The Best Wines For Fall Foods #SundaySupper

It’s official! Today is the first day of the Fall season.  Fall has always been bittersweet for me. I’m definitely a Summer person.  I adore the dry, warm weather and the longer days.

But Fall is my second favorite season for two reasons. First, Indian Summer in California is quite nice (although it rained in the Bay Area yesterday).  The second reason is the annual grape harvest.

Vineyard in Germany_Autumn colors
Image courtesy of

It’s gorgeous in wine country in the fall. The verdant vineyards are reaching maturity, and are it’s a time ripe with vinous possibilities.  I love walking into a winery and seeing the harvest under way – grapes being  destemmed and crushed, the smell of fermentation.  And the wine events?! It’s definitely the best time of year for wine events!  Fall is not so bad after all!

The change of season also signals a change in our tastes in wine.  As we start to crave more substantial foods, we also start to want more substantial wines too.  More oft than not,  our tastes change from lighter summer-time whites, rosé, and perhaps a few select reds to more full bodied white, rosé, red wines. And that makes sense to me because one of the key principles of food and wine pairing is to match the “weight” of the food to the “weight” of the wine.

Check out this week’s fabulous fall fare put together by the #SundaySupper team and my wine pairing recommendations.

Amazing Breakfasts/Brunches

Pair these dishes with the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato.  It’s a blend of Gordo Muscat and Black Muscat from the Yarra Valley in Australia.  It’s only 5.5% alcohol and it has a red berry, strawberry, peach, and zesty citrus character.  It’s a fun and fizzy quaff that is moderately sweet but not cloying.

Outstanding Soups, Starters, Sides, and Main Dishes:

Pair these dishes with a white Rhone blend. One of my favorites is the 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne with a mouth-filling peach, citrus, and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with the 2012 Borra Intuition.  It’s an unusual blend of Kerner, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. It’s medium-bodied with a rich mouthfeel, and refreshing peach, apricot and spice flavors.  

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  Look for the 2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir. It has wonderful mixed berry, lavender, and spice aromatics, that follow onto the palate.

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine made from Sangiovese.  And one of the world’s great gifts to the table. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti. It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair with these dishes with a Syrah.  I like the 2011 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. This damn tasty wine is full-bodied, with wonderful acidity, and a dark fruit, spice, and slight earthy character.  

Decadent Desserts:

Pair these with a Cadillac, named for a little known village just south of Bordeaux that produces wonderful sweet botrytized white wines. It’s never reached the lofty status of Sauternes, just across the river.  The wines are typically made from Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. Look for the 2009 Chateau Suau, Cadillac.  It a blend of 40% Sauvignon – 60% Semillon with a fruity, complex, and sweet peach and honey character with good acidity. 

Pair these with a Cream Sherry.  Ok, so you might be asking..”um, it’s that the stuff my Grandmother used to drink?  Well, yes and no.  This is the sweetened inferior juice shipped to export markets.  Look for the Emilio Hidalgo “Morenita” Cream Sherry.  It’s a great example of the real deal from Jerez, Spain.  It has a wonderful sweet date, mocha spiced ginger, candied orange peel character that is delicately sweet with well-embedded acidity. Yummy stuff!  

Tasty Drinks:

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67 Comments Add yours

  1. I am with you as fall is also my second favorite season. What can I say but summer is the best :) – Great wine pairings as always, Martin. Thank you!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Beate! And yes Summer is the best!

  2. For me it’s spring first that I like, then comes fall. And I’m all over that cream sherry, the description is interesting enough to try to find it Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Not surprised to hear you prefer Spring and Fall to Summer since you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. I haven’t tried that Cream Sherry yet, but I’m going to get some!

  3. shockinglydelicious says:

    Match the weight of the wine to the weight of the food. Must remember that!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Hi Dorothy – you know I should include a wine/food pairing tip in each post. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Looking forward to trying your Chianti recommendation. You are usually right on with your recommendations and many have become favorites for Ron and I!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Isabel! It really pleases me that you and your hubby have been able to find and try some recommendation. I’m honored to be part of the fabulous #SS family!

  5. Excellent pairings as always Martin! I love it when you do this for our Sunday Supper events. It makes it so much more special.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Renee. I’m honored to be part of the #SS family!

  6. Stacy says:

    Every time you pair my dish with a white wine, I promise myself that I will be more adventurous with whites, Martin. I love the sound of the Tablas Creek you chose!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Stacy! The thing about wine and food pairing is that there’s seldom just one answer! And often times the same dish that pairs with a white wine will also pair with a red wine. I’ll keep that in mind for next time!

  7. Nicole Cook says:

    Martin, I always learn so much from you each week when I’m reading over these. I admire your ability to pair even foods you’ve never tried, just based on the ingredients.
    Thank you for doing this for us each week!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words Nicole. I really enjoy being a part of the #SS family!

  8. Thanks for the great pairings – and I love moscato, so that is even MORE perfect for my recipe 😉

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Connie!

  9. Shaina Wizov says:

    ow what a cool post! Thank you so much for pairing all of our dishes with some great fall wines. I am definitely going to look into the ones you’ve noted

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Shaina! I always enjoy offering wine pairing recommendations for such a great group of food bloggers!

  10. Pink Moscato with my breakfast! YES PLEASE! This would make my day at work so much better! Thank you for all your wine choices! I want to try them all!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Jennifer. You’re welcome!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Sarah!

  11. Thanks for sharing your wealth of wine knowledge with us all! Have a great week!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Liz. Make it a great week yourself!

  12. outstanding! you always amaze me.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Amy! It’s always a pleasure to work with such a great group of food bloggers!

  13. I’m sure I would LOVE the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato and the 2009 Chateau Suau, Cadillac!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Angie…both are delightful IMO!

  14. Lovely pairings! The Chianti sounds delicious. Now to find it…

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Sarah! Loved your dish!

  15. Hezzi-D says:

    I always look forward to your pairings! can’t wait to try a few of these!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Heather!

  16. I’ve never heard of a Cadillac! It is as sweet, less sweet, or more sweet than Sauternes? Sauternes is a little sweet for me from what I remember, but maybe I need to give it another try.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Hi Lori. Cadillac produces “stickies” very similar to Sauternes…And while both are sweet, they both have very good acidity, which keeps them from being cloying. The challenge in matching wine and food when it comes to dessert is, how sweet is the dessert? The wine should always be sweeter…

  17. I love the idea of pairing my recipe with cream sherry! I actually really like it!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Laura!

  18. sunithi says:

    I must try the one you recommended for my dish. Thanks Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      You’re welcome Sunithi! Cheers!

  19. I would love to visit a vineyard in the fall. I should get on a plane and fly to Napa right now (I wish!). You’re right – I never thought about it, but I do crave fuller bodied wines in the fall and winter. These sound great as always, Martin, especially that pink moscato!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Nancy! And you’re welcome!

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