Pour It On!: Fall Pairings
Two Beverage Pros Pick Favorite Fall Food & Drink Pairings
Fall has arrived, and that means sweaters and heartier fare. Two beverage experts—Alisha Blackwell-Calvert, the beverage director and head sommelier for Reeds American Table outside St. Louis who was named by Wine Enthusiast as a "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers 2018" and a 2018 rising star by Feast magazine, and Ashley Broshious, the wine director and advanced sommelier at newly opened Joséphine Wine Bar in Charleston, S.C., who also teaches for the Napa Valley Wine Academy—weigh in on their favorite pairings for a variety of wholesome dishes for the season.
Short ribs in red wine sauce with mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions:
- Blackwell-Calvert: With a big rustic dish with root veggies and braised meats, I like a nebbiolo. My choice is Luigi Oddero. I recently had the 2004 barolo that has a little age, but still really bright cranberry and dark cherry flavors that balance the short ribs.
- Broshious: I think zinfandel because short ribs have the fattiness and usually get a little sweetness from caramelization. I love zins that are less jammy and in lower alcohol, like (those from) Lamborn Family, which have bright fruit with pepperiness, green stem quality, but not overly alcoholic.
Chicken pot pie with carrots, peas and celery:
- Blackwell-Calvert: Something like a pilsner that’s light and refreshing. Chicken pot pie has mild flavors, so you don’t want to overdo it.
- Broshious: You need richness, so you want something with high acid like rosé bubbles. You want something palate cleansing, but with fruit to play with the notes in chicken pot pie itself.
Butternut squash soup topped with crispy onion and crème fraîche:
- Blackwell-Calvert: I like bubbles with soups, so I am recommending a 2013 Királyudvar from Hungary. It’ll heighten those flavors in the soup and work together.
- Broshious: I had to go Burgundy with this. I’m pouring a wine that’s simple but beautiful: Pascal Clement Bourgogne blanc. It’s rich, nutty and has acid that goes with crème fraîche and onions.
Turkey chili with beans, ancho and dried chipotle chiles, stout beer and smoky bacon:
- Blackwell-Calvert: A mezcal Mule. With the beans, ancho and bacon, you want something to stand up and the smokiness with mezcal with bright lime and ginger beer will cleanse your palate with every bite.
- Broshious: With turkey chili, I’d go with lager. There’s a local one called Fermentory and the beer is Yacht Party. It’s refreshing, crisp and palate cleansing for the heat.
Pear pecan upside down cake:
- Blackwell-Calvert: I’m going with calvados. The sweetness from the calvados and the pear-apple flavors should mimic and play off the cake. Plus, calvados has this nice, nutty finish that should play off the pecans.
- Broshious: Riesling—a good auslese. I’d go old with 2003, which was a ripe vintage. It’s rich with high acid, but being almost 14 years old, it has a nutty back end, which would pair well with the pecans.
Rosemary-sage roasted chicken served with sweet potato mash with brown butter and fried sage:
- Blackwell-Calvert: I went with vouvray sec; the grape is chenin blanc from Loire Valley in France. It has bruised apple notes and really high acid, a long finish and is aromatic. The roasted chicken, brown butter and sweet potato will play well together while mimicking flavors, and you’ll still be able to taste all that nice rosemary and sage.
- Broshious: Chardonnay from California and chicken is a magical pairing and doing something like Kistler’s single vineyards like the Trenton Roadhouse has a lot of acid. The vanilla in the oak will cut through the brown butter sauce and those spices.