December 10th , 2014Fall Pairings Autumn is an ideal time to dive into a new world of food, cooking and, of course, wine. The act of pairing a decadent autumn dish with a carefully picked wine is an art in itself. Finding the balance that enhances, not overpowers, can be tricky. But with the right guidance, embarking on the adventure of wine pairing can be a fun and exciting new experience. To help you get started, we’ve gathered up a few of our favorite fall recipes, completed by a bottle of the perfect varietal. Apples and Walnuts with Stilton Cheese Salad Ingredients: 6 oz. Stilton cheese 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoon heavy cream 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 6 sweet eating apples, such as Braeburn, Gala or Red Delicious, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced, plus several whole celery leaves for garnish 2 tablespoon dried currants or raisins 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted For directions and more, visit: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/apples-and-walnuts-with-stilton-cheese.html Suggested wine pairing: This salad dense with fruit, nuts and cheeses pairs well with a bold and full-bodied red wine like our 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Duck Breast with Pomegranate Ingredients: Duck 4 breasts, 200 g each, skin cross-hatched with a knife For the sauce: 1 halved pomegranate, seeds removed, juice retained (100 ml) 300 ml vegetable stock 1 tablespoon honey Cayenne pepper Corn flour Suggested wine pairing: Duck requires something a bit light and fruity with an earthiness to it. The 2013 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir, grown in a cool climate, gives it that sought after earthiness. For directions and more, visit the finedininglovers.com page. Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Chestnuts Ingredients: 1 1/4 lb russet (baking potatoes) 1 (3/4-lb) sweet potato 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch) 1/3 cup bottled roasted chestnuts, very thinly sliced with an adjustable-blade slicer or a sharp vegetable peeler 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Suggested wine pairing: The freshly elegant and layered 2013 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir will pair with the nutmeg and fresh taste of this warm recipe. For directions and more, visit the Gourmet.com page. Chicken with Marsala, Tomatoes and Mushrooms Ingredients: 1 to 1-1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts 10 ounces rotini or penne 3 tablespoons flour, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/2 cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped 8 ounces crimini (or white) mushrooms, sliced 1 cup Marsala wine 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped For directions and more, visit the mygourmetconnection.com page. Suggested wine pairing: The combination of chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes matches up well with lighter wines, such as a zesty and vibrant Chardonnay.