Fall is time for crabbing season in the Bay Area, and for many places around the country, it’s also lobster season! One of my favorite things to pair with these sweet crustaceans drenched in butter is the Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs from Napa Valley. The Meyer lemon and peach flavors of this crisp fall wine are a perfect accompaniment to seafood.
Fall also means truffle season in Piedmont, Italy! No, not chocolate truffles (though those are delicious, too) but the earthy mushrooms found by trained dogs. While a big Barolo is the king of this region, grab a bottle of Elvio Cogno Barbera d’Alba red wine to go with fresh pasta with pork or beef, and topped with shavings of this seasonal treat. And if truffles aren’t in the cards, a variety of mushrooms should start popping up at local farmers markets and produce shops to make flavorful vegetarian dishes. Or, you can even book a foraging experience to search for your own.
When scents of hearty stews and spices of the season fill the house, I love a good red wine from Rioja, Spain. Try your hand at creating a tagine of beef, lamb or chicken served with couscous and laden with dried fruit paired with Palacios Remondo “La Montesa”. A simple tapas party also does the trick when drinking these lovely, rustic wines.
If you’re still longing for the summer, Grenache Blanc and its blends are complex white wines chock full of summer fruit like peaches and apricots and showcase wild herbs like lavender and sage. These savory Rhone and Rhone-style blends are perfect for any meal or while enjoying a crisp fall evening outside at the fire pit. Go domestic with Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc from Paso Robles or stick to a classic like the Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t still drink rosé all day! Clean out your stash or take advantage of end-of-season rosé price reductions. Here in wine country we’re harvesting not just grapes, but a variety of fruits and vegetables. Apples, local honey, or homemade jams and chutneys from your region are fun to prepare (or pick) and share with friends. Or, crusty bread, prosciutto and manchego cheese pair well with a variety of rosé wines.
This post was originally published on October 4, 2010 and has been updated.