October 8, 2022

Foods to Match your Fall Wines

It's no secret that as the weather shifts into the fall, our palates begin to change. The light, crisp refreshing wine and cocktail cravings we felt a short time ago are now pointing us in the direction of hearty, warm and cozy flavors. Fall spices like cinnamon, clove, rosemary, sage, saffron, and of course, the ever popular pumpkin spice are top of mind. Local chefs and restaurateurs are shifting their menus, sommeliers are adding more red wines, and we are all collectively trying to decide when the patio furniture needs to go into storage. 

As your local wine shop, we are always thinking about the wines that will go with the new season of foods coming our way. In our constant quest for balance, we believe cozier, warmer fall flavors does not mean overripe, heavy, high alcohol wines. We look for nuance and harmony in every selection we bring into 2A Wine Merchants. We are also not looking to get too exotic with our pairing suggestions. Our every day wine world lives in practical foods we can easily produce at home. You don't have to create a tasting menu or be an amateur chef to enjoy the right wines with the right foods, just keep it simple. So now, what are you in the mood to drink this fall? Check out a few of our ideas below.

Chianti Classico & Pasta

Chianti Classico could easily be one of the best bangs for your buck on the planet right now when it comes to red wines for the fall. Not long ago, the region was known for cheap wines sold in a wicker basket at your local red-checkered table cloth spaghetti and meatballs restaurant. Well, those times are over. The region has stormed back and the consistent quality at today's price points can be thrilling at times. This is the home of the Sangiovese grape in all its forms. It's the perfect fall red as fresh red and black cherry fruits often lead to savory herbs, earthy tones, chalky tannins, and mouthwatering acidity that pairs well with hearty pastas from lasagna to wild mushroom ragus.

Gamay Noir & Salmon

Gamay Noir has become a fall staple for many of us, and is even often associated with the fall holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States. The wines are typically floral and fruity on the nose with dark red and black fruits and wonderful food-worthy acidity on the palate. Beaujolais is indeed the best known region for great Gamay, but there are many other examples from various parts of the world. This is your party wine and your crowd-pleaser this time of year. Even the prestigious single cru wines from Beaujolais are still phenomenal values. Grab a salmon filet on your way home from work this fall afternoon. Pan seared or grilled, the fresh fruity quality of the wine is a great match, and the bright acidity cuts right through the richness of the fish. 

Syrah and Pork Tenderloin

We try not to get too opinionated, but oh how we love Syrah at the shop. We'll even encourage you to put a nice chill on it during the warm summer months. No matter when you drink it, fall is definitely the sweet spot for great Syrah drinking. Enticingly floral with savory herbs, fresh dark fruit, olive tones, plenty of fresh acidity and structured tannin make these wines infinitely interesting to explore. Dry rub that pork tenderloin with fall spices, roast or braise and grab this benchmark bottle from the legendary Alain Graillot. 

Chardonnay & Roast Chicken

Fall is not all about red wine. There are plenty of whites to embrace. Yes it may be the most popular grape in the world, but as much as we are always looking for the up-and-coming next best thing, you cannot argue a better match than a great roast chicken with a crisp, lean Chardonnay. We are not talking about heavily-oaked wine. We look for fresh fruits like citrus and peach that give way to well-balanced texture on the palate with vibrant, fresh acidity. Just make sure you get that chicken skin nice and crispy!

Cabernet Franc & Chili

Feeling in the mood for a rich, darker red this fall? We are thinking about new world Cabernet Franc these days. Fresh off the September tasting room flight, this Cab Franc from Argentina was a show stopper last month. It is safe to say, pairing wine with chili can be tricky. In most cases the biggest issue is spice level. Tannins do not like spice. The spicier the chili, the more you want to look for a fruit-driven wine with lower tannin. New world Cabernet Franc can be a great solution if you are looking for a higher richness or ripeness level, and the tannins are typically softer than they would be if it was Cabernet Sauvignon. The pepper notes in the wine can also be a great match to the chili flavor while the acid in Cab Franc is there to cut right through the dish. 

Whatever you are craving this fall, we have the wines to match. Our fall pairing suggestions are exactly that, suggestions, and only a few of our favorites. Remember that we are always here to assist, so stop by the shop and let us help you find the right bottle for your next wine experience.

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