Wines for Fall
Summer came and went, and I realized (a little begrudgingly) that it’s time to find wines for fall. Fall in Norway typically means lamb, or different types of “stew”. You have the very traditional “Fårikål”, which is lamb cooked in sourcrout. It’s not my favorite, but it has been named Norway’s National Dish, which means a fair amount of Norwegian genuinely enjoy it! Lamb is in general a favorite in the fall. There’s rack of lamb, shank of lamb, lamb filet; really lamb in any capacity. Just remember: at some point lamb become sheep…
Wine with lamb
Anyway, when it comes to pairing wine with lamb, I’d go for a Barbera or Nebbiolo. It all depends on how the lamb is prepared and what side dishes it’s served with. If you’re serving the Norwegian National Dish, Fårikål, Barbera is the way to go. Might I suggest the one from Francesco Borgogno or the one from Mauro Veglio. If you’re going rack of lamb or lamb shank, I’d try a Nebbiolo. Now, here you have quite a few options. A good Langhe Nebbiolo is always a winner. One of my recent favorites is the Emilio Vada Cua Rusa. You could also opt for a Nebbiolo d’Alba, for example the Valmaggiore from Marengo. For those who are not familiar with the differences between a Langhe Nebbiolo and a Nebbiolo d’Alba, here is a super quick explanation: a Nebbiolo d’Alba has to spend at least 12 months in oak barrels, whereas a Langhe Nebbiolo does not. Most Langhe Nebbiolo don’t see any oak at all. I say most, because there are always exceptions. Anyway, more on that another day.
Barolo – where to start?
If you want something more complex with your rack of lamb, you could always go for a Barolo. Maybe it’s a special occasion? Maybe you just got promoted, or maybe you’re celebrating your 40th birthday? Or maybe it’s a Tuesday and you want a Barolo just because. There are tons of Barolo’s to choose from, but that’s a topic for another time. In the meantime, try the Cristian Boffa Barolo del Comune di La Morra or the Fratelli Revello Barolo. And watch out for the 2019’s being released in Norway this week! If the one’s I’ve tried are representative of the vintage, it’s looking very promising!
It’s mushroom season. At least for some types of mushroom. My go to mushroom wine pairing is Pelaverga. And it’s usually the one from Burlotto or the one from Diego Morra, There is something about that white pepper nose and fresh acidity that makes it pair very well with mushrooms. If you’re making a very cheesy, buttery, rich risotto, perhaps a Barbera would be better. And if the mushrooms are simply a side to a steak, Nebbiolo might be the way to go.
Don’t want red wines for fall?
If you’ve made it all the way here, you’ve gotten quite a few red wine suggestions. But some dishes pair well with Champagne as well. So if you’re having Fårikål, you could opt for a Champagne instead of a Barbera. I mean, when is Champagne ever a bad idea? The J. Charpentier is still a favorite! Oudiette is another great Champagne. And although champagne with lamb stewed in sourcrout might sound like a very strange pairing, I swear it works.
And just like that, you’re prepared for fall!