Embrace the End of Summer with These Fantastic Fall Red Wines
The dining professionals at Pascal Restaurant know the importance of pairing a delicious fall meal with a red wine that has a little backbone. Whether you’re sitting down for an intimate, candlelit dinner with your loved one or catering an event, autumn dinners offer the perfect opportunity to break out of your routine and try a unique and hearty red wine. Crisp Pinot Grigios and refreshing rosés have served you well throughout the summer, but now it’s time to turn to robust red wines that can stand up to the best of the braised, stewed and roasted dishes that the fall season has to offer.
Zinfandels are often criminally overlooked by most wine consumers; perhaps it’s the association with cheap, mass-market white zinfandels. But bold red zinfandels from central California are strong, spicy and fruity, making them an ideal choice to add depth to a variety of dishes. They straddle the delicate line between being big and elegant, which means they are a great choice for the transition from the heat of summer into the colder winter months. The inherent spiciness of zinfandel plays nicely with spicy food of all kinds, and these wines are often considerably less-expensive than their more celebrated varietal counterparts.
The wines of the illustrious Beaujolais region in France are made from the Gamay grape, and they tend to represent the lighter-bodied side of the red wine spectrum without sacrificing flavor. The very best bottles of Beaujolais are floral and complex, and showcase delicate tannins that won’t take over when you’re drinking them with a lighter fall meal. Unlike the most coveted French reds from Burgundy and Bordeaux, you’re likely to find several good options from the Beaujolais region in the $20 to $30 range.
Napa/Sonoma Pinot Noir
While several vineyards in Oregon are producing renowned pinot noir vintages in their own right, there’s just something about the northern California valley climate that makes for the perfect expression of an American pinot noir. The fruit-forward nature of these pinots (especially those from the Russian River Valley) makes for one of the most interesting and rewarding pairings with the classic roasted chicken and vegetable dishes that dominate American tablescapes in the fall months.
Central Coast Syrah
One of the most notable and welcome characteristics of a great Syrah is the delicate undertone of smoke that emanates from the wine, reminding you that it’s almost time to start lighting fires and bundling up for the season. Syrah grapes make for an excellent addition into many blended wines, but its individuality really shines through when it is allowed to be the star. At its finest, Syrah doesn’t just enhance the flavors of a warm autumn meal, it evokes the essence of fall itself.