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It’s that time of year again–pumpkin flavored items are reappearing on Starbucks menus and your local grocery store. Even if you aren’t affectionate towards the seasonal gourde, chances are you will find a dish on your dinner table that includes pumpkin or someone will request such a dish. Depending how the pumpkin is prepared can make it tricky when it comes to selecting a wine to go along side of it.
Pumpkin can be somewhat of a challenge when it comes to pairing wine. Like wine, not all pumpkin varietals are created equally and it would be remiss to assume that they’re all the same. The same can be said for the way the pumpkin is prepared. To take some of the hassle out of the guesswork involved with pairing your favorite pumpkin dishes with delicious wines that won’t be too overpowering or simply incorrectly matched.
There’s lots more to pumpkin than good old pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Think main dish! Think side dish! Think warming you from the inside on a cool fall evening!
When preparing a creamy pumpkin dish, such as a pumpkin soup or pumpkin risotto, think “dry” or “creamy” on the palate when it comes to wine. Here’s the place for your Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, a dry Prosecco or an Albariño.
Yes, there is such a thing as pumpkin ravioli or pumpkin lasagna! It all depends on the color of sauce and spice profiles you are using. For a while sauce, grab a Viognier, a gruner veltliner, or a nice pinot gris. Prefer the flavors in a red sauce? You can’t go wrong with a Sangiovese or a nice Rhone blend.
Pumpkin stew, you may wonder. Does such a thing exist? Yes it does, and it will warm you from the inside on one of those getting-longer evenings. There’s room for your chardonnay here, if you must, but why not be as bold as your pumpkin stew and choose a Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot?
Are you still not convinced that pumpkin isn’t only for desserts? There’s still a wine for that! Alongside your pumpkin pie, pumpkin-spiced cake or cupcakes or pumpkin pots de creme, look for a Riesling, Madiera, sherry, ice wine or a sparkling wine. There’s certainly a wine that will please the fussiest palate at your dinner table.