The fall and winter months offer a diverse selection of seasonal produce that can be enjoyed in myriad different dishes. We’ve
selected our 10 favorite recipes and their ideal wine pairings.
Cold Weather, Rich Flavor
Just as the leaves change to warmer colors of crimson, orange and gold, so does the array of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
This year, don’t let the chilly temperatures keep you from enjoying the rich, flavorful and nutrient-rich produce available
at farmers’ markets across the country. To provide inspiration, try these 10 tasty recipes and wine pairings to match.
Pumpkin and Pinot Gris
Contrary to popular belief, jack-o’-lanterns aren’t the only uses for fresh pumpkins. This quintessential fall vegetable shows
its culinary bravado in a Pumpkin Risotto with Prosciutto along with a bright, spicy Pinot Gris. The acidity of the wine will
cut through the richness of the risotto, complement the earthy sweetness of the pumpkin, and counterbalance the saltiness
of the prosciutto.
Red wine season is officially here. Make the most of it by grilling Strip Steaks with Rosemary Butter and enjoying them with
a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon. The hearty tannins can handle the slight bitterness that comes from al fresco grilling and
the fresh rosemary flavors will be delightfully enhanced by the earthier, more herbaceous style of Cabernet from Bordeaux
or Washington State.
Peak-of-the-season blood oranges are so juicy and sweet that they are best appreciated in their purest state. For the perfect
winter salad and wine pairing, sip a refreshing glass of Torrontés while savoring Shrimp Salad with Blood Oranges and Slivered
Fennel. This fresh, vibrant white wine from Argentina features delicate floral and stone fruit aromas, but it’s the underlying
orange blossom flavor that makes this pairing just heavenly.
The classic pairing of Pinot Noir and mushrooms must not be missed. A lush and spicy style of Pinot Noir will greatly enhance
the earthy, meaty flavors of the mushrooms when savored with Penne with Wild Mushrooms. Oregon and Burgundy are go-to regions
for rich, earthy Pinot, but New Zealand also offers some shining examples.
The unique characteristics of Viognier, an aromatic white grape variety native to France but also grown in Australia and the
U.S., make it an exceptional food partner. The wine’s rich, creamy texture, bright acidity, crisp fruit flavors and warm sweet
spices perfectly complement Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables, a delightful holiday side.
An unripe, out-of-season pear leaves much to be desired, but once fall rolls around they’re in their prime. Let them shine
on their own in this tasty, but not too sweet Champagne-Poached Pears dessert. When accompanied by a sweeter style Champagne
or sparkling wine (look for the words “demi-sec” on the bottle), this duo makes a simple yet memorable ending to a holiday
If you’re a squash fan, locally grown and harvested butternut squash is as good as it gets. For the perfect cold-weather comfort
meal, slice up a warm, crusty baguette, make Curry Ginger Butternut Squash soup and pour a glass of Gewürztraminer, an aromatic
white wine that boasts aromas of exotic fruit and sweet spice. Try one from the French region of Alsace.
If you’ve always relied on canned cranberry sauce for your holiday meals, it’s time for a change. Grandma Erma’s Spirited
Cranberry Sauce made from fresh berries will go perfectly with roasted turkey and a glass of fruit-forward, spicy Zinfandel.
Choose a jammier style Zin from California with soft tannins and riper fruit to pair with the slightly tart yet sweet cranberry
Not many herbs thrive in cool temperatures, but parsley is an exception. For a lighter fall or winter pairing, make Salmon
Skewers with Lemon-Parsley Pesto and sip a classic Sauvignon Blanc, one of the most versatile and food-friendly wines out
there. The wine will pick up on the fresh parsley flavor, accentuate the citrus notes of the pesto, and act as a fresh squeeze
of lemon on the salmon.
When the weather turns crisp and cool, apples steal the show at farmers’ markets across the country. You’ll wish they were
in season year-round when you taste them in Caramel-Apple Crumb Pie paired with a sweet, late harvest Riesling from Germany.
The wine’s bright acidity, roundness and inherent baked apple flavors paired with the sweet spices and flaky crust will have
you polishing off that last slice of pie before you know it.