Challenging Wine Pairing: Pecan Pie



By LaGayle ~ October 22nd, 2012.

Pecan pie is one of the Wine Peeps’ favorite desserts. In fact, it is John’s absolute favorite! Kori is actually the pecan pie maker in the family; although, I made the one for this challenging wine pairing. Each year, Kori makes pecan pie for her dad’s birthday in November as well as for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s just say that we enjoy a lot of pecan pie in the fall. Pecan pie is very rich, but, oh, so good! Since the holiday season is rapidly approaching, we thought it would be fun to try some dessert wines with our go-to holiday dessert.

To determine which dessert wines to try, once again I referred to my favorite resource, What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. This time, rather than referring to the book itself, I used the What to Drink with What You Eat app on my iPhone. (So handy!) I decided to go with Sherry and Sauternes and selected the Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 from Spain and the 2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes from France. Both wines were delicious; however, the Sherry was the unanimous choice as the best pairing with the pecan pie. When you are pairing with a sweet dessert, you want the wine to be at least as sweet as the food. Sipping a really sweet wine like this Alvear Pedro Ximenez with a really sweet dessert like pecan pie, the sweetness level actually seems to go down and the flavors really come together.

What would you have paired with this dessert? It is always great to hear your thoughts. Also, please share your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.

Bon Appétit!

Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 (Montilla-Moriles, Spain): 100% Pedro Ximenez. Dark amber brown. Very aromatic with raisins and molasses on the nose. More raisins and molasses as well as chocolate and prunes come through on the palate. Very sweet and medium to full-bodied. Well-balanced and smooth with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine Exchange (California), $16 [375ml]; Available elsewhere, $17 to $50

2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (Sauternes, Bordeaux, France): Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Medium golden yellow. Nice nose with honey and peach aromas. Honey, peach, mango, and almonds come through on the palate. Sweet and medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: K & L Wine Merchants (California), $30 [375ml]; Available elsewhere, $34 to $60


Filed under: Challenging Wine Pairing, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, French Wine, Spanish Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Wine is Life | October 22nd, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Great question! This post definitely got me excited for Thanksgiving! Mulled wine is always a seasonal favorite in my house.

  2. Kori | October 23rd, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Wine is Life,
    Glad to hear it! The holidays will be here before we know it. A great time of year for wines of all kinds. Cheers!

  3. Timo at Wineshout.com | October 25th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    The Guiraud is lovely. We just opened a half bottle of the ’06, but it was corked…! All the cellaring for naught.

  4. Kori | October 30th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Timo,
    Bummer! Sorry to hear that. One of the hazards of this beverage we love so much. :) Cheers!