As I mentioned last week, we are all about pumpkin this month. Why? Pumpkin is wildly popular in the fall. I am guessing you or someone you know is just crazy for pumpkin right now. You might have been haunting Starbucks in September, waiting for the PSL to arrive; or you might be drooling in your sleep, dreaming of the pumpkin pie you’ll have on Thanksgiving. You don’t have to wait for your pumpkin fix, though! This month, I’m sharing two great pumpkin recipes, including one very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Plus, today I’m reviewing the wines that I think go best with pumpkin sweets. So stat tuned and get all the pumpkin you crave this month!
Pumpkin desserts often have a lot of rich spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Since these help balance the sweet pumpkin, you can enjoy a wide variety of wines with pumpkin desserts. When choosing your pairing, a nice rule of thumb is to consider the spice notes in the wines. A lot of wines have some cinnamon, clove, and ginger notes that will marry with the same flavors in your dessert. You truly can have a range of wines with these desserts, from lightly sweet to dark and robust! These are my top picks for pairing wines with pumpkin sweets:
Riesling with sweeter pumpkin dishes
Pumpkin pie and pumpkin pie-inspired dishes are a little on the sweeter side, with rich and creamy textures. For this style, I prefer a light, slightly sweet Riesling. I think full-on dessert wines like madeira, ice wine, and port are too thick for these dishes because the filling is so creamy. Riesling helps lighten the dish up while the sweetness of the wine enhances the sugar in the dessert.
Robust reds with spicier pumpkin desserts
Pumpkin bread and other spicier pumpkin desserts go well with red wines. Since spice cakes, pumpkin bread, and other less-sweet pumpkin desserts tend to feature brown sugar and a selection of savory spices, the sweetness of the dessert is muted some. This makes it much easier to find a red wine that will shine with the dessert. I suggest a nice, dry cabernet sauvignon or a smooth merlot for these desserts.
Have you tried wine with your pumpkin dessert yet? What was your preference?