Fall Wine and Food Pairing: A Guide to Pairing Fall Cuisine

Fall Wine and Food Pairing: A Guide to Pairing Fall Cuisine

America’s favorite season is right around the corner—color-changing leaves, cooler weather, and loads of heavenly produce are just a few of the things we have to look forward to. When fall comes around, you’re no longer limited to bright summer foods. This is an opportunity to delve into the unique differences of autumn produce.

With all this new seasonal produce, you’ll need to update your wine pairings. Luckily for red wine lovers, you’re no longer limited to the strong notes of pinot noir. Now that summer is on its way out, you can start opening your bottles of fuller red wines. The vast flavor spectrum encourages food lovers to play with the tantalizing shifts of spice and herbs found in these new fall wine options. However, if you love summer wines’ lightness, you don’t have to say goodbye quite yet. Autumn produce pairings combine bright summer wines with the heartiness of winter wines, making all wine lovers happy. Continue reading for more important tips and tricks to fall wine and food pairings—autumn has never tasted so good!

General Fall Wine Pairing Tips

Wine First

To make the most out of your fall wine and food pairing, you’ll want to start with the wine. Choosing your wine first and matching your meal to the bottle is an easy way to begin your wine pairing journey. Especially when it comes to fall flavors, it is easier to grab your bottle and then match the flavor profile of your food to your chosen wine.

Match Food Color

Generally speaking, wine pairing can sometimes be as simple as pairing colors. This means matching lighter colored foods with light-colored wines and darker-hued foods with darker wines. For example, cauliflower and cabbage work best with white wines. You can delve even deeper and go for the lighter-bodied white wines as well. This is an interesting tip to play around with.

Think About Cooking Temperature

When fall comes around, new cooking methods make an appearance, which means more opportunity for a wide wine spectrum. When thinking about fall food and wine pairing, consider the cooking temperature and how that correlates with the weight of the wines. When you turn up the heat to roast or grill something, heavier wine will pair better with a light wine. The lower the temperature, the less likely the food can stand up to the creamy flavors of a chardonnay, for example.

Fall Rosé Pairings

1.      Grenache Rosé

Rosé wine isn’t just for the summer. In fact, there are so many different rosé varieties that it should be in your refrigerator all year long. Grenache rosé is one variation that transfers well from summer to fall. It’s one of the fruitiest, but also contains the perfect levels of tannins and acidity to match fall cuisine.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Perfect for fall barbeques
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Hearty cassoulet dishes

Wine recommendation: Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 2021 Mas de la Baronne (available here)

2.      Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Cabernet sauvignon rosé boasts a deep ruby red color and has notes similar to red wine; however, this wine has a heightened acidity that pairs wonderfully with fall dishes. These big and bold wines are ideal for drinking with spicy food. So when you have this wine on hand, don’t be afraid to turn up the heat.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Ripe peaches and cream
  • Spicy curries
  • Mushroom quiche

Wine recommendation: 91 Pt. Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé 2021 Feu Follet (available here)

Fall White Wine Pairings

3.      Viognier

Chances are, you’re probably a bit surprised to not see chardonnay on this list. That’s only because we love the unique nature of viognier a bit more. Although a different style of a full white wine, it’s similar to chardonnay and has a beautiful honeysuckle quality. Viognier can be sweet and rich or lighter and more acidic.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Carrot dishes
  • Butternut squash risotto or soups

Wine recommendation: Les Vins de Vienne Viognier IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2019 (available here)

4.      Bordeaux Blanc

There are plenty of white wines that make a terrific transition from summer to fall, and Bordeaux blanc is one of them. This wine has two incredible grapes mixed in—Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc (along with small amounts of Muscadelle and others). This produces a wine that’s denser yet still acidic enough to make it fall food-friendly.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Basil pesto pasta
  • Garlicky seafood dishes
  • Veal chop and potatoes with a cream-based sauce

Wine recommendation: Château Roquefort Bordeaux Blanc 2021 (available here)

5.      Gewürztraminer

This aromatic sweet white wine is a wonderful transitional wine for the fall and is often referred to as the grown-up version of Moscato. The moment you open the bottle, you’ll get the sweet rose aroma of lychee; however, you’ll find many other flavor notes in it as well. It pairs best with other strongly aromatic foods and as well as “sweeter” fall produce items.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Candied caramel apples
  • Rotisserie chicken and roasted veggies
  • Various Thai-inspired dishes

Wine recommendation: 94 Pt. Boeckel Zotzenberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer Alsace 2018 (available here)

Fall Red Wine Pairings

6.      Pinot Noir

Transitioning to fall means there are more pairing options for pinot noir to choose from. Its bright acidity, complexity, and rich fruity character pairs nicely with just about any fall food—it’s one of the most food-friendly wines to exist.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Sweet potato shepherd’s pie (or anything with sweet potato)
  • Fig and goat cheese pizza
  • A vegetable-filled stew (include plenty of mushrooms)

Wine recommendation: 93 Pt. Anaba Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019 (available here)

7.      Zinfandel

Another wonderful choice for sweet potato lovers, deep zinfandel is a great fall wine. Some of these smooth wines have hints of smoke and dark fruits, while others are more earthy and less fruit-forward. Depending on which bottle you grab, you can either lean toward pinot noir-type or cabernet sauvignon-type pairing.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Sweet potato mash
  • Beef stew
  • Rack of lamb

Wine recommendation: Gregory James Carreras Ranch Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2017 (available here)

8.      Red Bordeaux

This is the deep, tannin-filled red you’ve been waiting for. We can’t ring in the fall season without both Bordeaux blanc and Bordeaux rouge! For meals filled with hefty meats and heavier palates (think potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms), you’ll want to go for a strong red with lots of tannins. This will pair perfectly with rich meats.

Fall Food Pairing:

  • Venison Stew
  • Filet mignon and mushrooms
  • Asian style pork chops

Wine recommendation: Château de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur Réserve 2019 (available here)

As fall rolls around, head to Wines Til Sold Out for your fall wine needs. Our online wine store offers you the best of the best, and we deliver it right to your doorstep. Fall wine and food pairing have never been so easy!

A Guide to Pairing Fall Cuisine


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