Pumpkin Pie Pairings

From Riesling to rum, the options are limitless.

Rarely can Thanksgiving end without the offer of pumpkin pie, but seldom is anything beyond coffee offered as accompaniment.  The close to such an auspicious meal deserves something special, so here are some parings to consider.

Medium to sweet Rieslings (Jekel, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Maximim Grunhaus Herrenberg Kabinett, Polka Dot and Wakefield "Promise Land") bring a fitting crispness. Sparkling wine's (Schramsberg's Cremant and Domino de la Vega Cava) chilled effervescence lift the pie's denseness and spice.

Dessert wines, particularly Muscato (Palmaz Vineyards Florencia, Swanson Vineyards Les Trois Filles, Innocent Bystander and Saracco), Riesling (d'Arenberg The Noble), and Sauternes (Ch. LaMonthe Guignard and Ch. Latrezotte) work predictably well and icewines (Inniskillin  and William Hill) work even better.

Inniskillin's sparkling icewine is as good a pairing as you can ask for. Tokay's in general (Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos), and Paul Hobbs' Arvays from Hungary in particular, deliver a luscious sweetness parallels nicely.

New World Port (Frank Family) performs reasonably, but is eclipsed by Madeiras (Blandy's Rainwater and Malmsey ).  Better still is the luscious caramelized unctuousness of PX Sherry (La Canada Perez Barquero and Osborne).

Rum (Goslings, Captain Morgan) is a reasonable spirits choice. Some speciality liquors (Voyant Chai, Tuaca, and Praline) offer sweetness without overpowering.

Finally, since Thanksgiving is a premium mealwhy not a premium wine? A 2003 Mouton, assuming you're willing to open it and save it until meal's end, actually pairs quite nicely. 

Whether it's a first growth, a Tokay or another of your favorite selections, a distinct wine with Thanksgiving dessert is a pairing unlikely to be forgotten.

View Ben Narasin's blog FoodWineLife.


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