Looking for that perfectly paired harvest fare? As the leaves turn to the colours of fall, our taste palettes also take a turn to find comfort in heartier food. What does that mean for your wine pairings? Cozy in and we’ll share with you how to pair wine with your fall favourites.

Before we even begin, let’s be clear that fruit driven or fruit forward does not equate with sweet or out of balance. We’re using the term “fruit forward” here as it pertains to the predominate notes of the wine. Descriptions such as pineapple, berry and lemon are commonly used.

Pelee Island Winery Chardonnay VQA white wine. Pale straw in colour. Intense ripe honeydew melon aromas on the nose. Juicy ripe peaches and lime flavours on the palate with a lasting zesty finish. Medium bodied with racy acidity. Perfectly Paired  Harvest  Fare

A Classic Combo

A fall favourite for its association with pairing with a traditional turkey Thanksgiving dinner. What makes Chardonnay the perfect turkey dinner pairing? An un-oaked / non-oaked Chardonnay is what you’re looking for and if you’re in Ontario, you’re in luck. Ontario is known for its Chardonnay. This varietal has adapted exceptionally well to the Ontario climate. Not oak-ing allows for the fruit driven nature of the wine to speak for itself. Our core line Chardonnay VQA fits the bill for this perfectly.

Other fall fare that pairs well with non-oaked Chardonnay include chicken, pork dishes, pasta in a creamy sauce or mild curries.

Ready for Red

Pelee Island Winery Monarch Red VQA Ontario red wine. Deep red colour, welcoming cherry and violet aromas to the nose with ripe berry flavours, crisp acidity and a mouth filling finish. Perfectly Paired  Harvest  Fare

Fall fare is often thought of for pairing with white wine first but the right red offers something too. A red such as our Monarch Red VQA has a touch more sugar yet its tannins provide balance and keep it from being too sweet. Think of a dry berry flavour vs sweet fruit. It’s light and doesn’t overpower a harvest style dinner. It’s a great partner to share space on the Thanksgiving dinner table with an unoaked Chardonnay.

Also try these types of fall comfort dishes with a lighter weight red. Tomato based pasta dishes and lighter red meat recipes such as hamburgers. This is a great red to pair with vegan dishes. And yes, this wine is vegan-friendly. In fact, all of our VQA vintages 2017 and on are vegan-friendly.

From Orchard to Glass

Pelee Island Winery Mousseux de Pomme. Ontario Sparkling Apple wine. made from 100% local apples. This wine opens with aromas of fresh orchard apples and is reasonably sweet on the palate with a frothy, light, effervescent finish. Perfectly Paired  Harvest  Fare
Hopping Apple Sparkling. Fresh apple with subtle pear and hops flavour. Dry, light to medium-bodied with crisp balancing acidity and a refreshingly long and satisfying finish. Rated 94 by Carolyn Hammond, Toronto Star Wine Columnist. Ontario wine. Perfectly Paired  Harvest  Fare

At Pelee Island Winery, we have two unique offerings that capture the taste of another one of fall’s most popular crops, apples.

Our Mousseaux de Pomme – Apple Sparkling Wine and our Hopping Apple Sparkling Cider are both made with 100% Braeburn apples, locally source from The Fruit Wagon in Harrow, just down the road in County directions.

Doug and Leslie Balsillie have enjoyed establishing their orchards, berry plantations, market gardens and their retail The Fruit Wagon along the shores of Lake Erie since 1984 and are a local favourite.

Our friend Angie Taylor of @HealthyFittStrong and HFS Co. visited us early last fall and we stopped by the farm. She captured these great photos and fell in love with Leslie, Doug and apple wine.

“Being in the orchard is a perfect, fall outdoor activity. A bonus was seeing where the apples for Pelee Island Winery’s apple wines are grown. I used the Hopping Apple recently with a pork roast and it gave it such an extra pop of flavour.”

Yes, these both also work with these harvest favourites work for sipping and for adding a little to a recipe. A little for the pot and a little for the chef.

Try pairing these apple offerings with sweet potato gnocchi, squash dishes and charcuterie boards with rich and aged cheeses.

We hope this harvest season finds you healthy, happy and thankful for the goodness that nature shares for our table and glass.


Pssttt… Don’t forget while you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your Birthday!

Farmer Doug of The Fruit Wagon in Harrow holding a Braeburn apple used for Pelee Island Winery Mousseaux de Pomme wine and Hopping Apple Cider.
The Fruit Wagon in Harrow holding a Braeburn apple used for Pelee Island Winery Mousseaux de Pomme wine and Hopping Apple Cider.
Farm Dog Cycles line up of bicycles outside of barn, Harrow Ontario at The Fruit Wagon.
Crates at The Fruit Wagon, Harrow Ontario.
Apple orchards at The Fruit Wagon farm, Harrow Ontario.
Farm dog at The Fruit Wagon, Harrow Ontario.