What are the Best Fall Wines and Food Pairings?

Lianne and I chat about terrific wines for fall with tasty food pairings. What makes for a great fall wine?

– full-bodied enough to pair well with more robust dishes, such as roast beef and pork tenderloin

– extra texture, mouth-feel and weight for richer sauces

– even white wines, such as the buttery chardonnay, below work well with autumnal dishes

– what’s the Riesling doing here? think creamy pasta sauces or roast turkey

It may not feel like fall is here today, but it’s around the corner and time to think about changing our wine wardrobe.

What’s your favourite fall wine?




Lianne:  We got a wonderful wine display here right now, who better to attend to be on the fall wine list than wine expert Natalie Maclean. Great to have you here on the show.

Natalie: Great to be here Lianne.

Lianne:  And I was just talking to you, you have this excitement…

Natalie: I do!

Lianne:  …about the fall harvest and the wines that come with it.

Natalie: Exactly, it is like the fall runway for wine. So, you know to me wine is a taste of harvest. It’s when the grapes come in, it’s when the new wines are made, it’s when the new wines are grown on shelf. But is also when we get to change our wine wardrobe. So just as you might, you know get rid of the summer clothes maybe not exactly today.

Lianne:  Not today.

Natalie: But soon, and you get in to these nice sweaters and leathers and so on, your wine wardrobe can change as well. So if we look at the wines I brought today, the common thing is they are more full bodied, they go with heavier dishes like the autumnal dishes like the pork loin,  and the roast beef, and the roast chicken. And so they got a bit more weight, a bit more alcohol which never hurts, a bit more texture and taste.

Lianne:  We got a great example. So we’re going to start, should we start with the lightest?

Natalie: We are.

Lianne:  Or are we going with the white and the Riesling?

Natalie: We are.

Lianne:   O.K.

Natalie: This is our warm up wine here but it is no wimpy wine. It’s a Riesling from Niagara, one of my favorite producers – Featherstone Blacksheep Riesling. And the reason I chose this one Lianne is that we got roast turkey coming up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Holidays. But also if you think about pasta and rich cream sauce, this cuts like a silver knife through those sort of rich dishes. If you want to give it a try and I think what you’ll get there is…

Lianne:  For me these are the wines that I love, so it’s fantastic!

Natalie: It is.  It works in the summer it is very versatile, it is like a multi season wine.

Lianne:  And how are we looking at a price point on this?

Natalie: This is only about $17 to $18 so it’s very reasonable and I’m always looking for that price-quality ratio it tastes twice as expensive as its cost.

Lianne:  Really fab.

Natalie: Good.

Lianne:  Okay, so we’re moving on to a little heavier, moving on to a Chardonnay.

Natalie: Yes, now we are going to a classic California Chardonnay that comes in at only $15 from Sterling in Napa Valley which is a deal I’d say. With Chardonnay, you know there’s been a bit of backlash against poor little Chardonnay but it’s a big bodied, oaky…not oaky but rich buttery…

Lianne:  There’s a lot more to it.

Natalie: There’s a lot more happening. And you know, it’s got a nice butterscotch-green apple flavor. I can imagine this with pork tenderloin and a cider reduction or salsa or peaches on the side.

Lianne:  There’s a lot to it and I think sometimes people don’t realize how full the whites can be, just as much as red. That’s nice.

Natalie: They could be! White isn’t always necessarily lighter. This has got a lot going on.

Lianne:  Okay, so I’m very interested since you’ve mentioned coffee associated with this wine this morning.

Natalie: I know. Well, I thought we should always have a breakfast wine right? So this one is from South Africa, it’s called the Grinder, and that refers to the coffee beans. There’s no coffee in it technically but I think if you give it a smell and a taste you are going to find some espresso aromas in your glass and it comes from the Pinotage grape which is a native to South Africa. It’s actually a cross that…

Lianne:  There! Right at the end.

Natalie: Yes. And if you try it too, it’s wonderful with cornflakes or special… no! This wine you’re looking at coffee rubbed steak or chicken. It’s got a warm, toasty by the fire.

Lianne:  So you’re saying it’s like a dessert? Like… No?

Natalie: No, it’s actually technically a dry wine. So what you’re tasting there or what you’re smelling are the aromas and flavors but it’s still a dry full bodied red wine. It’s very good, only $13.00 I should add, it’s incredible, the price.

Lianne:  Interesting. Okay, so the next one?

Natalie: Now we’re moving on to Italy because fall to me means lots of pasta dishes, pizza, lasagna, rich creamy tomato sauces. Ruffino, makes a line of wines but this one I really like. It’s kind of at a sweet price point of $24.00 and it’s got that natural acidity. Don’t be afraid of acidity, acidity is like the salt of wine, it brings forward flavor in the food. And so if you try this one, your mouth might water just a bit more than the other ones. And what you’re probably going to get is more…

Lianne:  I can’t believe how different they are, the smells are completely different. Okay I’m going to try this in a second but you stop because I want you, in like 15 seconds, right down to Wolf Blass.

Natalie: Wolf Blass, fantastic wine, again a range of wines. The Grey Label is in the regular list of LCBO, $35.00, so it is more pricey but for the value, the taste to me can compete with the $60.00 to $70.00 range. What we’ve got here is a classic big Australian Shiraz. Bring on your prime rib, your roast beef. Give this wine what it needs.

Lianne:  And people are so used to seeing a lot of the different labels coming from Wolf Blass.

Natalie: Yes, exactly!

Lianne:  This is another one that you want to try, especially too if you want to try a little bit more of that one level up.

Natalie: One level up!

Lianne:  And you’re in nataliemaclean.com, the best way to get information and you’ve got a lot of breakdowns since we’re heading into fall.



Featherstone Winery Black Sheep Riesling

V.Q.A., Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, V.Q.A. Canada

Product: 80234

Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay

Central Coast, United States

Product: 669242

The Grinder Pinotage

Swartland W.O., South Africa

Product: 269076

Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico

Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy

Product: 45195

Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz

Mclaren Vale, Australia

Product: 390872






Posted with permission of CTV.







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