With the harvest season upon us, pumpkin pie turns into a staple dessert at many dinner parties and meals. This lush dessert is full of flavour, and has more of a spicy quality to it, rather than coming across as too sweet.
Since pumpkin pie is traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals, we suggest pairing it up with local dessert wines that signify the end of the harvest season. A local late harvest Riesling or an Ice Wine are great choices, as they are sweet, but not overpoweringly sweet to dominate the pie. Instead these wines come across as a scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream in that it merges with the pumpkin pie, bringing out the best flavours of both the food and the wine as they balance out the richness of the pie.
Sherry, which has a bit of nuttiness and spiciness to it, will go great with pumpkin pie. The one sherry we’d suggest is Moscatel Sherry due to its nutty and dried fruit flavours. However, Pumpkin Pie is wonderful with a blended cream sherry or Oloroso.
Vin Santo, which is an Italian dessert wine, is not overly sweet, and has enough acidity to balance out the richness and creaminess of the pie.
If you’re not a dessert wine or sherry kinda person, Chardonnay works surprisingly well. Look for a Chardonnay with a bit of baked apple and cinnamon on the nose, and you’ll have yourself a great match. If the wine is lightly oaked and has a nutty quality, it will go great with the pie as well.
Beer and Pumpkin Pie Pairing
If you are a beer drinker, many craft brewers produce excellent pumpkin beers that mirror the spices in the pumpkin pie Great Lakes Brewery Pumpkin Ale is chock full of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger flavours and would go great with a slice of pumpkin pie, and a football game on the television. As pumpkin pie is sweet, you don’t want an overly dry pumpkin ale as the sweetness of the pumpkin pie will just kill the beer, so stick with something that has less alcohol in it (around 5% or so) and is a little more sweeter than the average pumpkin beer.
Another avenue to take when pairing pumpkin pie and beer, (as many people find that the sweeter pumpkin pie kills the beer), is to contrast the flavours, drawing out the best flavours and textures of both the beer and the pumpkin pie. Here you’d want to choose a beer that has lots of dark chocolate or coffee flavours. The best option is a sweeter stout (as a harsh stout will kill the delicate spices of the pie). Oatmeal stouts tend to be sweeter, and would pair magically well via contrast with pumpkin pie. Might we suggest Sawdust City Skinny Dipin’ Stout.
Tea and Pumpkin Pie Pairing
If you’ve indulged too much beforehand, and want to keel back on your alcohol intake, there are many fabulous teas that pair well with food, and that are full of flavour. I would be happy pairing Orange Pekoe up with every single meal as it is a beverage I love. However a fantastic tea to pair up with pumpkin pie is Pu-Erh Caramel Chai. This is a full-bodied tea with ginger, clove and peppercorn. I ordered this product from Tealyra, which is a tea distributor in Canada, and was quite impressed with the packaging which describes the tea, and gives precise instructions about how hot the water should be, the ratio of tea to water, and steeping time for the tea.
Adagio Teas , which is an American distributor, offers up many fantastic teas as well which would pair with pumpkin pie. We’d suggest either the Vanilla Tea or Caramel Tea. David’s Tea which services both America and Canada has lots of seasonal teas that would be amazing with Pumpkin Pie as well! The obvious choice would be their pumpkin chai (which is available during the fall), however their vanilla matcha is a supurb pairing with pumpkin pie.
If you have a favourite pumpkin pie and wine/beer/tea pairing, let us know in the comments below!