If you're anything like me you were eagerly awaiting October 1st to hit, which officially signals the beginning of fall! This also means it’s finally socially acceptable to order pumpkin spiced lattes, wear sweaters and booties and most importantly indulge in your favorite fall wines and bites! Fall is one of my busiest seasons for in-home wine tastings so I am always on the hunt for new wine pairings to share with my clients. I am excited to share a few staple pairings I enjoy that are best introduced at the start of fall. The full recipes of each pairing can be found on my website. Cin Cin!
One truly easy staple wine pairing that most everyone will recognize is an epic cheese and charcuterie spread. I love these boards because it takes no cooking talent whatsoever and looks like a work of art once completed! They’re perfect to make for both yourself or any parties you may be attending! Another bonus to the classic cheese and charcuterie spread is that it can match up to multiple wine pairings which makes life easy when guests may have different preferences on wines. The wine I am choosing to pair alongside my cheese board this fall is Ferrari's Brut. The sweetness of the cheeses on the board along with the saltiness of the meat is a perfect balance to the freshness of Ferrari Brut. This Italian Sparkling is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown in the mountains of Trentino which I was recently fortunate to visit. Harmonious and well-balanced this bubbly will be perfect to sip on while indulging in any bite someone takes off your spread. Tip: serve this as an aperitif to your guests to cleanse and open up their palate before the main course.
Wine and pasta, the lovebirds of food and wine pairings. Most of the time we immediately think white wine with cream-based pasta and red wine with red sauce based pasta. However, wine is truly so subjective that the choice of which wine pairing best matches your tastes is completely up to your own unique palette. I like to consider all of the different parts of a pasta ranging from the weight of the noodles to the meat that is incorporated and even to the herbs and seasonings sprinkled on top. I am pairing my air fried ravioli accompanied by butter and thyme with a rich full-bodied The Calling Chardonnay. I know I know, buttery chardonnay and buttery pasta. It sounds like it may be too much but I am telling you the buttery quality of this chardonnay will complement the rich texture of the cheese ravioli quite well. It is that time of the year to indulge a bit!
Now I am going to throw a curveball at you. Some may think this is a sommelier’s worst nightmare of wine pairings and others may say it can, in fact, be the most versatile. Do you know what I am talking about yet? Mushrooms, the little fungi of the forest. Earthy, meaty mushrooms can go well with earthy, meaty wines so I could recommend a Washington Pinot Noir with my mushroom pasta. However, since I threw in goat cheese I am going to pair this dish alongside Mezzacorona’s Pinot Grigio. This elegant Italian and acidic fruit-filled wine not only matches up against the meaty mushrooms but compliments the goat cheese with its citrus aromatics and versatility.
]For this last pairing I am still sticking with pasta but I am switching it up with a red sauce based dish. My bolognese bites with marinara and basil will match with an array of your favorite fall aromatic red wines or crisp dry whites, but I am going to share with you a favorite of mine at the moment. Always remember that there is a lot of acidity in tomatoes so think of pairing this dish with a slightly tangy wine. I am pairing these delicious bites with one of my favorite tempranillo’s at the moment by an Arizona winery Chateau Tumbleweed. Tempranillo is a wildly diverse food-friendly wine which makes it easy to complement most dishes with its cherry, plum, tomato and dried fig palette. Although most tempranillo is tannic and earthy, they typically have a soft finish which makes it the ideal to match with a red sauce based pasta dishes like these bolognese bites.
Photography by Kaitlin Meyers, Diana Avalos, Angie Cox, and Johnathan Puente Food, Recipes, and Styling by Samantha Capaldi