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Late harvest wines

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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