Discover the perfect wine and food pairings to warm up your fall season. From roast chicken with Pinot Noir to dark chocolate mousse cake with Merlot, there's something for everyone to savour!
If your Instagram feed is filled with mouthwatering recipes and wines, then you're in for a treat this season. As the days grow colder and the rain keeps us indoors, there's no better time to make a gourmet recipe you've been eager to try and complement it with a fall-worthy wine, such as a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Chianti. Let's be real, with inflation on the rise and the holiday shopping season approaching, savouring a home-cooked feast with a bottle of wine is a budget-friendly and satisfying way to treat yourself. To ignite your culinary creativity and taste buds for your upcoming fall or autumn wine and food pairings, here are my top recommendations.
Roast Chicken with Kale and Rice Paired with Pinot Noir
There's something satisfying about preparing this comforting dish on a rainy day, and it pairs exceptionally well with Pinot Noir. The subtle spice notes and soft texture of Pinot Noir complement the lighter flavours and tender texture of this dish. If a homey comfort meal is what you’re craving, then this pairing will hit the spot. For a full review and recipe of this pairing, click here.
Mushroom Risotto Paired with Chardonnay
Italian cuisine holds a special place in my heart, and risotto is a simple yet incredibly satisfying choice. Arborio rice, soup stock, butter, garlic, and mushrooms are the key ingredients to create a creamy masterpiece. The creaminess of this dish pairs wonderfully with Chardonnay, specifically ones that have undergone malolactic fermentation, creating the buttery, creamy notes in the wine. You can even add a touch of Chardonnay to the risotto for a flavour-enhancing twist.
Steak Sirloin with Asparagus Paired with a Bordeaux Style Blend or Shiraz
For those who love timeless pairings, you can't go wrong with a juicy, seared steak and a bold, full-bodied red wine like a Bordeaux-style blend or Shiraz. The steak's fat softens the wine's tannins, bringing harmony to the flavours and textures on the palate. If you’re looking for a balanced wine with ripe red fruit and cedar notes, Bordeaux Style Blend is your choice. Likewise, if you’re looking for a wine with more spice and peppery notes, Shiraz is ideal.
Quinoa Yam Kale Bowl Paired with Sauvignon Blanc or White Vinho Verde
For vegetarian or vegan dishes, quinoa yam kale bowls are one of my favourites. Pairing it with a Sauvignon Blanc or Vinho Verde takes it to the next level. Sauvignon Blanc boasts herbaceous and fresh green fruit citrus notes whereas a White Vinho Verde carries citrus and floral notes. Both make a fine match that doesn't overwhelm the texture and flavours of the dish.
Pad Thai Paired with Riesling
When the craving for saucy noodles and a burst of umami flavours hits, Pad Thai is my go-to. Its savoury, sweet, and spicy elements make it a perfect pairing with Riesling. Riesling's off-dry nature complements the dish's sweetness, while its refreshing acidity balances the flavour intensity and spiciness. If you haven't tried this pairing yet, put it on your "must-try" list because it’s TASTY.
Butter Popcorn Paired with Champagne
Imagine enjoying this pairing during movie nights, wrapped in a cozy blanket. The key to this perfect combination is the buttery flavours in both the popcorn and Champagne. As mentioned in pairing #2, Champagne's malolactic fermentation process imparts buttery and creamy notes to the wine. If this sounds like your treat, it's time to start popping.
Charcuterie Board Paired with Chianti Classico
When it comes to “girl dinner”, a Charcuterie board is my top choice. It's fun to assemble and offers a variety of delicious bites, with minimal dishes to clean up. With its complex flavour profile of ripe red fruit, spice, and oak-derived notes, Chianti Classico is the ideal companion for this diverse meal. For tips on making an aesthetic charcuterie board, click here.
Salmon Fillet Paired with Pinot Noir
The key to this pairing is versatility. Salmon can be prepared in numerous ways with unique spices and ingredients to elevate the experience. Pinot Noir is of the same nature where there are many variations that winemakers can produce this wine. The possibilities for both the food and wine are endless.
Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake Paired with Merlot or Port
If indulgence and decadence are the cravings, then have dark chocolate mousse cake to satisfy it. For wine pairings, opt for a full-bodied, lush red wine like Merlot if you desire a rounded, fruity profile. Alternatively, if you're craving an intense, sweet, dried fruit wine, Port is your go-to choice.
Apple Crumble Paired with Late Harvest
With apples in season, crafting a homemade apple crumble is a joy. This sweet, soft, and wholesome dessert deserves a complimentary dessert wine. Specifically, Late Harvest, a fall favourite, creates a sweet match made in heaven. For a full review and recipe of this pairing, click here.
In summary, autumn is the perfect time to explore delightful food and wine pairings, right in the comfort of your own home. Whether you're a meat lover, vegetarian, or dessert enthusiast, there's a pairing for everyone to savour. So, embrace the season and elevate your gastronomic experience with these delicious combinations.