A guide to Toronto’s popular fall pairings

With Toronto summer weather winding down, and the major city festivals wrapping up, the city is transitioning into fall. Soon, with the cool autumn weather just around the corner, the jackets and scarves will come out, and wine connoisseurs will be making the switch from breezy whites, to rich fall reds. Toronto’s wine heroes are carefully preparing their cellars by storing wine selections that are bold and rich in flavour, that will match any hearty meal when they choose to entertain. Whether you’re taking advantage of that last bit of BBQing weather, or preparing for a long weekend potluck inspired by tastes of the season, choosing the right bottle of wine for the occasion is of upmost importance.

Foods that are characteristic of autumn have sweet, spicy and nutty flavour profiles. A dish of sweet roasted sausages for example with yams and shallots at Thanksgiving would pair well with a Spanish red from Rioja as it will offer hints of dry cherries on the palate. It should be an earthy red that balances out the savouriness of the dish. The Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza by Bodega Classica, vintage 2014, is an optimal choice for any dish with red or cured meats. This 94-point bottle is available for under $15 when you order it through retailers like Wine Online — who deliver wine right to your home in the GTA. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with a welcome tartness where you will also find hints of red berried fruit, tobacco and dried herbs.

For something smokier to compliment ribs, chicken and roasted vegetables straight off the BBQ, another Spanish red, the Campo Arriba Old Vines by Señorio de Barahonda would be the optimal choice. This 93-point red is a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache grapes aged three months in French oak. Aromas and flavours consist of blackberries, blueberries, and acacia flowers alongside a chalky minerality which suits crispy and mouth-watering BBQed meats.Any of these are sure to be a hit should you choose to throw a late-summer backyard bash. If you’d like to order any of these amazing options online, visit the Wine Online website to learn more about each vintage, to see suggested food pairings, and of course to place an order.

If you enjoy whites, something oaky and buttery is preferred like a Chardonnay. Alternatively, a crispier, dryer Sauvignon Blanc will cut through rich mushroom, hard cheeses, roasted chicken or salmon based dishes. Pair either wine with a salmon fillet on top of a lentil salad with mixed greens. An excellent Chardonnay for the fall season would be the 95-point 2015 Ryder Estate Chardonnay Central Coast from California. This elegant white gives off aromas of vanilla, orange blossom, and golden delicious apples, finishing with ripe peach, Asian pear, vanilla and citrus flavours. Serve this selection with charcuterie and soft cheeses; your guests are sure to appreciate this top-quality vintage.

When getting ready for a change of season, ensure the wine you invest in will compliment and bring the flavours out of the food you intend to serve. Whether it’s served at a larger gathering or quaint family dinner, the perfect selection can go a long way. Furthermore, with online retailers offering a variety of rare, high-point vintages from wineries all over the world (complete with tasting notes, ratings and reviews), you’ll never be pressed to find a bottle that suits the occasion or the menu. Find that ideal biting red or silky-smooth white with the simple click of a button.

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