The chill of fall and winter means it’s time to bring out the sweaters, wool blankets and bigger, weightier wines.
The leaves have all but fallen off the trees and many places have already experienced the first snowfall or two. As days become shorter and the chill of winter slowly begins to creep in, the desire to cuddle up and hibernate becomes stronger and stronger. As we reach for scarves, mittens and woolen coats, we can’t help but think of all the warm, cozy dishes that are perfect this time of year and all the wonderful wines we can pair with them. Here are some of our favourite fall recipes and wine pairings as we head into the long winter before us.
7 Wine Pairings for Classic Autumn Meals
Chili & Wine Pairings:
Pair classic chili with a juicy Tempranillo wine.
Chili is one of those perfect winter foods. It’s relatively easy to make, can be made with an assortment of meat and vegetables, and has flavour galore. In my household, chili is simple enough to be whipped up mid-week and is always excellent the next day as leftovers, or on top of a pile of nachos! My go-to chili recipe is a delicious Turkey and Bean Chili from Real Simple. Because of the spicy Mexican flavours and tomato-based sauce in this recipe, you’ll want to go with a medium to full-bodied wine, Tempranillo.
Just Wine’s Tempranillo wine recommendation:
Beef Stew & Wine Pairing:
Pair hearty beef stew with a Bordeaux wine.
In the land of beef (Alberta), beef stew is a MUST during the colder months. Tender beef with a savoury gravy, lots of mushrooms served on top of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes. An excellent choice for Sunday Dinner, or any night really. One of the best beef stew recipes I’ve found comes from one of my favourite Canadian chefs, Michael Smith. It’s got tons of deep, rich, hearty flavour and incorporates our favourite thing – wine! When matching a wine to drink with this dish, look for something full-bodied, like a red Bordeaux or Bordeaux style blend.
Just Wine’s Bordeaux-style wine suggestions:
How to Pair Wine with Pumpkin Flavours:
Pair curried pumpkin soup with an aromatic Gewürztraminer wine.
With Halloween long over, some of us may be left wondering what to do with the leftover pumpkins kicking around. Fear not, I have a simple solution for you. They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. I say when life gives you pumpkins you make soup! I have always been a big fan of creamy soups made from pumpkin or squash. For me, it is the embodiment of fall flavours. I’ve recently fallen in love with this amazing recipe for Curried Pumpkin Soup from The Scrumptious Pumpkin. It’s a heavenly blend of pumpkin, curry spice and coconut. Sweeter soups like this match well with Gewürztraminer.
Just Wine’s Gewürztraminer wine recommendation:
Wine & Lamb Stew Pairings:
Pair a lamb stew and a Cabernet Franc wine.
When my colleague found out I was writing this piece he insisted that lamb stew be on this list, and I have to agree with him! When it comes to making lamb stew at home, I turn to this fantastic recipe from Paula Deen for Irish Lamb Stew. It’s rich and hearty, and perfect for those colder days when you want something to warm you from the inside out. A great wine to pair with this recipe is a medium bodied red, like a Cabernet Franc.
Just Wine’s Cabernet Franc wine suggestions:
Want to learn how to pair wine with any meal? Check out these links:
Coq au Vin & Wine Pairings:
Pair a French Coq au Vin with an earthy Burgundy wine.
Way back in the day, I used to work at this little hole in the wall café which made quite possibly the best Coq au Vin. While I still adore this classic French dish, I don’t make it as often as I would like. One of the most traditional versions I’ve found comes from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Her recipe is phenomenal, and while it does take a bit of time to create, it’s superb on those chilly nights, where you just want to cozy-in at home. Pair this delectable dish with its most classic match, a red Burgundy!
Just Wine’s Pinot Noir wine recommendation:
Shepard’s Pie Wine Pairing:
Traditional shepherd’s pie pairs well with Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine.
While I must admit, I’m not a tremendous fan of Shepherd’s Pie, it would be remiss of me to leave it off a list of cozy, fall comfort food recipes. A medley of meat, veggies, rich gravy and mashed potatoes, the most traditional way to make it is with lamb, however lamb can be substituted for beef depending on personal preference. I chose what I felt would be a traditional English version of the recipe from Delish. A southern French red is a good match for this dish, and will work no matter if you use lamb or beef. Try a Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Just Wine’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine suggestion:
Pair Wine with Chicken Pot Pie:
Pair a chicken pot pie with a food-friendly Grüner Veltliner wine.
Buttery, flaky crust, seasoned chicken and vegetables, smothered in creamy gravy – seriously, what’s not to love about this fantastic seasonal dish? Chicken pot pie is definitely a fall favourite, and I think it’s a perfect Sunday evening dinner as it goes very well with two important things: Sunday Football and wine. This is one of those great dishes that can be made in advance and frozen or made fresh, either way is equally delicious. My favourite Chicken Pot Pie recipe is from Taste of Home and uses pre-made refrigerated pie crust, which is great for me, since I’ve yet to master the art of pie crust. Match this savoury dish with a crisp, clean white wine like a Grüner Veltliner.
Just Wine’s Grüner Veltliner wine recommendation: