spice wine. However, if pumpkin spice flavored wine isn't your thing (which we would understand), consider this alternative: pumpkin mulled wine. It uses real pumpkin to infuse and simmer with red wine.
Of course, just because it's fall and the weather is cooler doesn't mean that these are hard and fast rules, that you can't still enjoy a glass of sangria or rosé. As far as I'm concerned, if it's good wine, then it's seasonally appropriate!