(StatePoint) This autumn, gather family and friends to celebrate the harvest season and Thanksgiving holiday with a countryside menu filled with rustic farm-fresh fare and delectable wines.
For starters, welcome your guests with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Zinfandel, wines perfect for the season. Serve hors d`oeuvres of fresh goat cheese with herbs and lemon zest, marinated olives, cipollini onion hummus and warm homemade bread. This combination of delicious fall flavors will happily satisfy your guests prior to the main course.
When preparing the main course, embrace the outdoors by firing up the grill to cook the turkey or other meats. This will make room in the oven for scrumptious sides such as fennel baked in cream, apricot and walnut stuffing or winter squash flavored with thyme and sage.
The herbs and spices included in the menu can make choosing a wine difficult. A spicy refined, Zinfandel with a long, silky finish would be a good choice for robust fall flavors. The Reserve Zinfandel 2013 (SRP:$43.99) from St. Francis Winery and Vineyards, features classic structure with aromas of cinnamon, dark mixed berry that merge with flavors of blackberry jam, ripe raspberry and a touch of peppercorn. The winery’s luxury line of Reserve wines is certified sustainable, handcrafted and produced in small batches.
“These luscious, elegant, fruit-driven wines complement the many flavors and textures of the holiday table,” says Christopher Silva, CEO of St. Francis Winery and Vineyards.
This wine selection can be served with every course of your fall feast, including this seasonal dessert recipe for Pumpkin Panna Cotta by Chef Bryan Jones, who oversees the wine and food pairing program at St. Francis Winery and Vineyards.
• 1 3/4 cup cream
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon gelatin
• 1 cup milk
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup pumpkin pie mix
• Simmer cream and sugar for 5 minutes.
• Soak the gelatin in the milk a few minutes. Add the bloomed gelatin to the cream mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes.
• Add the pumpkin pie mix and vanilla. Place the mixture in an ice bath and cool to room temperature.
• Pour mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins. Refrigerate until set.
When designing your Thanksgiving menu and other fall celebrations, be inspired by the season’s oldest traditions and rely on freshly harvested ingredients and rustic flavors to make your meals memorable.