Jump to content Jump to search

Crafting the Perfect Thanksgiving Dessert Pairings

Next week we'll be gathered around tables and televisions to enjoy a day of feasting and fellowship with friends and family. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, since it's about the simplest yet most meaningful things in life: our (many) blessings, our dearest family and friends, and eating almost all day. For many of us, libations are as selectively chosen as side dishes for the turkey, and with good reason. They're special, too!

In my previous post, I talked about the selections that pair well with the main meal. In this one, my focus is on wines that go well with desserts. On Thanksgiving that typically means PIE! The right wine with the right pie is a match made in heaven. Here are some suggestions!

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is creamy and earthy with warm spice notes of nutmeg and ginger. A wine that complements these characteristics is a Tawny Port. Tawny Ports are aged in smaller barrels than their ruby cousins, and consequently they are darker in color and richer in caramel and even some vanilla notes.

There are many great choices here, but you can't go wrong with Sandeman.

For a special treat, try the Graham's 10-Year. Sweet but not too sweet, ports are equal opportunity dessert wines (and also great with nuts and aged cheese).

Apple Pie

Typically sweet and cinnamon-y with a yummy double crust, an apple pie begs for a wine that is sweet and silky with some nutty notes. 

Something that won't overwhelm but that adds to the taste and texture of apple pie.

A couple of wonderful choices are New York State late harvest or ice wines, like the Standing Stone Gewürztraminer Ice Wine, or the Brotherhood Late Harvest Riesling.

Cheesecake & Pecan Pie

Super rich and ultra creamy, cheesecake is decadent and deserves a decadent wine. A demi-sec Champagne is a lovely choice, or a sweet Riesling, or one of the Tomasello fruit dessert wines, like cranberry or blackberry.

The nutty richness of a pecan pie is best complemented with something fruity and dry. You can go big with a Zinfandel like Wind Storm, or try a glass of the Pinot Noir or other red you may have been drinking with dinner earlier.

The nice thing is that any of these wines are also excellent with an assortment of cookies of all kinds, chocolates (think truffles or fudge), even an after-dinner cheese plate, which is something I love.

Happy Thanksgiving!