Jennifer Ingellis, our partner in Williams-Sonoma Wine and one of Food & Wine’s 2012 Sommeliers of the Year, shares her top picks for autumnal food pairings, like pumpkin and Chardonnay. Read on to learn how to create the perfect harmony for one of fall’s most delicious ingredients.
As colder weather rolls in and food becomes heartier, so too do the wines we drink. Instead of crisp, clean whites and fruity, lighter-bodied reds, the wine equivalents of fall sweaters fill our glasses. Think richly-textured, savory whites, like Viognier or Chardonnay, and dense, chewy reds, like Nebbiolo or Syrah.
Perfect harmony can be found when neither the wine nor the food overpowers the other. One of my favorite food and wine pairings this time of year is pumpkin and Chardonnay. The velvety, rich texture of pumpkin complements the similar texture found in many New World Chardonnays. Along with texture, pumpkin is often combined with spices or seasonings that enhance the flavors you taste in the wine.
Here are a handful of Chardonnay and pumpkin pairings to warm your senses this season:
Pumpkin tortelli with brown butter and sage paired with the 2013 Jax Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is a match made in heaven. The nutty notes from the brown butter and the pinch of nutmeg in the pumpkin filling enhance the notes of hazelnut and baking spice in the wine.
This pumpkin cassoulet with caramelized onions and roasted garlic recipe calls for pumpkin, but feel free to use other squash, like kabocha or butternut. The caramelized onions and roasted garlic play up the concentrated, ripe fruit flavors found in the 2013 True Myth Chardonnay from Edna Valley.
Roasted pumpkin soup with cider cream is the quintessential fall recipe. Miner’s 2013 Chardonnay, with its notes of cream, butter, baking spice and vanilla — all things that you’d expect from a classic Napa Valley Chardonnay — will elevate this pumpkin soup to new heights.
For even more fall pairings, visit our fall wine shop.