The long, hot summer is almost over, as we move into what is many people’s favourite season. Autumn is a season of changing colours, colder weather and plenty of delicious food to look forward to. There’s nothing quite like a rich, meaty meal for a long, dark evening. And to go with heartier, richer food, you have to choose the best wines.
And it’s definitely a season beloved by red wine fans. There is a huge flavour spectrum to enjoy across seasonal autumn produce, which opens up the wine choices even more.
Food and wine matching for autumn dishes
The best way to match food and wine is to select the wine first. By selecting a wine and then matching the food, you will always get it right. It is a much easier way to ensure your food and wine complements each other beautifully and is a great tip if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for.
Another good way to ease yourself into the world of wine matching is to simply match the colours. So, if you are eating lighter coloured food such as roast chicken, stick to light reds or whites. And if you are enjoying darker coloured foods, go with darker reds.
Here are some wine and food pairings that are perfect for Autumn
1. Rosé – Grenache
If you thought rosé was just for summer, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are myriad different varieties of rosé, perfect for all through the year. Grenache Rosé is a variety that makes the transition from Summer to Autumn very smoothly, thanks to its fruity flavours and balanced acidity. It works brilliantly with late summer/early Autumn barbecues, meaty sandwiches and hearty casseroles.
2. Rosé – Cabernet Sauvignon
This rosé variety is very similar to a decent red wine. It has a beautiful deep ruby red colour and has a deep flavour. However, it also retains a higher acidity than red wine, which goes very well with Autumn dishes. It’s a big and bold wine and is perfect for spicy curries and ripe fruits.
3. White – Viognier
This full white wine offers something a bit different from the typical chardonnay. It is similar but has a sweeter flavour of honeysuckle. You can find sweet versions, as well as rich, light and acidic versions. Try it with home-made butternut squash soup and a traditional pumpkin pie.
4. White – Bordeaux Blanc
There are lots of great white wines that will take you from late summer to autumn, and Bordeaux Blanc is a great choice. It is made with two grapes – Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and trace amounts of Muscadelle. This results in a white wine that is at once dense and acidic. Goes brilliantly with a heart pasta dish, or with a seafood platter made with plenty of garlic.
5. Red – Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir works in the summer and in the autumn thanks to its complex acidity. The rich, fruity flavour goes well with lots of different autumn foods, including dishes like shepherd’s pie and mushroom stew. It’s one of the most versatile wines out there for all kinds of foods.
6. Red – Zinfandel
A smooth zinfandel is a popular choice for autumn. Some varieties have plenty of dark fruits and smoky hints, while others can be more earthy. It’s perfect with a beef stew, or a rack of lamb for a special dinner party.
7. Red – Red Bordeaux
Red Bordeaux is a classic red wine is packed with the tannins that make it ideal for rich foods. When you’re enjoying meals with plenty of meaty courses and carbohydrates, then you need a dry wine with plenty of tannins to offset the richness. Drink this with a perfectly cooked filet mignon or a venison stew.
For more wine and food matching advice, check out our blog on unconventional pairings. And remember that it’s all down to personal choice in the end. There are no hard and fast rules – only suggestions.