October brings changes with leaves turning vibrant colors, the light makes dramatic shifts, and even the air has a different smell as fall arrives. Also, our flavor profile seems to change as the days gets shorter. Apples and pears are now ripe, and pumpkins are ready for picking. And according to statistics, people switch from drinking mostly white wines to choosing more red wines. I never really understood that but restaurant owners tell me that they sell less red wine in the summer months and red wine sales begin to pick up in October.
Here are five great ideas to celebrate fall.
1. Poach pears. Bring to boil two cups wine (like LDV Petite Sirah), ¼ cup sugar, one juiced orange and zest, cinnamon stick, and a couple of cloves. Reduce and simmer 5 minutes. Peel four firm, ripe pears leaving stem and slice ½-inch off the bottom to create a flat bottom. Poach pears in wine mixture covered, turning every 5 minutes to get even color, for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool pears. Serve room temperature with a reduction of the poaching liquid spooned on top.
2. Get crafty. Grab some pruned vines and create wreaths for gifts or your front door. Or join one of our cork crafting workshops.
3. Make soup. Invite the neighbors over for butternut squash (or substitute with pumpkin) soup, crusty loaf of bread, and LDV Winery Viognier or Grenache.
4. Enjoy charcuterie. Make a great charcuterie board to share with someone special paired with a bottle of Syrah. I would suggest a chunk of aged parmesan cheese, gorgonzola blue cheese, smoked almonds, prosciutto and a dried salami, fig balsamic, and Italian bread. Finish with rich, dark chocolates.
5. Visit a farmer’s market. Plan a trip to your favorite farmer’s market to select fall vegetables. Or visit a local farm to select the perfect pumpkin.