Seasonal Foods - Autumn - BEST OF THE SEASON:
Chardonnay is really hard to beat at times as it is such a versatile variety when it comes to food.
The other Wine of the Season has to be the Sweet Muscat Wines that have such an affinity with many autumn fruits.
Meat and Fish:
Having grazed on the rich grass of summer pastures, Beef is full of flavour now. Beaujolais is an excellent match with lean cuts like Steak because of the low levels of tannin in the wine; but any low tannin Red will fit the bill. For fuller-flavoured dishes like Beef Casserole choose a bigger wine like a Zinfandel or a Beaujolais Cru such as a Morgon.
Roast Beef is delicious with a Mature Red Bordeaux, but you must make sure it is mature otherwise the wine will be too tannic. For other beef and wine suggestions go to our Beef page.
The Autumn months are fantastic for many types of fish, Flat Fish in particular. There are wine matching suggestions for all of them on our Fish page. "R's" return to the months so we can enjoy Native Oysters once again. This special delicacy deserves a special wine and the wine of choice has to be Champagne.
If bubbles aren't your thing opt for a 1er Cru Chablis. Lots of other shellfish are good now including Mussels and Scallops, both work well with Sauvignon Blanc wines. See our Shellfish page for other suggestions.
Game birds such as Pheasant, Partridge and Grouse are back in season - see our dedicated Game Birds page for suitable wines to eat with them.
Fruit and Vegetables:
Rich vegetables like Pumpkins and Sweetcorn replace the green summer vegetables. Sweetcorn is well-matched with an oaked Chardonnay, particularly those from Australia, California and New Zealand. Sweetcorn Chowder works better with a lightly-oaked Chardonnay.
The sweet, full flavours of Pumpkin and Butter Nut Squash need a wine with enough character to stand up to them; a Californian Chardonnay would work again here, as would a Viognier.
Wild Mushroom like Ceps/Porcini and Chanterelles are available now and these expensive delicacies deserve a good wine. Mature Red Burgundies work very well, as do Mature Riojas.
Britain is blessed with some of the best autumn fruits available and Scottish Raspberries are the proof; eat these gorgeous fruits with German Riesling Beerenausleses. The deeper flavours of Plums would also work with the Beerenausleses. Pear Tart is lovely with Sweet Loire wines esp. from Coteaux de Layon
No one produces Apples like the English do, and nothing can beat our native varieties for flavour. French Apple Tart is just fantastic with a good Sauternes or Barsac and this, or a Sweet Loire, would go well with an Apple Pie. Muscat and Baked Apples have an affinity, and this wine would also go very well with Blackberry and Apple Pie.
The very popular Tarte Tatin is lovely with any Sweet Muscat wine or equally as good would be a decadently sweet Hungarian Tokaji. Roasted Figs are just lovely with a traditional, sweet aromatic Muscat from the island of Samos in Greece
Vacherin Mont d'Or is only available during the Autumn and Winter months. This gorgeous unpasturised cow's milk cheese is unfortunately a nightmare when it somes to wine matches; the smooth, runny texture coats the mouth with its rich flavour making it impossible for any wine to stand a chance of success.
With this in mind we tentatively suggest the following wines: Red wine lovers should try a Pinot Noir from North America or New Zealand: White wine lovers an Alsace Riesling or Tokay Pinot Gris. Vacherin is quite often served hot like a fondue; serve it with an unoaked ripe Chardonnay or a Chablis.