Best Wine with Pumpkin Pie

When the weather turns cold and chilly, I like to curl up by the fireplace with a glass of wine and pumpkin pie. The combination of fall spices and pumpkin is one that’s hard to beat, whether you’re eating it for Thanksgiving or just because it’s Friday night.

But what should you drink with pumpkins? A lot of people think sweet wines are the way to go, but there are actually several good choices that will complement this classic dessert just as well.

An American Classic

Pumpkin pie is an American classic. It’s normally eaten in the fall and winter, with savory dishes at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

The recipe for pumpkin pie can vary from family to family, but they’re often made with pumpkin puree or a combination of squash and sweet potato. The crust is usually made from wheat flour instead of pie crust doughs that don’t contain gluten.

Sweet Wines: The Natural Pairing

Sweet wines are naturally a good match for pumpkins since they’re packed with natural sugars. The sweetness in the wine will balance out the savory flavors of pumpkin pie and leave you with a dessert that’s just right. It’s also important to think about texture when pairing wine with food. Sweet wines are often light and crisp, which makes them a good choice for desserts that have similar qualities.

Sweet dessert wines like Sauternes are not as popular as they used to be, but they can make a great match for pumpkin pie if you prefer them over dry reds or whites.

I recommend the following sweet wines with your pumpkin pie:

SIP Moscato (California)

Sweet and almost syrupy in texture, this wine offers attractive pistachio aromas followed by flavors of poached pears and lychee fruit. The medium body ends with a lingering floral finish.

Denis Dubourdieu Chateau Doisy-Daene Sauternes (2015)

This is rich, with ginger spice and orange. Well balanced and with clean, pure citrus fruit flavors. A great option for Pumpkin Pie.

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

Not quite as sweet, this Kabinett is a late-harvest wine. A fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Joseph Cattin 2020 Hatschbourg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)

The nose of this wine has a touch of peach and honeysuckle. The palate deepens the fruitiness first found on the nose but finishes slightly sweet. This wine shows balance and concentration throughout.

Add Some Sparkle

Sparkling wines can be a fun pairing. Try Champagne, Cava or dry Prosecco. Sparkling wines are best served chilled and have a high acidity that helps clean the palate. My tip? Look for one with lower alcohol content, as this will complement the pumpkin pie’s high sugar content and make it easier to drink on its own.

For a Champagne pairing, I’d suggest you look for a ‘demi sec’ which translates as ‘half dry’ but really means this is a medium-sweet wine.

A good example would be the Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec. From their own website, “With its equilibrium that tends towards sweet and fruit flavors, Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec is an indulgent treat for champagne lovers – and perfectly suited for dessert.”

It doesn’t need to be Champagne though. A nice Cava or Prosecco will also work nicely with the pie for the same reason the Champagne does. Like Champagne, they also come with varying degrees of sweetness so look for one that fits your taste.

For Prosecco, I recommend the Cantine Vedova Casa dei Farive Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry. While this doesn’t have the same effervescent quality as Champagne, it pairs well with a slice of pie because it’s sweet and fruity.

The Juve & Camps Reserva Sweet is the Cava I suggest trying with Pumpkin Pie. This Cava displays aromas of sweet pastry and honey that blend with notes of fruit and flowers. Sweet, delicate, and balanced in flavor with a refreshingly tart finish.

Dessert Wines

Not all dessert wines are sweet. Some are ideal with pumpkin pie and other desserts thanks to their higher acid content. They help clean your palate and pair well with the spices in the pie. Port is one example of a dessert wine that isn’t too sweet.

Port, a fortified wine made in Portugal and the United Kingdom, may be an ideal choice for pumpkin pie. Not only is it not too sweet, but it also has an alcohol content of 20 percent or more. It also has a high acidity level that makes it perfect for pairing with spicy desserts like pumpkin pie.

The reason why port is so versatile is that its sweetness comes from residual sugar in the wine rather than added sugars during fermentation as most wines do. This means there’s no chance of being left with an overly sweet aftertaste that can ruin your next bite of dessert. Let’s face it, many desserts are already sweet enough on their own.

My recommendation is to go with a good Tawny Port. Good examples such as:

Ferreira Dona Antonia 20-Year-Old Tawny Port

This works with Pumpkin Pie because it has a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. This is important because the flavor of pumpkin pie can be overpowering, especially if you’re serving it at room temperature (which I recommend). The Tawny Port helps to balance out the flavors so that you get just enough sweetness and spice in each bite.

Quinta do Vale Meao 10 Year Old Tawny Port

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, then this is the port to go with. With its balanced sweetness and acidity, the Tawny Port helps to cut through any overbearing flavors that may have come from the pie.

Romariz Fine Tawny Port

At the lower end of the price range, this Port does the job. The palate is soft and round, with good flavors of figs and prunes to complement any pumpkin pie.

Conclusion

With pumpkin pie, it’s hard to beat sweet wines. They are a natural pairing. They have the acidity and tannin structure needed to complement the pie’s heavy flavors without overpowering them.

Sparkling wines are also a good choice here, as their effervescence adds a layer of complexity that can help cut through the richness of both pumpkin pie and wine.

Port is another good option for pairing with pumpkin pie or other desserts. Port has notes of chocolate, caramel, and dried fruits that work beautifully with the pie’s spices and creamy texture. It also has a smooth finish that is luxurious with pumpkin pie.

Dessert wines aren’t all sweet by nature. Some examples include late-harvest wines from Germany or Austria. Wines such as Kabinett Riesling and Gewurztraminer are made from grapes that are harvested later in the season. This can result in lighter-bodied wines with more acidity than their sweeter counterparts. These acidic wines have a crisp flavor profile that is great for balancing the rich sweetness of pumpkin pie.

Many suggest Port as the go-to option for Pumpkin Pie. It’s a fine option but my own preference is Sauternes. The Denis Dubourdieu Chateau Doisy-Daene Sauternes and its sweet ginger and orange spice flavors are a perfect pairing for the pumpkin pie.

Looking for a good Pumpkin Pie recipe? You’ll have to go a long way to beat this Perfect Pumpkin Pie at Allrecipes.com

If you enjoyed this post, check out my others including the Best Wine with Cheesecake.