As Summer starts to shift into fall, our palates migrate ever so slightly into wanting those wines we crave with cooler temperatures. Not thinking big bold red quite yet....But this is when I love to start tapping into some of those mid weight reds my palate has been missing in the heat.
Thinking a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir...just a touch more weight than that Beaujolais we've been sipping on all Summer. Or travelling to Northern Italy for a Valpolicella; a beautiful red blend from the Veneto region.
The thing I love about these medium bodied reds is their unbelievable food pairing ability. When we think of pairing wine with food, the two components we focus on are tannins and acid. The lower tannins of these mid weight wines allow us to pair with some lighter, lower fat foods, while the moderate acidity can stand up to a wide range of acidic food, think vinaigrettes, or tomato sauce.
Now, we certainly do not want to abandon our whites just because the temperature is starting to fall....but we may gravitate to a Chardonnay with a hint of oak rather than that light crisp Pinot Gris we've been sipping on in the hot weather months. Think Burgundy or Niagara-on-the-Lake, both regions that master a cooler climate Chard with elegant aromas of ripe apple, peach, some juicy lemon and stony minerality with a hint of baking spice.
Again, these weightier whites are amazing on their own but just fabulous with food. Barbecued tiger shrimp served with a lemon beurre blanc or for those nights we don't feel like barbecuing, a fettuccine carbonara. Or one of my faves, a big bowl of buttered popcorn in front of a movie on a Friday night.