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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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Best Guide to Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing

Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing

Halloween is the fourth most popular retail holiday according to a recent news article. Christmas, Easter, and  Valentine’s Day rank higher. Guessing that makes sense if you consider the aisles and aisles dedicated to customs, candy, and decorations.  I enjoy Halloween.  It is all things that are normally forbidden.  It is one time of the year women can dress naughty with a raised eyebrow and manly men can wear heels without a second thought.

Halloween is also an indulgent time when you can eat candy, sweet treats and other foods your dentist and doctor would not approve of. And do not forget the wine. You cannot celebrate a national holiday, like Halloween without wine.  Here the best guide to Halloween candy and wine pairing from Living.alot.com


Halloween candy and wine pairing


Thanksgiving Dinner and the Perfect Wine Pairing

You  been tasked to bring wine for Thanksgiving dinner.  There so many choose …where do you begin? Here some tips to consider:

  • Everyone likes a sparkling wine (well almost everyone):  Sparkling wine is the most versatile wine.  It is the little black dress of the wine world, it is good for any occasion.  It can be paired with almost any meal.  Try a dry sparkling wine, a brut, with your meal and a demi-sec,sweeter sparkling with dessert. Who does not like the bubbles with the meal!?!
  • This is not a time to serve your limited vintage wine:  You know Granny enjoys her box wine.  Thanksgiving dinner is not the best setting to introduce your rare vintage of French wine.  Save your fine wine for another occasion.  Serve what your guests typically enjoy.  Do not vary greatly from what you know what your guests enjoy.
  • Serve a wine blend when you do not your guests preference:   If you are cautious about selecting specific varietal (e.g., Chardonnay, Merlot), select a blend wine. Blend wines will have at least two or more varietals. A blend wine will even bring a smile to your grumpy Aunt Ida’s face.
  • Pairing your meal with your wine: Here are some varietals that will compliment your meal and please your guests
    • White wines:  Albarino, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc 
    • Red wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel 
    • Dessert wines: Port, Cider
  • Serve Maryland wine:  More and more wine stores carry Maryland wine. Many stores have a local wine section. Several Maryland wineries offer the wines listed above and can be found at wine stores. If the store does not carry it, ask them if they can order it for you.  Also, you may be able to order your wine online directly from the winery.

Have a very, very safe and happy Thanksgiving!  Vino 301 Wine Concierge is thankful for your continued support and we wish you well during this holiday season.  Cheers!

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