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The fall harvest is the perfect time to indulge in fresh, local ingredients. The only better than experiencing a tasty meal: enjoying it with a perfectly paired glass of wine! Fall isn’t just harvest season for food; it’s harvest season for wine, too, and the craft of winemaking comes to life in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s the perfect time of year to pair some of the season’s freshest, local ingredients with Jackson-Triggs reserve wines. Adam McDowell shows us how to pair four different meals with wines from Canada’s most-awarded winery.

Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is full of refreshing citrus and tropical fruit flavours, with a lively acidity and a clean finish. It’s typically paired with summery dishes and seafood, but you can also use it to lighten a dish that’s a bit heavier for fall.

Pair it with...risotto

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The lightness and freshness of the Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc should keep the risotto from feeling too stodgy

Jackson-Triggs Merlot

This merlot is smooth and fruit with flavours of ripe raspberry, blueberry and vanilla aged in French and American oak to provide a warm, velvety finish. There’s a herbal aroma in this wine that goes nicely with herbs like sage and thyme, which you might be using a bit more as the season changes to fall.

Pair it with...chicken pot pie

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The Jackson-Triggs Merlot pairs perfectly with those medium-weight proteins like chicken, pork and turkey. Plus, Merlot isn’t too heavy-bodied so it’s great when you’ve got this piecrust to wash down.

Jackson-Triggs Chardonnay

Chardonnay has to be the most versatile of grapes for making wine and it comes out all kinds of different ways depending on the winemaker’s choices. It can be aggressively acidic and cleansing or buttery and sweet. This Jackson-Triggs Chardonnay fits right in the middle; it has some oaky sweetness but it’s also light and zesty enough to be refreshing. It has balanced notes of vanilla and fresh cream for a smooth finish.

Pair it with...pork tenderloin

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This dish combines dried seasonal fruits and sage, which are close flavours you pick up in the wine. The pork, pumpkin and goat cheese are all slightly cloying foods that go better if you have a nice acidic wine to drink with them.

Jackson-Triggs Meritage

This is the most robust wine, by far, and it’s really built to be prepared with meat. It’s a full-bodied red blend with rich flavours of blueberry, mocha and smoke. This wine was aged in both French and American oak and has a long, flavourful finish.

Pair it with...steak

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Meritage has powerful enough acidity and fruit and oak flavours to go with a smoked hanger steak like this. The steak has been cooked over hickory smoke and that flavour will go very well with the plum and toasted wood aromas in this wine.