It’s fall, y’all and with that (drum roll please)…it’s time to put away the flip-flops and pull out the cozy knits, autumn home decorations, and plan your pumpkin picking adventure. Then, put those gourds to good use in the season’s many options for delicious pumpkin recipes and leave it up to us to suggest pumpkin-perfect wine pairings.
Pumpkin season has created quite a stir, especially in the food world, over the past few years. From ordering a pumpkin spice latte (PSL) at your local coffee shop to painstakingly replicating grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe to seeing pumpkin-flavored everything on store shelves—even pumpkin-flavored yogurt (yup, it exists—google it)—fall is not about to let you forget it has arrived.
So instead of boycotting this versatile, happy-colored, and healthy fruit, embrace the trend and just add more fruit: grapes! Here are the Wine365 team’s favorite pumpkin recipes and wine pairings:
Wine365’s Favorite Pumpkin Recipes and Wine:
Unanimous: Pumpkin Seeds
Who doesn’t love going pumpkin picking with their nearest and dearest? However, the best part is getting home to carve those pumpkins into your favorite themed jack-o-lantern characters.
Save the insides and separate the seeds from the pulp. Rinse and season with your favorite spices and bake for a savory snack for the weeks ahead. We suggest pairing with a dry sparkling wine, such as Poema Brut Cava or Bodega Norton 101 Bubbles.
If you have a sweet tooth, roll your pumpkin seeds in cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, butter, and maple syrup and bake. You can pair with the Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti or for a more unexpected pairing St. Francis “Old Vines” Zinfandel.
Savory Pumpkin Recipes
Vesselina Stoyanova: Curried Pumpkin Soup
“Pumpkin curry is my favorite fall soup. I like the contrast between the sweetness of the pumpkin and the toasted curry. You can experiment and use your imagination to make this recipe yours: by adding some grated ginger when you sauté the onion and garlic or add heavy cream when you reheat the soup; substitute pumpkin for kabocha or acorn squash.
Serve this exotically fragrant soup with a chilled glass of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Roche Calcaire (Limestone). This citrusy Pinot Gris from Alsace with notes of orange has excellent minerality and acidity, which elevate the dish and cleanse the palate between spoonfuls.”
Jenna Sekutera: Sage Butter & Toasted Pecan (Trader Joe’s) Pumpkin Ravioli
“One of my favorite pumpkin dishes is Trader Joe’s Sage Butter & Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Ravioli. I normally follow this recipe.
I would pair this dish with Shades of Blue Riesling, a versatile semi-dry wine. It is an unexpected accompaniment to this buttery, fall twist on an Italian classic. The lightness (low alcohol) of a German Riesling makes it the perfect match for the mild ricotta cheese ravioli filling. The balance of fruit, acidity, and sweetness of the Shades of Blue Riesling pairs well with the hint of sweetness from the honey-infused into the Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli.”
Diana Zahuranec: Gnocchi with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
“I love gnocchi in fall and winter, and Gnocchi with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce is really easy to make, plus delicious. I’ve found an excellent and healthy recipe from EatingWell, and my only notes are to add a bit more salt and substitute the pork bacon with turkey bacon. It goes really well with a Barbera, like Michele Chiarlo Le Orme Barbera d’Asti DOCG.”
Sweet Pumpkin Recipes
Jack Horn: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
“Pumpkin cupcakes are a perfect way to incorporate pumpkin into your dessert menu this season. Topped with maple frosting, this dish goes especially well with a nice dry Riesling. The Seeker Riesling hails from the Mosel region of Germany, which is known for producing wines with mineral character due to its mountainous geography. You can find the full recipe here. Happy Halloween!”
Jennica Ossi: Classic Pumpkin Pie
“Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am a pumpkin pie snob! I have deep feelings about this tried and true classic dessert and won’t apologize for it.
From what feels like birth, I was in the kitchen every fall with my mom making pumpkin pies, 15-20 a season for friends and family, especially during Thanksgiving. We have gone through the gambit of perfecting our secret family recipe from setting off fire alarms (scaring one of our dogs for life), dropping pies, underdone, overdone—you name it, we have done it in the kitchen. However, when you make the dough just right and you get that perfect consistency of pumpkin throughout, it’s just magic.
In our quest to make the perfect pie, we wanted to find the right wine to pair with this delicious classic. I landed on no other than another classic wine, Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port. Pumpkin pie is spicy with a touch of sweetness that begs for more sweetness. This aged Tawny Port has voluptuous, spicy, jammy, and nutty aromas with orange blossom notes and a fine oak influence coming from the long aging in cask. The full palate is very rich, with concentrated flavor and a long, mellow finish. This is a perfect and classic pairing to serve your guests any time this fall.”