There's something about fall that gives me a serious craving for pasta. Hearty, savoury flavours; squashes, mushrooms, braises and ragus, all mixed in with perfectly cooked noodles. This week (and my pasta craving) coincides with My Wine Canada's free shipping offer on 12 or more bottles, or 50% off shipping on 6 bottles from Thornhaven Estates Winery, the Summerland winery with a stunning view above Okanagan Lake. Thornhaven's wines have been among my go-to Okanagan value picks for over a decade. This is a perfect time to dig up some pasta recipes and find a few great pairings to send right to your door.
Thornhaven 2014 Gewurztraminer - I've always loved this Gewurztraminer—it shows some of the classic Alsatian perfume and spice, but at the same time, has a refreshing citrusy side that makes it very quaffable. It's off-dry, making it great for pairing up with spicy dishes, and back in Alsace, it's a classic accompaniment alongside pork-focused cooking. I went for a classic Southern Italian pasta with Bon Appétit's Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù.
Thornhaven 2012 Pinot Noir - Fall is also the season for foraging mushrooms, and thanks to their earthy and sometimes funky flavours, Pinot Noir is one of the best matches. From Food & Wine, the Brown Butter Mushrooms with Hazelnuts and Whole-Wheat Pasta has plenty of nutty and savoury elements, with flavours from the cloves that should all work nicely with Thornhaven's Pinot Noir.
Thornhaven 2013 Syrah - This Syrah shows plenty of dark fruit characters with baking spice and black pepper and would be the ideal partner for some dark, braised meat. Check out this recipe in Saveur, which is a Dominican twist on Gnocchi, with plenty of spices and fall-off-the-bone beef to complement the Syrah: Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragù.
Jake Skakun is a writer and sommelier from Vancouver, currently living in Toronto. He can be found most days pulling corks and twisting caps at the Black Hoof. He Tweets and Instagrams @jakeskakun.