Fall Party Pairings
Rosemary Flatbread with Blue Cheese, Grapes and Honey
Pairing: 2010 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($12)
With soft red currant flavors and a subtle sweetness, this is an immensely drinkable rosé.
Curried Spaghetti-Squash-and-Chickpea Toasts
Pairing: 2009 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc ($12)
Made with grapes from a vineyard located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, this features lively citrus tones.
Baked Camembert with Pears
Pairing: NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs ($11)
This pear-scented bottling is the driest, crispest sparkler in the winery's lineup and features an attractively low price.
Mushroom and Fontina Crostini
Pairing: 2009 Castle Rock Pinot Noir ($12)
Making decent, value-priced Pinot Noir is almost impossible, but Castle Rock pulls it off with this bright, plummy wine.
Apples On Horseback
Pairing: Juve y Camps Cinta Purpura Rserva Brut ($12)
Some inexpensive cavas are simple and boring, but this one offers loads of refreshing apple and floral flavors.
Brussels Sprout, Pancetta and Parmesan Flatbreads
Pairing: 2010 Chivite Gran Feudo Navarra Rosado
A bright, zesty rosé made primarily with Garnacha and full of graceful raspberry and cherry flavors.
Pairing: 2010 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco ($14)
Tiefenbrunner's entry-level whites are aged in tanks (not oak), which emphasizes this wine's minerally apple and citrus tones.
Pairing: 2011 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay ($14)
Straightforward citrus flavors are rich yet focused in this tasty KJ white.
Pairing: 2007 Clos du Bois Merlot ($15)
Clos du Bois helped popularize Merlot in the 1980s with plummy, herb-accented bottlings like this one.
Mushroom, Butternut Squash & Gruyère Tart
Pairing: 2009 Esser Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($10)
A dash of peppery Petite Sirah adds a bit of firmness to this supple, berry-driven Cabernet.