October has become one of my favorite times of year in Europe. I’ve really become to appreciate the change in seasons, especially after living in the desert for more than 10 years. The leaves begin to turn shades of gold and orange, grapes are harvested and all my favorites for eating appear at the local markets, and pumpkin dishes pop up on menus across the continent. I never really had pumpkin in anything but a pie until a few years ago, when I was introduced to it as a staple of fall cuisines of Northern Italy. Now pumpkin soups, risottos, pastas and even pumpkin pizza are all favorites. What to drink with pumpkin dishes? Pumpkin is so versatile that there’s no one go-to wine to pair with it; the other components in the dish determine which wine will bring out the flavors. Here are some suggestions for pairing wine with pumpkin dishes:
Prosecco is Italy’s famed sparkling wine hailing from the Veneto region. The clean, light flavors of the sparkling white lift the floral flavors of pumpkin without accentuating the sweetness. A dry Prosecco, like Ca’ Salina Valdobbiadene Superiore D.O.C.G Brut, with pumpkin risotto.
The opulent roundness and rich spiciness of Amarone is a perfect match with a creamy pumpkin soup, creating a savory harmony. Drizzle a bit of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena over the pumpkin soup and let some thin chips of grana padano melt into the soup. Sip with Allegrini Estates 2008 Amarone.
Kurbis Secco is a German sparkling pumpkin wine that is wonderfully light and delicate with a slightly nutty taste. It is delicious with just about any pumpkin dish, including roast pumpkin or ravioli stuffed with pumpkin. Try it with pumpkin ravioli simply topped with olive oil, a bit of fresh cinnamon, and some grated Parmigiano.
One of the most typical wines of the Friuli Venezia Giuli region of Italy, Friuliano is slightly fruity with scents of white peach and tastes of bitter almonds. It’s commonly the house white wine and is delicious with a pumpkin and sausage pizza that is easily found throughout the region.
Vinsanto is a Greek dessert wine found in Santorini and predictably, it pairs wonderfully with the classic pumpkin pie. The wine’s sweetness matches that of the pumpkin pie. It exudes wonderful honey notes, ripe apricot, and sweet spices that complement pumpkin pie like cinnamon and clove.
What recommendations do you have for pairing wine with pumpkin dishes? Tell us in the comments!