Celebrate the arrival of fall with wines well-suited for the season and its most popular flavors! Check OIC fall wine recommendations and pairings below!
Barbera is a top choice in the Piedmont region. It’s rich and juicy, yet light-bodied, a result of its low tannin levels and high acidity. This juiciness is balanced by oak-barrel aging and undertones of vanilla, chocolate, dried leaves, nutmeg, and anise - a wonderful line-up of fall flavors. Because it is not too sweet and has softer tannins, Barbera pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.
Suggested pairings: Stuffed Mushrooms or Chicken Marsala
Chenin Blanc hails from the Loire Valley and is the perfect white wine to uplift heavier dishes, notably creamy or buttery plates. There are many variations of Chenin Blanc, each with its own approach to balancing tree fruit and citrus notes with those that come from oak aging - suggesting graham crackers, marzipan, butterscotch, nutmeg, and more. As a bonus, Chenin Blancs can be sweet, dry, or somewhere in between.
Suggested pairings: Veal Piccata or Chicken Walnut Pasta
Grenache is one of those wines that feature naturally warming flavors, such as cinnamon, clove, and pepper, making it an excellent choice for brisk autumn evenings. These spicy qualities make you feel cozy while the black fruit flavors are reminiscent of classic fall desserts. Grenaches range from light to full body so everyone can enjoy one to match their preference.
Suggested pairings: Prosciutto Pizzette or Short Rib Ravioli
One of the favorite wines of fall, Merlot, is a ready go-to for most any dining occasion. Rich, dark, berry flavors are intertwined with those of cedar, clove, mocha, and tobacco, giving Merlot a moody, complex personality. Not too sweet, too acidic, or too tannic, Merlot pairs well with virtually any meal!
Suggested pairings: Cannelloni or Sausage and Pepper Pasta
Pinot Noir is the golden child of fall wine lists. The rich, lush fruitiness of Pinot Noirs is balanced with earthy, forest-like notes – a combination that heartily embraces autumn. Even with its bold flavor profile, Pinot Noir is still light and crisp and quite flexible when it comes to meal pairings.
Suggested pairings: Atlantic Salmon or Lamb Chops
Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”) is an aromatic white that is similar to Chardonnay. These wines range from medium- to full-bodied with delicate flavors of vanilla, honey, and peach. Beyond the initial flavor are several warming, spicy notes such as nutmeg and clove – perfect for fall! In comparison to Chardonnay, these wines are typically a bit softer, and more approachable.