It’s almost time to light up those fireplaces once again. The Autumn season is here. Do you know what that means? Cool, crisp weather, glasses of wine around a warm, toasty fire, and, of course, endless comfort food. Whilst vino is not the first thing that comes to mind when pairing with comfort food (Unless you’re me) it isn’t actually as ‘out there’ as one might think. Many of our fall food favorites can make the perfect partner for some of the most popular wine types.
Chicken Pot Pie with Sauvignon Blanc:
Let’s start with the Grandmother of all comfort foods, the chicken pot pie. Golden, flaky crust, filled to the brim with homestyle chicken and veggies smothered in a delectably creamy sauce, it is basically irresistible. And, you might think chicken pot pie can’t be topped 😉 but, alas, you’d be wrong. Pairing this classic dish with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc will take your fall meal to an entirely different level.
Slow-Cooked Chili with Red Zinfandel:
Okay, so I can’t be the only one that just loves the smell of chili wafting through the house on a cool autumn day, right? It is also really easy to make and super hard to mess up. Plus – totally customizable and I’m not just referring to different add-ins, it shockingly pairs quite nice with an aromatic red zinfandel. The peppery, spicy notes help to bring out the complexity of the chili.
Gnocchi with Chardonnay:
The heartiness of this particular dish needs a partner that can hold their own and not be overtaken by the flavors of the food. That’s where chardonnay comes in. Not overpowering with enough of a flavor profile to shine through. There are other pairing options, of course; however, nothing goes better with butter-based sauces than good ol’ chardonnay.
Roasted Turkey with Pinot Noir:
Who says that you have to wait until Thanksgiving to have savory and succulent roasted turkey, I certainly never do. And, although you may be tempted to have this lovely meal with a more traditional beverage, Pinot Noir will knock an already amazing dinner out of the proverbial park. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauvignon:
This was a favorite around my house growing up – mom made the best tenderloin. This specific cut of meat, if cooked properly, is an absolute star all on its own. So, instead of trying to jazz up the actual dish as it isn’t needed, try serving it with the complex and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Full-bodied with medium acidity, when Cabernet Sauvignon meets beef tenderloin they make a truly beautiful duet.
Stew with Syrah:
Different stews are basically a staple when it comes to fall food menus. Most stews are rich, hearty, and flavorful, which means that they need a wine pairing that blends well with the flavors of the stew. Syrah brings high acidity along with smokey, spicy aromas with hints of fruit. It doesn’t compete – it compliments.
Pumpkin Pie with Viognier:
I mean – pumpkins are pretty much the mascot of the fall season and what is better than pumpkin pie? I’ll tell you – pumpkin pie with a side of Viognier. The flavors of Viognier are perfectly compatible with the delicious taste of pumpkin pie. While you’ll find notes of fruit such as tangerine and mango, it’s the creamy vanilla mixed with spices like nutmeg and cloves that really make this pairing ideal.
Roasted Venison with Petit Verdot:
With the smooth earthy flavor of venison, Petit Verdot pairs very well. This dry, full-bodied red wine has both herbal and floral aromas, in addition to its fruity notes of blackberry, blueberry, plum, and black cherry. It’s a great addition to this fall food favorite.
What makes wine, as a whole, stand out from other alcoholic beverages is the complexity that comes along with it. It tends to play around with the flavors of the food it is paired with, drawing out the various tastes and fragrances of the ingredients. Although some might disagree, there’s really no wrong way to do it, everyone’s preferences differ. Have fun with it – responsibly, of course.