picnic in the park with turkey sandwiches and fall drinks

Our Favorite Food and Drink Pairings for the Fall

Autumn meals are warm, comforting, and bursting with rich, hearty flavors. But a good meal is only as good as its drink pairing. This autumn, break away from tradition with these unique drink pairings, carefully chosen to highlight the flavor of our favorite fall recipes.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin + Grenache

bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with honey

Pork straddles the line between red meat and white meat, and in doing so, can be a little trickier to pair with wine. While pork can be fatty (think pork belly or bacon), pork tenderloin is a leaner cut, which calls for a stronger wine with a bit more panache. A good answer is Grenache. This red is medium-bodied, with balanced tannins and full fruit flavors, making it a bold, yet balanced choice for this lean, juicy cut of pork.

Turkey Pot Pie Soup + Saison

leftover turkey pot pie

Turkey pot pie, an excellent autumn comfort food, brims with fresh, bright vegetables and tender strips of turkey, and is just as good when prepared as a soup. While wine enthusiasts might choose a light red wine like pinot noir or a sweeter white like a Riesling, we’d recommend going the route of beer—specifically, a saison. The complex flavor profile, light body, and complexity of aromatic, spicy, and tangy flavors make it the perfect partner to the heavier, comforting pot pie dish.

Pesto Chicken Thighs + Vermentino

Lemon basil chicken thigh with quinoa and pesto plated as well in meal prep containers

When it comes to pairing wine with chicken, the classic standby is a nice dry Chardonnay. However, it’s nice to venture out on an adventurous wing, and if you’re preparing a recipe like this chicken thigh and pesto dish, we’d recommend trying a light, bright vermentino. Vermentino is a crisp, dry, citrusy white wine that pairs great with both the juicy, rich flavors of dark meat and the sweet herbal flavors of pesto.

Chipotle Cacao-Rubbed Sirloin + Manhattan

chipotle-cacao rubbed skillet sirloin filet

You’ve probably heard—and experienced—the traditional pairing of red wine and red meat. This autumn, if you’re looking for a bolder, richer option to pair with your sirloin filets, look no further than the time-honored elegance of a Manhattan. The bold, peppery flavors of the rye whiskey combined with the bitter undertones of vermouth and bitter enhance the rich, meaty flavors of the steak.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Pesto + IPA

pesto sheet pan salmon and delicata squash

Salmon is a naturally fatty fish, which means it pairs well with drinks with higher acidity. While we might often think of serving salmon with a dry white or a crisp rosé, beer—and especially hoppy beers—makes a great compatriot to salmon, especially this sheet pan salmon with pesto.  The acidity of the hops cut through the high-fat content of the salmon, helping to embolden the juicy, flaky experience, and if you go the route of a juicy IPA, the notes of citrus will speak to oils of the salmon, and the nutty, herbal flavors of the pesto.

Jonathan is a freelance writer/editor and rock climbing route-setter based in Boston, MA. When he’s not wielding words or making people fall off walls, he’s probably outside somewhere, hiking or climbing or surfing poorly. He’s been known, on occasion, to drop everything and travel the world for months at a time. Learn more about Jonathan at www.jonathanlittauer.com.