The weather over the past few weeks has been simply outstanding but with the detectable chill in the evening air and the noticeable change to the leaves on the local Aspen trees our thoughts turn to fall. Fall is one of our favourite times of the year; harvest is in full swing, grapes are coming off the vines, farmers are reaping their hard work and food flavours are trending towards richer and more savoury dishes.
With fall flavours we move away from the lighter aromatic wines and we start to think about richer and more earthy reds to pair with food. Mushrooms start to be more prominent on menus and in specialty stores. If you are looking to theme a menu around fall mushrooms consider pairing with Pinot Noir. Our pick would be for a brambly New Zealand or Oregon Pinot.
In the shop look for the Wairau River Pinot from Marlborough $23; "Intense notes of warm cherries, crushed raspberries with hints of smoked meat, cardamom and anise." 89 points, Wine Advocate. Consider pairing with roasted salmon, sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs and oven baked tomatoes.
Even though we're recommending reds in the fall we can also go with a bigger white, perhaps a nice rich chardonnay. James, who you see in the shop from time to time, recommends a chardonnay and Salmon poached in vermouth (click here for recipe). Salmon is not a natural choice for chardonnay but when it is cooked in sweet white vermouth the pairing is outstanding. Our first choice with this recipe would be a bottle of Maison Roche de Bellene Montagny Premier Cru, $30. "Deep lemon coloured with a fresh nose of white flowers and citrus with hints of minerality. On the palate it is medium bodied with a fresh and fruity attack, a rounded mid palate with apple, citrus and hints of nuts and a long citrussy finish"Enjoy!