You’ve already paired your traditional Thanksgiving dinner wines, and now it’s time for the dessert wines. Sweet wines aren’t as popular today as they were in previous centuries so we tend to know less about them, but don’t let that intimidate you. Thanksgiving dessert is the perfect opportunity to find those luscious bottles and let them shine.
1. Pumpkin Pie Dessert Wine Pairing
A classic Thanksgiving dessert with spiced pumpkin filling in a pie crust, often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Look for a Thanksgiving dessert wine with balanced sweetness to complement the pie’s sweetness and spiced notes.
Personal Note: Pumpkin pie is my family’s go-to Thanksgiving dessert. Pair it with an icewine and vanilla ice cream.
2. Pecan Pie Dessert Wine Pairing
A rich and gooey pie filled with a sweet and buttery filling made from pecans, sugar, and butter. Pair with a Thanksgiving dessert wine that has a rich and similar nutty profile to complement the nutty sweetness of pecan pie.
3. Apple Pie Dessert Wine Pairing
An American favorite, apple pie has that flaky pie crust filled with a mixture of sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes other spices. Opt for a Thanksgiving dessert wine with honeyed sweetness and acidity to contrast with the apple pie’s sweetness and spices.
- Sauternes – $30-$300
- Riesling Eiswein – $30-$70
- 5 Puttonyos Tokaji – $40-$50
Helpful Wine Buying Tip: Sauternes is from France and is amazing. But you can look for Sweet Semillon dessert wines from Riverina, Australia as a less expensive alternative to Sauternes. It will probably have “botrytis” or “dessert wine” on the label.
4. Sweet Potato Pie Dessert Wine Pairing
Similar to pumpkin pie but made with sweet potatoes, this dessert is often seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices, creating a deliciously sweet and flavorful pie. Choose a Thanksgiving dessert wine with a balance of sweetness and berry notes to complement the warm spices in sweet potato pie.
5. Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert Wine Pairing
A delightful twist on the classic pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake combines the richness of cheesecake with the flavors of spiced pumpkin, often complemented by a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel. Look for a Thanksgiving dessert wine with refreshing acidity and citrusy notes to contrast with the creamy richness of pumpkin cheesecake.
- Sauternes – $30-$300
- White Port – $15-$40
- Boal Madeira – $20-$60
Thirsty for More?
Here’s a list of great finger foods for wine tasting if you’re hosting a casual get-together this Thanksgiving.