Perfect Wine & Pumpkin Pairings

Autumn means many things. Our favorites: harvest season, peeping foliage, apple picking, and a new wealth of cool-weather vegetables that have appeared to create some perfect pairing dishes. We love sweet potatoes, acorn and butternut squashes, but pumpkin is an easy pick because of its versatility (and commercialization in flavorings).

Wine pairings with pumpkin dishes don’t have to be all sweet and spice to make things nice: as you read on, we’ll pair crisp, dry style wines, some bubblies, and even bold reds with various pumpkin dishes — both sweet and savory.

With your Pumpkin Pie

While devouring a slice of pumpkin pie, try a Vidal Blanc to bring out the spice and smooth, rich flavor. Try Haight-Brown Vineyards‘ Honey-Nut Apple, with delicate spice and a sweet finish.

Looking for something heavier? Pair with a dessert wine or White Port style wine like Miranda Vineyard’s Vinho Fino. It’s a match made in heaven!

With your Pumpkin Spice… anything!

Pumpkin spice invasion creeps earlier and earlier every year — from our coffee to yogurts. As pumpkin spice flavorings can tend to be very sweet, we’d suggest a Pinot Gri or Gris, or Cayuga White. Pinot Gris with a combination of stone fruits (plums, cherries) and sweet citrus pairs up well with pumpkin and fall spices. A drier Pinot Gris from Jones Family Farm & Winery will pair well with savory dishes. A sweeter version like Gouveia Vineyards‘ Cayuga White will go best with desserts (or flavored yogurt).

With your Pumpkin Risotto

For a pumpkin risotto, accent the dish with a dry sparkling wine. The clean, light flavors of the sparkling white wine help lift the almost floral aspects of the pumpkin without accentuating any sweetness. Options along the Trail include Paradise Hill Vineyard’s new Noche de Amor bubbly, and Hopkins Vineyard’s Sparkling Wines.

With Blended Pumpkin Soup

When incorporating cream into a pumpkin recipe, like puréed soups or sauces, the food gets a little heavier. A wine with a little more weight works better than a light, clean, fruity white. Chardonnays strike the balance of standing up to something like a pumpkin cream sauce without overpowering the pumpkin. For a bright, steel tank Chardonnay with smooth texture, try Priam Vineyards’ Chardonnay, or, for a little more creamy/buttery finish, try Sunset Meadow Vineyards’ French Oak Barrel-aged Chardonnay.

With your Jack-O-Lantern

Pumpkin seeds scooped out of your pumpkin and roasted with a dash of salt pair perfectly with DiGrazia Vineyards’ Wind Ridge. Its bright acidity and apple will balance well with the saltiness of the seeds.

Halloween also brings our other favorite wine pairing — chocolate! We can’t pick just one pairing for this… so visit any of these member wineries for a Chocolate and Wine Pairing:

  • Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen offers their pairings Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11-5, and Saturday and Sundays from 11-1:30. You’re welcome to choose from two types of chocolate tasting – Red Wine or White Wine, for $18.00.
  • whitesilo2At Miranda Vineyard in Goshen,chocolate and wine pairings are available Thursday 12-5, Friday 12-6, or Saturday and Sunday 12-2. This educational experience allows you to challenge your taste buds, learn how custom-made, local Fascia’s Chocolates and traditional European wines pair together.
  • Drink your dessert wine out of a chocolate cup at Maugle Sierra Vineyards in Ledyard, if you want to feel like Willy Wonka. Their Chocolate Shooter — a dark-chocolate cup filled with the winery’s dessert wine, Espiritu’ de St. Croix — is a fan favorite. Or, support local by enjoying fine wine with dessert wine truffles made by Hauser Chocolate of Westerly, RI.
  • Many other vineyards also offer chocolate on-site, including Stonington’s MI Chocolate, which pairs well with the Stonington Vineyards Cabernet Franc.

All of the wines listed above are currently in-stock and ready to be picked up for your entertaining needs, upcoming holiday meals, hostess gifts, or just enjoying at home.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know what your preferred pumpkin pairing wines are!

Pairing assistance by Chris Chichester of Sunset Meadow Vineyards.


Kayla Hedman

A Connecticut-native, Kayla recently moved back to southeastern CT from Burlington, VT. While in VT, she frequented local wineries, where a number of her friends worked as tasting room staff and event coordinators. She hardwired her palette and learned to appreciate wine for the sake of her friends. Unfortunately, after finding out she has an intolerance to gluten, Kayla stepped away from being a part-time representative for a brewery and grew to love wine even more. She works full-time as a brand manager at a marketing agency, and enjoys supporting local small businesses in her spare time.


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