Our Wine Ambassador, Dave Lofstrom is at it again, dealing with his confusion over California autumn and what that means for eating and drinking.
Autumn has always been my favorite season. The leaves start to change colors, the air turns crisp, and sweaters and sport coats become the appropriate attire. I love it.
However, I will admit that I am a bit confused by the California seasons. I am a recent transplant from Minneapolis, Minnesota and I will admit that the past few weeks have not reminded me of autumn at all. It’s been between 75°F and 80°F and sunny for the past three weeks, which I interpret as June, not October. Also, the leaves on trees don’t really seem to be changing color. In fact they mostly still appear to be green and if they do change color at all, the leaves go straight from green to brown.
In spite of this, Santa Barbara County is celebrating harvest, and everyone seems ready for fall. Autumn marks a significant change in eating and drinking, which — as everyone well knows — are my two favorite things to do.
My picks for autumn white wines are Roussanne and Marsanne. Both of these wines have more body and depth than what I typically crave in the summer. The flavors are refined but pair nicely with simple autumn menus. These two wines are classic pairings for all sorts of my favorite autumn foods. I am from the Midwest, and when it’s fall, it’s time to eat roast game birds. Duck, goose, grouse, turkey, quail and pheasant are all on the menu in my mind; both Roussanne and Marsanne are great pairings for these tasty birds. The richer flavors, lovely minerality and fresh acidity found in the 2010 Qupé Bien Nacido Hillside Estate Roussanne would marry beautifully with a roast bird. Slow roasted root vegetables — think potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and turnips — are a great seasonal addition to the autumn menu and another excellent match for Roussanne.
A dear friend of mine spends the entire fall season eating butternut squash soup. This is another classic dish that deserves a beautiful wine pairing. The 2012 Qupé Sawyer Lindquist Marsanne (blended with 20% Viognier) would make an excellent companion to this soup. Paired with the Marsanne, the soup will taste more savory and complex and the wine will seem more focused. The list goes on and on. Trust me, when picking out white wines for autumn it’s hard to go wrong with Roussanne and Marsanne.
Check back next week to read all about my red wine picks for autumn.