It seems like just a week ago that I was bemoaning the death of tomato and corn season, but just like that I’m officially excited for fall food. The savory deliciousness, the ease of wine pairing, the joy of eating dinner by a quiet fire – it does feel pretty exciting to have these moments back in our lives after a hectic, hot summer.
Wine pairing in the summer is fun and carefree. You whip something up, crack open a bottle of something cheap and cheerful and it almost always tastes great together. But fall food, oh, fall food is where the wine pairing magic happens. Earthy, rustic, and satisfying meals beg for a little extra thought when it comes to what goes in your glass.
Last night I played around with a few different recipes to come up with an ah-ma-zing delicata squash side dish that we served with a simple grilled pork tenderloin. I melted a tablespoon of butter in a cast iron pan and sauteed a half an onion, chopped, with about a cup and a half of chopped mushrooms – the earthier the better. I really let them sit in the pan without stirring too much, over moderately low heat, so they would brown and sizzle. At the end I stirred in about two tablespoons of ribboned sage. Salt and pepper of course!
I added the onion mixture to about a cup of rice that I cooked in chicken broth, and about two cups of quartered and roasted brussel sprouts. After generously seasoning, I piled them into delicata squash halves that I roasted at the same time as the sprouts – about 425 for 20 minutes for both. Then I popped the loaded squash boats into the oven for about five minutes. I garnished heavily with pomegranate because…pomegranate makes everything better. Everything. You could add nuts to this too and it would be wonderful.
It was such a simple but satisfying meal, and an incredible pairing for wine. We suggest pairing a white or red Rhone with this dish, to equal success. The white, with flavors of pear, apple, and honey, will pull out and play with the sweetness of the squash. A red from Chateauneuf-du-Pape will cling onto the sage and mushroom earthiness for a super satisfying experience. Stick to this region and you can’t go wrong.
Here’s to fall and Sunday Suppers and excellent wine pairings!