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What Drinks Pair Well with Pumpkin Pie?

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Question: What Drinks Pair Well with Pumpkin Pie?
Autumn means rich, warm comfort foods and what food is more comfortable than pumpkin pie? Using Diana Rattay's, About's guide to Southern Food, recipe for pumpkin pie here are the Drinks Team's suggestions.
Answer:
  • Wine Suggestions:
    Does anything say “autumn” quite like pumpkin pie? This is admittedly one of my favorite desserts – and for good reason – it’s easy to make, solves the sweet tooth dilemma and usually signifies the end of a flavorful Thanksgiving meal. But, the big question out there is…just what wine to pair with pumpkin pie? Fortunately, there are several outstanding options for pumpkin pie pairings. The first option is a Pedro Ximénez or a Cream Sherry and the second contestant would be a late harvest Riesling. A tawny Port could also stake quite a claim on a slice of pumpkin pie. All three options offer the sweetness and the viscosity to support the rich flavors and robust spice of the pumpkin pie. Sherry, late harvest Rieslings and tawny Ports are all fairly accessible, especially at this time of year and most merchants will carry plenty of producers in all three categories.

  • Cocktails Suggestions:
    Pumpkin pie is a classic dessert that deserves to be paired with drinks just as luscious. To play off of the spice of this pumpkin pie recipe, I suggest going with cocktails that are subtle and simulate the cream that some choose to top their pie. There are many short dessert “Martinis” that would work well with this autumnal favorite and the White Chocolatini and the Chocolatini are two of the best options. They are very similar to one another and give one the choice of white or dark chocolate depending on your preference. Coffee is another excellent choice for this pairing and the Vanilla Latte mixed drink is another excellent, yet taller option.

  • Beer Suggestions:
    The temptation with this particular pairing is to match the pie with that most popular of autumn seasonal beers pumpkin ale. I admit that there’s a bit of obvious poetry here but when it comes down to the actual tasting the flavors would become lost in one another. When I think of pairing with sweet desserts I think contrast. But the bitter contrast here should not be hops but black and heavily roasted barley. Sweet stout is my choice for pairing with pumpkin pie. Harsher stouts will dominate the pairing but a nicely balanced sweet stout makes for a delicious combination. The dark, roasted elements, which produce flavors like coffee and bitter chocolate, pair brilliantly with the sugar and spices in pumpkin pie. The contrasted pairing draws out the flavors and textures of both pie and beer. A couple of good commercial examples are Youngs Double Chocolate Stout and Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout or try the oatmeal stout from your local brewpub; could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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