The nights are drawing in. The days are getting cooler. The leaves are turning red and gold. The salads get swapped for the stews.
Once the days start shortening, we naturally turn our backs on light meals and move towards heavier food choices like roasts and hearty soups.
It’s all part of our hunter gatherer DNA.
Even if you’re a vegetarian, there’s nothing better to warm those cockles than a veggie stew and homemade bread.
There are some really wonderful wines that are perfectly designed to go with the traditional autumn fare.
Of course, everything comes down to personal taste. If you fancy a crisp Chenin blanc while you eat your fish pie, feel free - in fact, we recommend it.
If you’re planning to buy a few nice bottles of wine this autumn, why not try out our pairing suggestions and make your wine choice more seasonal.
Shepherd’s pie with a nice Beaujolais
Beaujolais Nouveau hits the headlines at the beginning of November but the wine is a lot more than this annual festival. Beaujolais often gets a bad rap simply because it’s an excuse for some raucous celebrations in pubs around the globe.
The Beaujolais region itself produces an excellent wine offering that rightly deserves to be explored. It is a wine that comes almost entirely from the Gamay grape and is characterised by succulent berry flavours and plenty of body.
It’s the perfect wine to go with your first shepherd’s pie of the autumn, off-setting those meaty flavours with a sharp, almost cleansing fruitiness.
Zinfandel to complement your chilli con carne
When you are in the mood for something spicier, chilli con carne is the ideal meal for a breezy evening while the wind is getting up outside. To complement your meal, you’ll want something to take the edge of that chilli hit.
A good quality Zinfandel rosé is just the ticket. Something light and fruity is a better choice than the more full bodied, red varieties that are available. Its mixture of berried fruits, hints of spice, and generally fruit forward character make it a great match for chilli.
Cabernet Sauvignon for your steak or mushroom pie
There’s nothing better than a good, old fashioned steak and ale pie to mark the start of Autumn. Pair it with some chunky chips and seasonable veg and you have the perfect dinner for those darker evenings. Now all you have to do is find the right wine to go with it.
There are a number you might like to choose from. How about a fresh and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon
? Velvety and smooth, a Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon is more than a match for steak and its fruitiness is a great match for a beer-tinged gravy. Another choice would be a more weighty Pinot Noir.
Both wines are the perfect accompaniment to flavoursome or slightly gamey meat dishes with a silky mouth feel and deep fruit flavours.
A tip for the veggies is that wild mushroom flavours also pair well with wines usually paired with for gamey meats.
Chardonnay with pumpkin or butternut squash soup
Sometimes a flavoursome butternut squash or pumpkin soup along with some fresh, crusty bread is just what you need - warm, good and filling. Red wine can often be overpowering so you might want to switch to a refreshing and chilled Chardonnay that has just the right hint of dryness and snap for those more delicate veggie flavours.
Spaghetti Bolognese and a fine Dolcetto
The best grapes for Dolcetto are found in Italy and are characterised by being very fragrant and fruity with low tannin levels. Smooth on the palate, this is the type of wine that goes well with substantial food like meatballs and spaghetti Bolognese and any meaty sauce. Light tannins makes Dolcetto a good all round grape variety, that sits nicely on the table for any autumnal meal.
Fish pie and a Chenin blanc
The humble fish pie is one of the staples of autumn, a filling and creamy taste of the sea that’s full of nutritional goodness. You’ll need to wash it down with a chilled bottle of Chenin blanc or a high quality rosé delivering that crisp dry wash to complement the subtle flavours of the fish.
The great news is that, whatever meal you’re planning this autumn, you can use our online food pairing filter to find exactly the right wine to serve. The filter allows you to pick your meat, choose popular dishes and even has selections for serving that all-important sweet at the end of the meal.
Try our food pairing filter today and find out what’s a great wine choice for your next dinner party this season.