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Simple Tips to Selecting Thanksgiving Dessert Wines

Thanksgiving Dessert Wines

Thanksgiving Dessert Wines

There are blogs about selecting the perfect Thanksgiving wine.  Pinot Noir is the go-to wine for most dishes. Pinot Noir complements just about everything on your plate even your aunt’s green bean casserole. But, where are the blogs about dessert wines pairings? What do you with pumpkin pie… coffee? What about pecan pie… milk?  No, this is a feast a celebration of gratitude.  We need to top the meal off right before the tryptophan coma begins.  Here are some simple tips to selecting Thanksgiving dessert wines.

Select a wine equally or sweeter than the dessert

Food has an impact on the way wine will taste. Sweet food makes dry wine taste astringent, bitter and less sweet and fruity. A Pinot Grigio with a pineapple upside down cake increases the perception of the wine’s acidity. The sweeter the wine is will reduce the perception of bitterness and the burning effect of alcohol.  Moscato d’Asti brings out the cake’s bright fruit and syrupy flavors.

Fruity dessert wines are a good partner for chocolate-based confections

Recioto della Valpolicella is delicious Italian wine that has aromas of cherry liqueur, and fig, and plum. Recioto is similar to Amarone.  It is not inexpensive, but worth it.

Savory desserts like pumpkin or sweet potato pie are best with semi-dry wines

A semi-dry wine with nutty flavors will not detract from nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Hungarian Tokaji (‘toe-kye’) has intense dried fruits and sweet spices. French Sauternes is another wonderful option.  Sauternes has hints of vanilla and citrus stone fruits.


Port style wines enhance nutty desserts flavors

Your mother’s deep-dish chocolate pecan pie is perfect match for Madeira. Madeira is a fortified aged wine. Boal and Malmsey are sweeter styles of the wine.  Flavors of caramel, peach, burnt sugar and hazelnut are familiar with this wine.

Thanksgiving Dessert Wines

Late harvest wines are a great match for fruit desserts

Late harvest wines, like ice wine or Eiswien, have intense concentrated juice and are perfect with apple pie and peach cobbler.  The flavors are pronounced, high acidity and syrupy sweetness.  Maryland’s Vidal Blanc grape is frequency used to make ice wines.

Small pours go a long way

Dessert wines are higher in sugar and alcohol levels. They are meant to be sip.  They will last longer than you average bottle of wine.  Make sure you store them properly. Happy Thanksgiving!  Have a blessed and safe holiday.

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Kicking off the Season with A Festival, Tasting and More!


Most recently, Vino 301 staff attended the Wine in the Woods festival on May 17, 2015.  The Wine in the Woods festival was held on May 16 and 17 on a beautiful sunny day in Columbia, MD . The upbeat atmosphere and music allowed for the diverse crowd to enjoy each other’s company, a day well spent sipping on wine and mingling with one another.  The park was packed with all sorts of wine lovers, from novice to grand tasters. Wine in the Woods is the unofficial kick off of the Maryland Wine Festival Season.  If you have been hibernating all wine along, this is your chance to taste what is new in  Maryland .

Here are  a wineries and  wines that caught our attention.

Red Heifer Company

If you prefer sweeter wines than Red Heifer is the place for you. This winery in Smithsburg, MD specializes in making sweet wines. Although they have only been in operation for a little less than three years, their wines attracted a large crowd.

Bordeleau Winery

Bordeleau Winery is located right outside the eastern shore between Salisbury and Princess Anne. The owner, Tom Shelton, shared with us how he has recently moved away from making vintage wines because he found difficulty with keeping the flavors consistent. Since he has moved away from making vintage wines, Tom says the quality and consistency of his wines has improved.

Orchid Cellar Winery

Located in Middletown, the Orchid Cellar Winery manufactures unique honey based wines. Their honey based wine creates a thick, sweet, and rich flavor that is loved by all. The honey cinnamon wine was a big hit at Wine in the Woods this past weekend.  People flocked to Orchid Cellars tasting post because of the distinctive flavors they offer.

Wine In the Woods was a great start to a summer filled with great wine festivals.  We look forward to another summer of  delicious wine, tasty food and good music you will find at the festivals.  Make sure you look for Vino 301 Tour Ambassadors and our fantastic interns at this summer’s events.  Here is a schedule of upcoming events in Maryland 2015 Maryland Wine Festivals Schedule



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