Autumn makes us happy. The weather starts getting cooler, the produce starts to change, and, importantly, for us, harvest is underway for the next great vintage of Rombauer wine. We close our grills and move our meals inside as we embrace roasting, baking, and other cooking methods we abandoned for summer nights. Fall food calls for richer, rounder wine so two of our fall favorites are our Carneros Chardonnay and classic California Zinfandel. Here are three recipes for each, sure to become regulars in your rotation this season.
A decadent appetizer that is deceptively easy! Feel free to make your own puff pastry, but we prefer the convenience of using frozen. An optional step is adding a layer of chutney or preserves above the cheese before you wrap the dough; it warms as you bake and adds a surprise and delight to each bite. Pour a glass of Chardonnay and cut into its warm, melty deliciousness.
Before there was Pumpkin Spice, there was Pumpkin Soup. If one ingredient is equated to a single season, there is no doubt it would be pumpkin and fall. Optional curry powder adds a little kick to this simple soup whose warm creaminess is best complimented by the cool creaminess in the glass of Chardonnay.
This is a dish for cool weekend days, when you can take the time to prepare each step. This recipe calls for making both the chicken and dough from scratch, but feel free to use pre-cooked chicken and frozen dough to make it speedier. A glass of Chardonnay with a hot serving of pie is the epitome of comfort food.
Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
One of the best parts of this dish is its versatility. Beef, pork, sausage, or even turkey will work as the meat in these, mixed lightly with classic Italian spices and then seared on the stovetop. Open a Zinfandel and serve this over pasta, polenta, or sauteed spinach. You’ll notice that the body and lush tannins of the wine pair perfectly with the spicy, rich meatballs and the bright tomato sauce.
We love this chili recipe for its unusual twist of adding a little unsweetened chocolate. This doesn’t make the chili sweet, just adds an additional layer of complexity to this delicious dish. This meal begs for a classic California Zinfandel which can stand up to such a strongly flavored dish.
When fresh berries go out of season, we turn to the freezer aisle as this dessert deserves more than one season. Bake this for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or really anytime you want a sweet and simple dessert. You’ll find the berry flavors in the pie also jumping out of a glass of California Zinfandel in a pairing so perfect that you’ll always want to enjoy them together, regardless of the season.