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Flavors of Fall
September 1st, 2013
Peggy Fiandaca

Fall is in the air. Seasons change in the Sonoran Desert, though very subtly.

At the vineyard in Southeastern Arizona the change is more evident as harvest rolls on and the vines make a final showing of incredible fruit display.
   Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

Fall also brings forth different flavors that pair well with bolder wines. This was evident this summer when we did the wine festival circuit. Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ had not released its new white wines and many people were out tasting and shopping for whites because of the summer heat. Now is the season for full-bodied reds like those that we are known to produce. Also, our local farmers are beginning to harvest apples, pears, pumpkins, winter squashes, beans, and eggplants.

 Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  This fresh bounty bursts with flavors that scream for big seasonings and bold wines.

I can’t have apples without cinnamon or butternut squash without big flavorings such as a cherry almond glaze or eggplant baked with oregano, tomato and cheeses.

Four tips when pairing flavors of fall with wines.

1. Balance Flavors – Eating and drinking wine requires all of your senses. Think about the aromas and flavors of the food and balance or match those with the food you are serving. For example, the aromas and flavor intensity of a mesquite-grilled New York steak needs to be paired with a wine that will not disappear under this intensity. A full-bodied, red wine like a syrah or zinfandel would pair beautifully.

2. Food Texture – The texture and weight of your food might dictate the type of wine you serve. The delicateness of certain dishes should not be overpowered by the wine. The goal is to complement and enhance the flavors of the dish. A poached halibut with a buere blanc sauce should be paired with a light-bodied white wine such as a sauvignon blanc or a wine with strong acidity to cut through the butter sauce.

3. Go With Grenache (particularly a Lawrence Dunham Grenache) – I believe the most versatile wine is a Grenache. It goes with just about everything. The style bridges between the foods you typically serve a red or white wine. It can compliment fish, poultry, pork, turkey as well as beef. Think about the way you plan to cook your dish (e.g. grilling, sauté, or roasting) and your “wid-its” (Jamaican for side dishes) to select the right style of Grenache.

4. Eat Your Vegetables – Wine is not just for meat lovers. Take into consideration the type of vegetables and how they are cooked when choosing the perfect wine. The most difficult vegetables to pair wine with are artichokes and asparagus because of the interesting flavors. However, mushrooms love a full-bodied wine as well as roasted potatoes. The same tips apply for pairing wine with vegetables. Think about the texture, balance, and cooking approach. If there is a cream sauce on the spinach choose a wine that can cut through the richness of the sauce. If dinner includes caramelized carrots choose a full-bodied zinfandel because it will have enough spice to compliment the sugar. In any case, experiment and have fun.


Here is one of my favorite fall recipes and wine pairing – Sizzlin’ Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Pepper Sauces and Chili Corn Tacos.

Visit the Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ website for more original recipes
(at this link). Bon Appetite!
  Sizzlin' Pork