Fall is finally here, and to help you get the most out of the season, I've crafted a pairing guide for some of our favorite wines to pour as the temperatures cool down. Read on to find out which varieties to put on your table whether you're entertaining a crowd or cozying up by the fireplace.
All photos by Kirsten Kaiser
With the arrival of fall, we see the ubiquitous arrival of root vegetables, soups, and roasted meats. And while the colder weather ushers in red wine season, many people still prefer white in their glass. Enter Roussanne, an oft-forgotten white grape originally from the Southern Rhone, which grows beautifully in Texas, and whose fuller body and rich texture make it a great fit as a Fall and Winter white. Pour a glass with mashed potatoes, roasted turnips, or yams. Better yet, serve it on the table with your honey-baked ham or roasted turkey, and feel the wine sing on your palate. This is a white wine meant for the holiday table!
A variety that brings spice notes, earthiness, and deeper fruit aromas makes Mourvèdre a great cold weather red. While it doesn’t always carry the fuller body that a cab or merlot might, what it lacks in body it more than makes up for in complexity. Pair these wines with braised or grilled meats like short ribs and steak, or if you like gamier meats, braised lamb and grilled quail bring out the underlying red fruit tones in the wine.
Red Blend / Merlot-Dominant Blend / Right Bank Bordeaux Blend
When the fireplace starts up again, so does full-bodied red wine enjoyment. Usually a little much during the peak temperatures of summer, the richness (and higher alcohol content) of these wines provide the pleasure and warmth we all crave during the colder months. Red blends, and specifically ones with a significant amount of Merlot (like those from the Right Bank of Bordeaux), provide the body, spicy oak character, and rich fruit profile that make them a holiday roast’s best friend. These wines pair nicely with rich meat dishes and sauces that might overpower lighter style wines. They also pair perfectly with cozy blankets and fireplaces.
Rose / Sparkling Rose
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, most folks have forgotten about the hot summer days, swimming at the pool, and drinking rosé by the gallon. But, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you leave rose off of the Thanksgiving table! It’s one of the most versatile styles of wine and belongs on a table with the largest assortment of foods you’ll see all year. And let’s not forget, holidays are filled with two things that go great with sparkling wine: food and celebration. So if you can score a sparkling rosé for the holiday table, you’ll be guaranteed crowd favorite!