Wine-and-Pie: Save Room for Dessert!

Chances are there’s a pie or three in your not-too-distant future.

So when the pie spatula comes out, must the corkscrew be put back in the drawer?

No way!

Although there are naysayers when it comes to pie-and-wine pairing, just as there are with chocolate and wine, those with an open mind can be rewarded with some delightful culinary experiences.

Here are five types of pie that should be washed down with a glass of vino…

* Key Lime Pie — We’ll get the most challenging pie out of the way first. The challenge comes from the extreme tartness that is typical of most key lime pies. The pairing partner that works the best can be quite expensive: late harvest Gewurztraminer. A much less expensive option, because it typically shares lime flavor with the pie, is Sauvignon Blanc.

* Marionberry Pie — The marionberry, ubiquitous in Oregon (perhaps because it was created at Oregon State University), is a cross between raspberry and blackberry.  Even if you’re not familiar with the fruit, the wine pairing for this pie is a snap because the wine often exudes raspberry and blackberry flavors: Zinfandel.

* Blueberry Pie — Ten states account for more than 98% of U.S. commercial blueberry production: California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington. And yet many believe that the best blueberries — and many of the finest blueberry pies — come from Maine. Regardless of the source, a wonderful pairing partner for this sweet-tart berry pie is the classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which also is crafted by many California winemakers.

* Cherry Pie — While we typically associate fruit with sweetness, especially when it’s peeled, sliced and scooped on top of a pie crust, cherries are all about tartness. True, they may pick up some sweetness from the pie filling and the crust, but the “residual” tartness” makes a cherry pie a great pairing partner to the family of sweet Muscat wines.

* Derby Pie — Developed at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky, this pie features sticky-sweet chocolate, walnuts and a special filling made with a secret recipe. Warm it up, and it tastes something like a gooey chocolate chip cookie. Wine pairing: Chocolate desserts in general work well with Pinot Noir, which typically showcases complementary dark berry and spice flavors.

Now that you know about some of the really yummy pie-and-wine possibilities, be sure to save room for dessert!

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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