5 Fall Dishes to Pair with Lake Chelan’s Autumn Wines

As the air chills, we gravitate toward warm, comforting dishes that make the most of the early-fall produce.

For those looking to pair autumn dishes with the perfect drink, Lake Chelan’s fall wines are the perfect complement! Varietals sourced from award-winning regional vineyards to those grown right in our backyard beautifully lend themselves to the season. Rich and herbaceous meats, stews, and bakes further amplify the flavors.

Here are 5 Lake Chelan wines to pair with your autumn menu.

Riesling & Curried Butternut Squash Soup


Due to its highly acidic nature, Riesling naturally pairs with many spicy foods, particularly Asian and Indian dishes. 

Riesling is known for being a “sweet” wine. Still, it comes in various styles, with several Lake Chelan wineries producing dry and off-dry (moderately sweet) expressions.

These off-dry options pair exceptionally with curried stews, such as this Curried Butternut Squash Soup. The creaminess of the coconut milk base is a perfect contrast to Riesling’s crisp and citrusy profile, while the curry and spices help temper the wine’s acidity.

Find a list of Lake Chelan wineries that produce Riesling here.

Pinot Noir & Roast Turkey

Roast turkey

No Thanksgiving table is complete without a bottle (or two!) of Pinot Noir! Luckily, we are in no short supply in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley.

Pinot Noir’s bright and medium-bodied nature makes it highly versatile at the holiday table and especially complementary to a roast turkey. With flavors extending from earthy mushrooms to tart cherries, Pinot Noir effectively extracts the herby profile of a roast turkey without overpowering the palate with tannins. Try it this year with this roast turkey recipe.

Pinot Noir can be found at these Lake Chelan wineries.

Merlot & Italian Sausage with Caramelized Vegetables


Soft tannins and subtle acidity make Merlot a fantastic pairing to a variety of foods, especially autumn’s roasted dishes and “lighter” meats such as pork. 

Cool-climate Merlot (like that of the Lake Chelan growing region) has a particularly juicy profile that matches wonderfully with caramelized fall vegetables, including brussel sprouts, squash, and carrots. Just add hearty Italian sausage, such as this Sheet-Pan Sausage and Vegetables recipe, to amplify the pairing and make it a full meal!

Grab Merlot from any of these Lake Chelan wineries.

Syrah & Shepherd’s Pie

Shepard's pie

Syrah is one of the Lake Chelan Wine Valley’s most prolific grapes and a perfect transition wine for the colder months. 

Lake Chelan Syrah is known for its full-bodied profile, dark fruit flavors, and savory elements of smoked meats and tobacco. It pairs excellently with lamb and beef dishes, as well as roasted vegetables. Try it with this Shepherd’s Pie to get the best of both worlds on the next chilly autumn evening!

Find a list of Lake Chelan wineries that produce Syrah here.

Cabernet Franc & Pasta Bolognese

Pasta Bolognese

Nothing warms you up on a cold evening like a comforting pasta and meat dish. Pasta Bolognese is quick and simple and goes perfectly with a Lake Chelan Cabernet Franc. 

With a range of flavors from tart red fruit to bell pepper and spices and medium-high acidity, Cabernet Franc holds up to many tomato-based dishes, including the robust flavors of this Pasta Bolognese. Cab Franc benefits from being paired with real herbs in your dish, so don’t be afraid to incorporate the last of your garden’s oregano and basil!

Cabernet Franc can be found at these Lake Chelan wineries.

Savor the Flavors of Lake Chelan Wine

Barrel tasting

Whether you’re snuggled up on the couch or headed to a harvest gathering, plenty of Lake Chelan wines complement every activity this fall. Plus, many Lake Chelan wineries release new wines for the season and in celebration of the Lake Chelan wine harvest

Check the full calendar of events for upcoming harvest parties and special releases, including our November barrel-tasting weekends, where participating wineries pull back the curtain on production and allow you to sample wines straight from the barrel!

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