Region: Yakima Valley, Washington
You’ve sat down and gobbled up a hearty meal. What are you going to have next? Sure, the obvious and easy choice is to serve pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin parfaits, pumpkin Oreos, pumpkin Pringles and any other tweaked out form of pumpkin you can think of. Perhaps one of those goddamned pumpkin spice lattes? You know those things are laced with carcinogens, right?
Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. The more I say that word, the more it sounds like some kind of penis enlarger you’d find in a SPAM email (probably from someone named “Tabitha” or “Emmanuelle”).
So, what do I associate with the Fall season? Apples, hay rides, leaves changing colors, new school year, knee hight boots, hot tea, football, soothing soups (and yes, my mom’s pumpkin squares) are what come to my mind. Not to mention, the Autumnal color scheme is a Redhead’s best friend.
I have a new addition to that aforementioned list: Airfield Estates Late Harvest Riesling. Late Harvest Riesling is a dessert wine that is made with grapes that have stayed on the vine as long as possible without a frost, until they’ve shriveled up into grapes chock-full of concentrated sugars.
Airfield Estates is in Yakima Valley, Washington and they’re making some goo-ood wines; their Late Harvest Riesling being one of them. This wine is luscious. It’s thick without being syrupy. It’s sweet without being flabby. It’s seasonal without being overly determined.Honestly, it’s smooth and honeyed with peach and apricot tastes and smells. It’s not all candy, though. There’s enough acidity to help give it structure and make it a pleasant after dinner palate pleaser. I don’t typically gush about dessert wines but I’m in love and that’s why Airfield Estates Late Harvest Riesling is my white wine of the week!
Switch it up a bit after dinner, serve Late Harvest Riesling alongside a cheese course. (How European) It’s simple and it will make you shine in front of company. You can make your cheese board pretty by adding some hazelnuts, almonds and dried apricots. Visit my trusted friend and certified cheese professional, Liz, at Lunds NE.
I love these cheeses with this wine and I recommend sampling them in this order:
1.) A creamy cheese such as Shephard’s Way (Northfield, MN.) Brie.
2.) An earthy goat cheese such as Cowgirl Creamery’s Truffle Tremor. (Point Reyes Station, CA)
3.) A Blue cheese such as Saint Agur. (Monts du Velay, France)
Or, if your sweet tooth is nagging you, creme brulee and flan are both great options. I recently had panna cotta and that knocked my socks off of my ass. The only thing that could’ve made it better would’ve been pumpkin. A pumpkin to smash, that is.