Autumnal Food Paring Partner: Bordeaux

by Caroline Tanner

With a crisp chill in the morning air and fallen leaves underfoot, it’s time to retreat from the garden for the comforting flavours of autumn in the kitchen. Squash, mushrooms, beetroot, celeriac, blackberries, apples and pears are all coming into season 鈥 beautiful earthy flavours that invite long, slow cooking and deep, satisfying red wine pairings.聽

For this, we often turn to Bordeaux, renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wines, the varieties found in Bordeaux (primarily Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc for the reds) lend themselves well to these autumnal flavours, and at prices which offer great value for money.聽

Here are a few of our favourite seasonal pairings to try:聽聽

Traditional Roast Chicken & 2015 CH脗TEAU GOUBAU C么tes de Castillon聽

Roasted chickenMerlot, known for its soft tannins and fruity character, is an ideal match for roast chicken, and the Ch芒teau Goubau is a blend of a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% kick of Cabernet Franc. Here the palate is full of autumn fruits, gentle oak and spice, complementing the delicate meat without overwhelming any of the elements on the plate (as we know a roast is nothing without its accompaniments). A mineral freshness and attractive intensity keep you coming back for more.聽

 

Find the wine here 拢23.95 – 拢21.95 (case price)

Beef Stew & 2016 CH脗TEAU FOURCAS DUPR脡 Cru Bourgeois Haut M茅doc

beef stewBurgundy might naturally spring to mind when you think of Boeuf Bourguignon, but a more robust red can work just as well. The Ch芒teau Fourcas Dupr茅 is a classic left-bank blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon playing the leading role. This stands up very well against the savoury, caramelised beef and onions, with textured tannins and delicious elegance. On the palate it is packed with blackberry, raspberry and light cassis flavours and complemented by cedarwood and clove notes.聽

Find the wine here 拢20.95 – 拢19.50 (case price)

Wild mushroom Risotto & 2018 CH脗TEAU AIM脡E M茅doc

Wild mushroom risottoWith this brilliant wine the balance between ripeness, weight and the fresher, more ‘claretty’ lines of classic Bordeaux is spot on. There is much to enjoy with the depth of ripe plum and sweet cherry flesh – but also a high line of fresh spices, some pepper and some delicious wood-spice. It鈥檚 a great match to accentuate the earthy, bosky, umami flavours from the wild mushrooms 鈥 especially if you can throw in some powerful dried porcini and serve with generous shavings of parmesan. The result is a sophisticated veggie autumnal supper pairing.聽

Find the wine here 拢13.95 – 拢12.50 (case price)

Bangers & Mash & 2020 CH脗TEAU LES VIEUX MOULINS Cuv茅e Pirouette C么tes de Blaye

Bangers and MashAt a recent tasting, Jancis Robinson described this wine as 鈥榗razily underpriced鈥 鈥 it does pack a flavourful punch for a bottle under 拢15, proving that there is value to be found in Bordeaux. It has balance in abundance, with lovely, lifted aromatics and a pure, red berry quality that can cut through the fat of both the sausage and the mash, plus a spicier edge of five spice and cedar box which adds layers of complexity and works well with a peppery sausage, or an accompanying gravy.

 

Find the wine here 拢14.95 鈥撀13.50 (case price)

And for dessert?

Apple Tarte Fine & 2016 PETIT GUIRAUD Sauternes-Barsac Ch芒teau Guiraud

Tarte fine If you are looking to finish with a British classic, this could easily be a shortcrust apple pie, but the caramelised top to a tarte fine (or a tarte tatin for that matter) is a slightly better pairing here Bordeaux鈥檚 celebrated sweet wine: Sauternes. The Petit Guiraud is produced without chaptalisation or any other form of enrichment, meeting the same standards as Ch芒teau Guiraud (one of the Premier Grand Cru Class茅 of 1855). The 100% botrytised berries make an amazingly intense wine 鈥 refined, lively and luscious and bursting with marmalade, honeysuckle, and apricot flavours it鈥檚 a beautiful match for an apple tart, bringing out the sweetness of the fruit while cutting through the richness of the pastry.

Find the wine here 鈥 half bottles 拢16.95 – 拢15.25 (case price)