A Fall Dinner: Recipes With Wine Pairings
A simple but delicious Fall dinner. Recipes are for a starter, a main and a dessert all with wine pairings. Sponsored by Columbia Crest Wines.
Now that Halloween is behind us, we are truly into the holiday season. It’s this time of year when I love to get together with family and friends as much as possible. But it’s such a busy time that it’s hard to put on extravagant meals.
In the very near future I’ll be coming out with a cookbook (in print and ebook) that will help you make simple but delicious holiday meals. Stay tuned! Until then, I have the perfect Fall Theme dinner menu to share with you. Each course is paired with a wine to simplify your decision-making process some more.
You start with these Butternut Squash and Scallop Skewers. There’s also some basil threaded on there and an easy garlic dipping sauce to go with them.
These are a great mostly make-ahead appetizer. You mix up the dip ahead of time, cover and refrigerate it. Then you par-cook the butternut squash cubes. Shortly before your guests arrive, thread the scallops, squash and basil onto skewers. Then they go on the grill or under the broiler just until everything is heated through and the scallops are done to your liking. A few minutes really.
The wine-pairing for this course is a Chardonnay. Chardonnay goes beautifully with seafood, and especially with the sweet and salty scallops. It also goes well with the buttery creamy flavors of butternut squash. In particular, the orchard fruit and buttery flavors in Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay create a lively, vibrant wine that really complements the flavors and textures in this dish.
The main course for this Fall dinner party menu is Pulled Pork Sandwiches. But not just any sandwiches will do. These Pulled Pork Sandwiches are dressed up to attend your dinner party!
The pork is braised with red wine and rosemary. Then you shred the meat and serve it on nice buns with some sophisticated toppings. The toppings include a homemade (but easy!) lemon goat cheese spread, black olive tapenade (store-bought or this one), store-bought roasted peppers and radicchio leaves.
I’ve paired these sandwiches with the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah because the smoky, spicy and dark fruit notes of the wine stand up against the pungent rosemary, cheese and tapenade flavors in the dish.
The meal ends with this Rustic Apple Berry Tart.
This is my new favorite thing to do for company. I use a store-bought crust because I’ve never been super-skilled at pastry-making. If you’re good at pastry, make your own. I use the crust that’s sold in the refrigerated section near the tubes of biscuit dough. It’s rolled up flat (not in a pie plate) and then rolled like a jelly roll to be sold in a long rectangular box.
To make the tart, you put the pastry on a big flat baking sheet. Toss your fruit with sugar, flour and some other flavorings, in this case it’s a bit of wine, balsamic vinegar and thyme. Spoon it onto the middle of your pie crust. Fold the pie crust up all around in a rustic easy way, partially covering the fruit in the middle. Bake until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling. Easy, right?
I generally mix up the fruit, put it on the pie crust and pop the tart into the oven shortly before we start eating dinner. It’s ready and has a chance to cool a bit before it’s time to serve dessert. You can also bake it several hours ahead of time and serve it at room temperature or warm it in a low oven or in the microwave.
I like to serve the tart with red wine because it has red wine right in the fruit mixture. The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing. It has vanilla and chocolate flavors that go well with the sweet-and-sour fruit in the tart. The raspberries in the filling bring out the dark berry and plum notes in the wine.
I hope you love this Fall meal and that you’re enjoying the start of the holiday season!