Fall is coming in fits and starts in Texas. The calendar has us firmly entrenched in fall; however, the weather keeps cooling off only to raise back into the 80’s again, it’s like being stuck on an endless loop of a roller coaster. I am a huge fan of fall, mostly for the fashion, but also for the cuisine. No matter the weather, in October my kitchen is cooking fall. As luck would have it I am flooded with wine samples, so here is another delicious fall meal paired with a delicious wine.
The Wine: At the wine bloggers conference in Lodi this past August I participated in a red wine speed tasting session. It involved tasting about 10 wines in a hour with a quick tweet about each wine. Each wine was quite good but one stopped me in my tracks, mostly because it was not like the others. Many of the wines poured were big reds of some sort, then along came a delicately balanced Pinot Noir. Hold the presses! I loved this wine. As luck would have it the producer read my tweet, contacted me and sent me a couple of samples. Here is one of those samples:
2013 Windrun Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County USA: Crafted of 100% Pinot Noir from five different clones sourced in the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County; opened with tart red fruit, tea notes, with a potpourri of dried rose buds and dried herbs, ending in spice with a touch of toasted cedar; light and lively on the palate in an old world style, mouth-coating, well balanced acidity and integrated tannins, great structure, medium body with a long, tart red fruit finish; a truly lovely and elegant wine that way over-performs its price. This wine was crafted by the legendary Ken Brown. SRP $20; a steal! Click here to order this wine.
The Food: Pinot Noir is perfect any time of year but it is truly ideal with fall pairings. Pork, quail, Cornish hens, pasta, squashes, apples, persimmons, cranberries, sage, tarragon, coriander, all love Pinot Noir. I don’t like to pick favorite wine but if hard pressed for a desert island sort of thing I would have to choose Pinot Noir as the one wine I cannot live without, in part due to its wonderful food pairings, plus many more reasons.
My Choice: I saved the recipe for Roasted & Stuffed Acorn Squash on Pinterest about a year ago. I have so many recipes it is hard to get to them all, thankfully this one patiently waited for the right time and wine. It was a unique dish, pairing a sort of tex-mex style ground beef, black beans, cilantro, and cumin, with an array of brown rice, cinnamon, tomatoes, orange zest, and sunflower seeds, and stuffing it all into a baked acorn squash. Eclectic and quite frankly it all came together well. A perfect weeknight meal with lots of flavor and quite filling.
The Results: This was a delicious pairing. The dish was very earthy but had a sweet element to it as well due to the squash, cinnamon, and orange zest. Although I had enjoyed a splash of this wine prior to this dinner it was so little all I remembered was it being light, earthy, and delicious. That was enough to create an elegant pairing that worked on every level. To be honest, as my husband was pouring himself a second glass of wine to sip and enjoy he did not say I could make the dinner again anytime like he did the Bahn Mi Bowl; however, it ate every bit with a smile and certainly enjoyed the wine.
More about Windrun from their web site:
Great wine at great prices: That is our concept. Windrun Wine is a négociant that sells premium coastal California wines at reasonable prices. The quality of our wine surpasses many selling for twice as much. We focus on selecting the finest wines made from grapes grown in the prime vineyards of coastal California, then carefully blend them to emphasize their aromatics and balanced flavors. Windrun Wine was founded by Lance Mason in 2010. A lifelong interest in wines that carried him to some of the most famous wine growing regions in the world fed a desire to create his own brand using the wines of his home region on the central coast of California. When an opportunity presented itself to work with legendary California winemaker Ken Brown, a new venture was born.
In naming the company, a term from Mr. Brown’s viticulture experience was selected. “Windrun” is a measure of the flow of cool breezes through a vineyard in the afternoon and evening, which is critical to the correct development of Burgundian grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The brand was born, and the first two Santa Barbara County wines, a 2009 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, went to market later in the year. Our wines are nationally distributed and carried in better restaurants and hotels, fine wine and liquor shops, select grocery stores, and a few chain stores.
My Song Selection: A good Pinot Noir is like a jazz to me, smooth, silky, sometimes a little funky, beautifully composed and arranged with layers and textures. This 2013 Windrun Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County is no exception.
Get your own bottle of 2013 Windrun Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!