October is the first full month of fall. It brings with it hearty and delicious fruits and veggies. Can you enjoy wine with October harvest crops? Of course you can! Here is our top wine pairings list:
Apples define the season so well. Even apple orchards with their craggy branches set before gray fall skies are an image synonymous with Halloween. If you’re having those apples fresh, remember this:
- Red Delicious: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Ambrosia: Rosé
- Gala: Malbec
- Golden Delicious: Chardonnay
- Granny Smith: Merlot
When adding a cheese, pair primarily with the wine. Camembert joins Red Delicious apples and a good cab, for instance. Ambrosia and rose go exquisitely with brie.
With a dessert made from apples, you can shift toward dessert wine – a tawny port is incredible beside an apple crisp or pie.
These are easy to work with. Carrots go well with aromatic white wines. A sauvignon blanc is a perfect choice. You don’t have to stay away from red wines, though. You just need the right one. For carrots, choose a pinot noir.
Carrots are often chopped into other dishes. Always pair with the most dominant ingredient. For instance, in a beef stew, the carrot isn’t the chief ingredient. Beef is, so think more along the lines of a malbec. The carrots will still taste fine because they’re part of a larger dish.
While tomatoes are technically fruits, we often eat them like vegetables. They’re high in acid. That means they like wines with an acidic nature. Oaked or high tannin wines should be avoided. Instead, choose sauvignon blanc, rose, or merlot.
Tomato sauces will take the characteristic of whatever wine you add to them. The most reliable is cabernet sauvignon, but you might try a pinot noir or merlot. Taste the wine and the sauce side-by-side if you’re unsure, but you’re generally safe with these. Then you can just pair the same wine you used in cooking the sauce. Wine will always pair well with a sauce that uses it.
Beetroot can be the most difficult of the October harvest crops. An ideal wine pairings list for beetroot depends on how the vegetable is prepared. Beetroot risotto can be made with and paired with the same red wine: pinot noir.
If you cook a dish that requires you to caramelise beetroot, the sweetness will play well with the bold flavor and ripe fruits of a malbec.
Borscht is a challenge and works a little against the rules. A sauvignon blanc is an unexpected pairing, but quite a good one. The same goes for a beetroot salad, which should be directed by the sharpness of the cheese you include than the beet itself.
Pumpkin can be a major challenge when it comes to finding a wine to pair. Chardonnay is going to be your most reliable choice for savory dishes like pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, or pumpkin stew.
For a pumpkin ravioli, it depends on whether the sauce is tomato or cream-based. For tomato, go with pinot noir. For cream-based, stick with chardonnay.
Chardonnay also works well for some more experimental dishes, like a pumpkin mac and cheese.
The further you go toward desserts, the more you go toward a riesling or sherry.
This wine pairings list should get you through the best of October harvest crops. Remember, don’t be afraid! Experiment! October only happens once a year, and it has some of the most delicious and unique flavors of any month. This is when you find the highest quality for each of these five crops. Take advantage of it, and enjoy them with Natura Wines.