Thank you Decoy for sponsoring this post. Celebrate International Merlot Month this October by using the hashtag #MerlotMe on social!
October is International Merlot Month and I’m joining in on the celebration of this lush wine varietal with Decoy’s Sonoma County Merlot. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of Merlot with a cozy meal like this incredibly easy, one-pot, healthy and delicious vegan pumpkin lentil stew. The complex layers and fruitful finish of Decoy’s Merlot pair very well with the earthy sweet flavors of this stew, which features sweet buttery pumpkin and hearty earthy lentils with a touch of silky coconut milk and just the right amount of spices. It’s a meal you can put together easily on a weeknight or as part of a weekly meal prep. The flavors intensify overnight and it heats up wonderfully as a make-ahead dinner. After a long day a warm bowl of this stew and glass of Decoy Merlot is mighty inviting, let me tell you.
A merlot you should know
If I’m being completely honest, I usually don’t reach for Merlot when choosing wine and I think in general it has been an underrated varietal for some time now (I blame that movie Sideways). The upside to this is that many great bottles of Merlot, like Decoy’s, coming out of Sonoma and Napa valley wineries are priced very nicely, making it the perfect time to experience them. Decoy’s Merlot displays notes of black cherry, blueberry and cassis but does not have that overly “sweet” profile that often gives Merlot a bad rap. As part of the Duckhorn Wine family of wines, Decoy’s experienced winemakers have been producing exceptional varietals at their Sonoma County winery since 1985; sourcing the best quality grapes from Estate vineyards and top independent growers.
Decoy invites you to join me and many others in the Merlot Movement this October by getting your hands on some Merlot and sharing your tastes and #MerlotMe moments on social media. Connect with others who love Merlot or discover something new to try and explore other fall inspired recipes to pair with your Merlot this month.
Cheers to cozy fall meals, delicious wines and good company to enjoy them with!
scroll down for recipe…
Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Stew
Yield 4 servings
An easy to make, vegan hearty one-pot stew with flavors of sweet fall pumpkin, earthy rich lentils and spices. Bring on fall!
- 3 cups pumpkin or winter squash in 1-inch cubes, skin on
- 1-1/2 cups diced onion (1 medium onion)
- 1 cup diced carrot (2 medium carrots)
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- few sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup dry brown or French lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot such as a dutch oven on med-high. Add oil, pumpkin, veggies, herbs and spices and sauté for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies start to brown.
- Add apple cider vinegar, rinsed lentils and water to pot and bring to boil then reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for about 45-60 minutes with the cover cracked until lentils are cooked and stew is thickened. Periodically stir and add more water if needed.
- Remove from heat and stir in spinach and coconut milk. Or add coconut milk when serving (as shown in photos).
- Serve hot on its own or over rice.
- Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week. Reheat to serve.
- Brown lentils will cook a bit faster than French (green) lentils, so check stew at 30 minutes.
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