For some it’s hard to admit, for others it’s a welcome change…but either way, fall is in full swing, y’all. You’ve added sweaters & boots to your wardrobe, and put up your Halloween decorations. You’ve been drinking spiced coffee and pumpkin flavored beer. You’ve been craving comfort foods on chilly nights. There’s only one thing missing from this equation—the perfect pinot, syrah, merlot or cabernet.
Christian Broder, the floor sommelier and general manager of Social Restaurant + Wine Bar in Downtown Charleston, definitely has his fair share of favorite wines, but like any good chef does with his ingredients, Christian varies his wine choices by the season. Last week he shared with us three fall wines, with suggested food pairings, to get us all in an autumnal mood.
The first wine he suggests is a 2011 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko from Santorini Greece. He pairs this with Social’s Carolina shrimp, farro salad, speck, horseradish and vin cotto. Assyrtiko is an indigenous varietal of Santorini that posseses such notable qualities that it is sure to appear on your radar soon, if it hasn’t already. It is bone-dry and medium to full-bodied with notes of lemon, orange and sea spray. Overall the wine is intensely mineral. It’s the minerality and briny note that work hand in hand with the poached shrimp and speck, while the zippy citrus notes compliment the farro salad, horseradish and vin cotto. The dish seems like something you would enjoy beachfront on a breezy, autumn night and this wine is the perfect compliment.
Next up is a 2009 Scholium Project ‘Midan Al-Tahir’ Field Blend from California. Broder pairs this with the pappardelle pasta entrée featuring winter squash, sage, pine nuts and brown butter. Scholium Project’s ‘Midan Al-Tahir’ is a Chardonnay based field blend from California that behaves like the mature older sibling of California Chardonnays of the past. Robust in body and very complex, this wine is big enough to warm you up on a fall night, but will also slyly slide into the midpalate with the brown butter of the dish. Sauvingnon Blanc is a part of the wine blend here also, which plays very well with the sage. This pairing may be a suitable substitute for sitting by the fire the night of the first cold snap.
Lastly, Broder recommends a 2009 Ferraton ‘La Martiniere’ Crozes-Hermitage from Rhone. This pairs perfectly with the kitchens confit pork cheeks served with smoked pecans, mushrooms, polenta and blackberry jus. This plate could not be suited for a better wine. In fact, it was born from the wine’s aromatic and flavor profiles. Made from 100% Syrah, the Ferraton is a cool weather wine with notes of dark fruit, roasted game, smoke and fresh turned earth. With the earthiness of the pork cheeks and mushrooms, the pairing is air-tight. As a bonus you have a blackberry jus made of macerated blackberries and bacon fat- it just doesn’t seem fair does it?
All of the wines described here can be found at Social Restaurant + Wine Bar, but should be found soon…in your own home!