With Thanksgiving dinner, there's no such thing as the perfect wine. No single variety or style pairs as well with gravy as it does cranberry sauce. Pairing wines with Thanksgiving desserts, however, is a snap. Below are some wines that complement the traditional pies for which we all happily loosen our belts.
Apple Pie / Tokaji Azsú
Apple pie is as all-American as you get. But for our ideal pairing we are traveling to Hungary for Tokaji, the legendary dessert wine from the region of Tokaj. This wine has balanced acidity, ripeness and intensity to contrast the apple pie, but also has sweet notes such as honey, peach, apricot, mango plus exotic spices. Throw in some vanilla notes to please those who like their apple pie á la mode, and you have a heavenly pairing.
Our pick: CHATEAU DERESZLA Tokaji Azsú 5 Puttonyos 2007 (Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary) $57
Pecan Pie / Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer may be the grape that's difficult to pronounce, but it's easy to love. With a nice sugar-acid balance, the wine's classic flavor is that of lychee--but it can also offer aromas and flavors of rose petals, orange peel, browned butter and even honey. Gewürztraminer grows especially well in Alsace, France, but also in New Zealand.
Our pick: TRIMBACH Gewürtztraminer 2011 (Alsace, France) $18
Pumpkin Pie / Viognier
The flavor and spices in this classic Thanksgiving dessert pair perfectly with viognier, a grape that hails from the Northern Rhône Valley. The wine is intensely perfumey, peachy, and is often matured in oak to offer vanilla flavors and a smooth, honeyed texture. If you like chardonnay, you'll love viognier.
Our pick: FREEMARK ABBEY Viognier 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $24