Best Wine Pairings for Fall

Fall is in the air here at our farm. It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding to a close but we aren’t complaining because fall in Chelan means that summer harvests are behind us and we can now enjoy cozy evenings curled up on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine.

Why not try pairing your wine with some fall fruits? First of all, it’s delicious. And secondly, most of these fruits are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Win-win. You get to drink wine and you get to do something kind for your body.  

With fall in mind, we’re recommending six fruit and wine pairings that are perfect for evenings at home or your next harvest party.

1. Apples and Oak Aged Chardonnay

Ahh, apple. The original fall flavor (before pumpkin spice lattes became a thing). We’re recommending an oak-aged wine here because they tend to be creamy, with hints of caramel and apple flavors. This pairing is like eating a caramel apple without all the sugar. Sounds great to us.

2. Pumpkins and Grenache

If apple is the original fall flavor, pumpkin is the quintessential fall flavor. I know you’re thinking, “But pumpkins are vegetables!” I thought so too but my research proved me otherwise. Pumpkins are part of the squash family but they are also fruits. If you really want to get into the weeds, do a quick google search. Otherwise, just trust me. Also, trust that you need to pair your next warm pumpkin soup or fresh-baked pumpkin pie with a glass of Grenache. An aged Grenache will have hints of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla from the oak barrels they’re aged in. It’s a match made in heaven. 

3. Asian Pears and Dry Riesling

These delicious (and underrated) pears ripen by early September, so this is the perfect time to pick a few up from your local grocery store along with a dry Riesling (or maybe a sweeter Riseling if you prefer). The crispness and acidity of this classic wine will complement an Asian pair beautifully.

4. Berries and Tawny Port

While berry season peaks in summer, berry pies are beyond perfect for fall—my favorite is a tart blackberry pie or blueberry pie (a la mode of course). A tawny port will be on the sweeter side to compliment the mild tartness of the berries and will pair perfectly with a fresh-baked pie. The nutty tones of a tawny port will also compliment your berries. If a pie seems like too much work, worry not. A tawny port will pair well with any berries straight off the bush.

5. Cranberries and Gamay Noir

You should definitely be cooking with cranberries long before Thanksgiving. These tart little berries are considered a superfood due to their high levels of antioxidants and nutrients. They’re also extremely versatile and will work great in both sweet and savory dishes. We recommend you pour yourself a glass of Gamay Noir to go with your creation or even try eating them plain. Gamay Noirs are some of the lightest red wines in the world, traditional and not aged at all, and typically served at harvest. Go ahead and pick up a bottle for Thanksgiving while you’re at it.

6. Pomegranates and Gewurztraminer

Do yourself a favor, go to Youtube, and watch a video about how to properly open a pomegranate. I used to think these fruits weren’t worth the work it takes to eat them until I learned to peel them correctly and now they’re one of my favorite fruits. They are not only delicious, but they are also beautiful and festive and the perfect treat for your next fall dinner party. If you want to incorporate them into a meal, try throwing them on a spinach salad and then pairing with a gewürztraminer. The light acidity and sweetness of the wine, along with some minerality, will pair well with an acidic and tart pomegranate.

 

Pairings recommended by Timothy deMartimprey, former sommelier at Tooth and Nail Winery in Paso Robles, CA.

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