Pairing Wine with Fall Flavors

The leaves are changing, sweater weather is approaching, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to indulge in your favorite fall treats. Fall foods are earthy and warm, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, and pumpkin. If you want to switch up your fall diet this year, set aside the apple cider and open a bottle of wine to serve with your fall desserts.

Wine pairs well with more than just chocolate. Seasonal favorites like pumpkin pie, gingerbread, and cinnamon streusel complement a variety of wines, from light whites to hearty reds. Toast to your favorite flavors by matching the right wine with your dessert of choice.

Caramel apples are a staple of fall fare, and their rich taste pairs well with Riesling. With notes of pear, peach, apple, and nectarine, Riesling balances the sugary taste of caramel. This light wine also complements highly spiced and aromatic dishes with cinnamon, ginger, and clove—all hallmarks of a traditional autumn meal.

When it comes to pecan pie, nothing can beat the rich, buttery taste of Chardonnay. The acidity of Chardonnay balances the sweetness of the pie, while vanilla notes bring out more flavor in the crust. Pair it with a pecan pie, pecan cake, or pumpkin-pecan streusel.

Do you like the hearty flavors of a full bodied red wine? Serve Pinot Noir at Thanksgiving dinner. The cranberry, cherry, and raspberry notes of Pinot Noir make it a perfect pairing for cranberry sauce. This wine isn’t too strong or too light, so it will complement any traditional dish at the Thanksgiving table.

Mix and match dessert and wine pairings, and use the wine-matching guide from Shari’s Berries as your starting point. Many fall desserts have spices in common, so a wine that pairs well with one dessert might also complement another. Desserts like monkey bread, apple pie, and pumpkin pie all contain cinnamon and brown sugar, so you can serve the same wine twice.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or treating yourself, check out the infographic and experiment with different wines and desserts this season for a delicious new combination.

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