Along with the cooler weather of Fall, there are certain foods that are synonymous with the season. So, to help you navigate some of these seasonal standards, we’ve compiled a list of a few Fall edibles and the types of wines that pair best with them.
Pumpkin – It doesn’t feel like Fall without pumpkins and pumpkin spiced treats. For sweet and rich dishes pair with a Viognier (a white wine grape variety) and for salty or savory snacks try a barrel-aged Port (dark red fortified wine).
Apples – They are available all year around but apples are at their best in late summer and early Fall. Arrange raw apple slices on a cheese plate and serve it with a fruity Gewürztraminer (aromatic wine grape variety used in whites). For candied apples and apple pie, try out a sweet Vouvray (a white wine made with Chenin Blanc grapes).
Pears – These are another popular fall fruit and they can be enjoyed raw or made into a tasty dessert. For a dish such as roasted pears with apricots and pistachios, a glass of Sauternes (a French dessert wine with hints of honey, ginger, and lemon) would go perfectly.
Venison or Wild Game – Fall is a big hunting season and because these meats tend to have strong, rich flavor, a big red with lots of tannin will smooth out when paired with the richness of the meat. Suggestions are Red Bordeaux (made from a blend of grapes), Barbaresco (an Italian wine made with the Nebbiolo grape), or Barolo (another red Italian wine made from the Nebbiolo grape).
Mushrooms – These too are available year-round but wild mushrooms generally appear in Fall. When grilled and layered on top of garlic toast, they pair wonderfully with a Chablis (a dry white burgundy wine) or Champagne (a white sparkling wine). If you prefer reds, pair a Rioja (made from a blend of grape varieties, Tempranillo being the dominant grape) with a mushroom soup or mushroom risotto.
Sweet Potatoes – Being a versatile vegetable, sweet potatoes can be mashed or made into fries and pies. If baked into a dish like shepherd’s pie, pair it with a Zinfandel (full-bodied wine made from a variety of black-skinned wine grape). For mashed sweet potatoes, a lighter red blend or Pinot Noir (a red wine grape variety). If baked into fries, go for a White Burgundy (a more acidic white wine).
Of course, it really comes down to preference but don’t be afraid to try something new. Who knows? You might just find a favorite. Happy Pairing!