Autumn menus: ideas and pairings with seasonal products

Expert advice for memorable dinners

Autumn menus: ideas and pairings with seasonal products

Date of publication: 28/09/2022

Whether you are planning a dinner with friends or simply want to "pamper yourself" a little, knowing which wines to combine with seasonal menus will add a certain charm to each course.

Why are seasonal products always the best choice? 

Nutritionists always advise it is best to follow the seasonality of foods and there is good reason for this. There are many advantages to following seasonality: seasonal products are tastier, cost less, and are good for health. This is because nature always gives us what we need. Not surprisingly, in summer fruits such as melons and watermelons are full of water, while in winter oranges and mandarins are rich in vitamin C to help fight fever and colds. With globalization, we are used to consuming what we want when we want it, but not forcing nature through the use of pesticides, chemicals, and early harvests, means respecting both the environment and your needs.

Comfort food and the first chill in the air 

The arrival of autumn brings with it cooler temperatures and shorter days. The change of season and the first chill in the air are often debilitating but, fortunately, they also mark the arrival of new colours and new flavours. Seasonal recipes, especially when paired with autumn wines, help put us in a good mood. Autumn delights us not only with products from the woods and forests such as mushrooms, truffles, and pumpkin, but also with foods such as leeks, pomegranate, cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, and much more.

Appetizers to stimulate a diner’s interest

Autumn vegetables lend themselves to many dishes, and appetizers serve to whet the appetite and appease the pangs of hunger while waiting for the main courses. Spinach, leeks, radicchio, pumpkin, and mushrooms allow you to create numerous appetizers and combinations: savoury pies, fried pumpkin, croutons, radicchio or cabbage rolls, and so on. The ideal wines to pair with appetizers should not have a strong body and structure and should not have a high alcohol content, as both appetizers and wine are a prelude to the actual courses. 

Here are some general tips and guidelines for the right pairings of autumn food and wine:

  • With fish-based appetizers, the wines to be preferred are fresh and light whites; if served with sauces or fried dishes, a Prosecco DOC or a classic method sparkling wine that is not too structured is recommended;
  • For meat-based appetizers, choose light red wines or rosé wines such as Brunella Rosé or Rosé millesimato that are perfect for aperitifs and canapés, or Lambrusco with cold cuts;
  • For pies and vegetable soufflés with a delicate flavour, try a good Oltrepò Pavese Riesling DOC; its versatility also lends itself to being paired with subsequent courses.

Autumn and fish menus that prepare for winter

Fish is a great ally for human health: with its protein content that is rich in Omega 3, fish protects against many ailments and makes us stronger. However, it is important to not catch fish during their reproductive phase so as not to hinder their growth, and thus to choose what the sea actually offers us. In autumn the Mediterranean sets the table with a wide range of fish including red mullet, anchovies, sea bass, hake, mackerel, turbot, and many others! For recipes with these fish, dry and young white or rosé wines are the perfect match for enhancing the delicacy of the dish without overpowering its flavour. Chardonnay, Fiano, and Falanghina are the ideal wines for such dishes.

Dishes to warm you up: meat menus

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Not everyone knows that fish and meat also have their own seasonality and that it is necessary to respect the life cycle of animals. October is the month that opens the hunt: wild boar, partridge, hare and deer are land meats that, cooked in various ways and surrounded by mushrooms or other vegetables, are the most consumed in Autumn. 

The type of meat and the cooking methodology provide valuable information in the search for the winning combination. Characterized by succulence, roasts prefer a tannic red wine to dry the mouth. Game, on the other hand, wants aged reds such as Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino. Pork and veal go well younger red wines, while boiled meats, and cooked meats such as cotechino, are enhanced by fruity and medium-structured wines: Barbera, Merlot, or Nebbiolo are the ideal choice. 
Conclude your dinner and impress your guests with apple or pumpkin pie or with persimmon cake: the fruits in these desserts are star attractions this season! Try it and believe it: get yourself into the kitchen, Giordano will have the wines conveniently shipped to your home!

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