Easy Fall Wine Pairings (and why they pair well)
As we tiptoe into autumn, the leaves change, harvest wraps up and menus begin their slow shift towards meals that are a bit richer and often carrying more spice. Often the wines we reach for carry similar notes: rich, flavorful, and showing some spice.
In that vein, we want to usher in three wines to welcome fall! Sip and savor our 2018 Malbec, 2018 Sangiovese and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, all of these red wines hail from the Columbia Valley and bring some serious food-pairing versatility to the table.
The Wine: 2018 Nine Hats Malbec
Brimming with black fruit and warm baking spice aromas, fuller-bodied and showcasing lovely structure alongside a heady mix of ripe forward fruit, pepper, and dried herb nuances on the palate profile, the 2018 Malbec echoes many of the same sentiments found on a well-built charcuterie board.
The Pairing: Thinly sliced meats and sausage options often dusted with herbs and peppery spice provide a complementary pairing. Olives, assorted cheese, and savory spiced nuts also work well with our Nine Hats Malbec as the wine’s tannins cut right through the fatty makeup of the nibbles releasing more flavor and softening the wine’s initial approach. While the Malbec finish is well-defined, it’s not typically as lengthy as our Cabernet Sauvignon (below) and lends itself to slightly leaner cuts of meat as well.
The Wine: 2018 Nine Hats Sangiovese
Lively, expressive, and ready to play, our 2018 Sangiovese delivers concentrated notes of strawberry and cherry enveloped by bright acidity and a dash of pumpkin and cocoa spice.
The Pairing: Leaning into the red fruit character, Sangiovese a natural pick for seasonal fall favorites like fresh fruit pies (yes, cherry, and strawberry pies are perfect picks, especially if the sugar is restrained!), or dense chocolate desserts that are not overly sweet but carry a chocolate, coffee or mocha-base where the wine will pick up the undercurrents of the same cocoa themes. For a traditional Tuscan touch (since Tuscany is the motherland of Sangiovese), opt for Castagnaccio, a not-too-sweet chestnut cake made with chestnut flour, olive oil, rosemary, and raisins. (Recipe here) Or whip up a batch of Tuscan Cantuccini, better known as biscotti, where the high acidity of our Sangiovese makes the pistachio and cranberry flavors pop. (Recipe here.)
The Wine: 2019 Nine Hats Cabernet Sauvignon
Built for fall (and winter too, for that matter), our full throttle 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon promises a generous series of black cherry, dark chocolate, and espresso on the nose, quickly followed by ripe blue and black fruit nuances and wisps of savory spice on the palate.
The Pairing: The stout tannins, full body, and decent dose of acidity make Cabernet Sauvignon a natural pairing partner for all sorts of red meat from beef to game and burgers to hearty stews. And nothing says, “fall” quite like a big bubbling pot of beef stew – ready to feed a houseful in a single pot or offer lunchtime leftovers for a week. The 2019 Cab is an easy option for partnering with a classic beef stew (Recipe here) where the wine’s firm tannins work in synergy with the protein and fat of the beef chuck roast to both soften the wine’s tannin profile and release the beef’s flavors. The wine’s acidity also fleshes out the earthy herbs like thyme, parsley and pepper and makes them pop with flavor. This is a classic example of how food and wine are “made for each other” and are better together, as both the wine and the meal are elevated in tandem.