The 6 Quintessential Fall Activities You Need to Do Now
And the wines to pair with them (this is SF, after all)
Tradition reigns supreme this time of year, but we’re talking more than just the holidays. From Halloween to Thanksgiving, you have ample excuses to enjoy some of our favorite, most comforting things—be it sipping mulled wine, Instagramming incredible fall foliage or curling up on the couch with a good book. Here, the six quintessential fall activities to check off your seasonal to-do list and the drinks to enjoy while doing so.
It’s not too late to make your mark on fall’s most popular squash. Pick up a pumpkin on your way home from work, pop open a bottle of Böen Pinot Noir (this is the adult version of our favorite Halloween pastime, after all) and get carving. And if you’re planning on more than one glass, how about some no-carve decorating ideas instead?
This year’s apple season is coming to a close, but act fast and you might still be able to pick your own. We hear Goyette’s North Canyon Ranch on the way to South Lake Tahoe is still open, but you can also check for more farms on the Apple Hill Growers Association’s website. Worst-case scenario, head up to Philo (whose history is steeped in orchards) and make your selection of heirloom apples and cider from the farm stand at Philo Apple Farm instead. Bonus: Philo Apple Farm has the cutest cottages on its property. Just imagine sipping this Elouan rosé and noshing on your orchard spoils on your cottage’s porch (if you can score a reservation, that is).
East Coasters might think they have the monopoly on fall foliage, but Californians know that the changing leaves are just as glorious around the Sierras. (Colors here drop by elevation, starting at 10,000 feet in September and continuing through November at lower altitudes.) Right now, quaking aspens are awash in deep red, rusty orange and goldenrod along Luther Pass (CA Route 89) in South Lake Tahoe. Steal away on a fall stroll with a bottle of crisp Bianco di Ca’Momi white in tow—perfect for waxing poetic over the turning of the seasons.
Nothing says fall more than a festive table full of pretty pies. Not a Betsy Homemaker? No problem. The San Francisco Cooking School is going to teach you how to bake the season’s best during a Holiday Pies class on November 8. You’ll learn how to make classics such as pumpkin-maple pie, apple streusel and chocolate-bourbon pecan tart—just in time for Thanksgiving dessert (er, we mean dinner). Bring a bottle of Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (jammy with a hint of spice) to share with the class.
Cozying up with warming cocktails is an essential fall to-do. Pull on those cashmere sweatpants and curl up on the couch with a good book and some decadent (and sometimes boozy) hot chocolate, or order seasonal specials like hot buttered rum at your favorite bar. (We hear the one at Basalt is to die for.) If mulled wine is more your speed, pick up a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s—no need to waste a good bottle of wine on this recipe, where warming spices are the stars of the show.