Beyond enjoying the bounties of both summer and fall, September is a key time to chart your palate’s slow-but-significant turn toward the rich and hearty—a delicious exercise that hones your tasting and pairing skills. Here’s our quick guide to enjoying this educational and tasty transition.
A big Cab can overpower a skirt steak; and the red fruit in a Pinot Noir can clash with its savory notes. Your best bet: a quality Mendoza Malbec. Its blackberry and plum notes, meaty flavors and lush mouthfeel will shine a spotlight on the steak’s complexities.
Watermelon & Feta Salad
The flavors of sweet watermelon and briny feta will pop on your palate when paired with the berry and peach flavors of a Garnacha rosé from Navarra, Spain.
This delicious dance of sweet, savory and char is ideal for a semisweet Riesling Kabinett from Germany’s Mosel. It’ll start with ripe peach and honeysuckle flavors, embrace the grill marks with slate notes and reinvigorate the peach’s acidity that was muted by application of heat.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Sweet end-of-summer corn is a natural pairing with the apple flavors and buttery tones of a quality Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
Pasta with Fresh Pesto
Basil’s rich green notes and the soft citrus flavors of Pinot Grigio from Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region are a match made in farm-stand heaven.
Brussels Sprouts & Bacon
The lemon-lime flavors and bracing acidity of a dry Finger Lakes Riesling are all you need with mildly bitter Brussels sprouts and crisp bacon.
Roasted Chicken With Herbes De Provence
Often paired with tender cuts of pork, a Teroldego from Northeast Italy—with its dark brambly fruit, leafy herb notes and light, almost whispery tannins—works just as well (if not better) with a roasted chicken.
The candy-like carrots call for the full, rich dark fruit of California Zinfandel. Period.
Apple, buttery toast, subtle tropical fruit flavors and a luscious mouthfeel make an oaked South African Chenin Blanc a heavenly match for your rich and succulent salmon.
Oven-Roasted Red Beets
The deep earthy tones and caramelized goodness of roasted beets will shine alongside the cherry and dried herb notes of an Oregon Pinot Noir.