Morgan Calcote, wine director at FIG in Charleston, seeks out bottles that can pair throughout seasonal shifts, menu changes, and across broad flavors. Most often this draws her to old world wines. Specifically, when it comes to wines that can transition from the bright acidic flavors of summer into the rich flavors of fall, Calcote has two minds of thought: Champagne and robust reds and rosés.
According to Calcote, “Champagne is never a bad choice.” It can be a meal’s start or sustain you all the way through your courses. Calcote is drawn to Bérèche particularly, which is made with classic Champagne grapes like chardonnay and pinot noir. Champagne Bérèche is dry with low acidity, so it can complement dishes through different courses from fish to root vegetables to fruit-driven desserts. If you’d prefer to skip the bubbles entirely, Calcote recommends a classic chablis, chardonnay from the northern regions of Burgundy. A Chablis will pair beautifully with fish, vegetables, or a light and creamy citrus sauce. Grüner veltliner is another option for springtime wine pairings as it matches with seasonal flavors like ramps and asparagus that are traditionally more difficult to pair.
While rosé is typically associated with summer and reds with cooler months, Calcote claims there is no seasonality to either. While a light rosé in the summer is something desirable, Calcote is often drawn to something with a little more depth. I Ca Ro is a more robust rosé made with red and white grapes that is the unexpected hero during summer’s tomato season. Full-bodied reds like sangiovese, certain cabernet francs, and Montepulcianos can make for excellent barbecue pairings in the summertime. Pinot noir and cabernet franc are friendly bottles when serving wine across a diverse array of dishes (as often happens at FIG), their versatility will spread across braised meat, fish, and vegetable-forward plates, satisfying the entire table.
TLP’s Fall Issue is here, an issue brimming with great stories to carry you out of the summer and straight into fall—glass of wine in hand.
- by Erin Byers Murray