This is a wonderful time of year. Autumn. I love the colors and the weather. Living in New England is a fabulous experience during the Autumnal months. Figuring out what wine to drink is not as wonderful. One day the weather is 70 or higher, the next day the temps are in the 30’s. Sunday dinner is Barbeque Ribs, Tuesday we’re eating Chicken Stew. How do you know what to drink with this up-down thing?
With the onset of the cooler temperatures, I’m tempted to put away most of my whites and dry Rosés. This seems reasonable and logical but it is perhaps not the best course of action. If you’re in a colder climate, you can definitely put away the Vino Verde and the Albarino wines, these should be consumed when the weather is hot and they are chilled. The Sauvignon Blancs and rounded Chardonnays that you have from the Northern Hemisphere will still be something to enjoy.
You can pull those Northern Hemi Sauvs and Chardonnays out when you’re serving a white based pasta dinner such as Chicken Alfredo or Zucchini Pasta II, or anything with mild seasonings. Add a White Burgundy to your Roast Chicken dinner, it will pair beautifully. Just because the temps are getting cooler, doesn’t mean you need to put all of the white wines away.
However, if you’re like me, and turn to the comfort food when the weather starts to chill, then you’ll need to stock up on the reds. Not the Big Bad Boys (Chianti, Barolo, Super Tuscan), more along the line of the gentle, kinder reds. Reds such as Gamay (Beaujolais), Grenache, Pinot Noir and Malbec. Other than the Pinot Noir, these are reds that are not in the usual rotation of red wines, but they are fabulous for the foods we’re cooking during the Fall season. Think of these reds when you’re serving a Herb Roasted Pork with a Tangy Glaze, yum. The Pinot Noir would be the obvious choice but the Grenache would be my choice. Save the Big Bad Boys for January, when you’re cooking robust stews and Baked Ziti.
For a super Fall Foliage Dinner, serve an Autumn Pork Roast, complete with Butternut Squash and Applesauce, add some roasted new potatoes. For desert, try Iced Pumpkin Cookies. I would open a Côtes du Rhône with this dinner. Now is the time to bring out the root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, parsnips) served roasted with rosemary. you can dish up this group of veggies with any braised or slow cooked meat. Open a Cru Beaujolais, you’ll be glad you did.
Although many say October is the time for “Pumpkin Everything”, I would rather say October is the time for a “Well Balanced Wine with Anything”.
And don’t forget – November 7th is International Merlot Day – yes – November is the perfect month for drinking Merlot.