Pumpkin Pie

I never liked pumpkin pie. Every year at Thanksgiving my mom would barely touch her food.  My grandmother would snicker, and everyone, including me, would give her a hard time for not eating grandma’s delicious food.  Her answer would always be, “I’m saving the calories for pumpkin pie”.  She loved pumpkin pie!  I would watch as she cut a slice of pie, sprayed whipped cream on top, and then practically inhaled it.  I hated the texture and couldn’t understand why she liked it so much.  Without fail, I would catch her in the kitchen hours later, trying to stuff another slice down her throat before anyone would notice.  Today, I actually enjoy a bite or too of pumpkin pie.  Although it’s still not my favorite, what would Thanksgiving be without it?

This Thanksgiving, don't forget the dessert wine!  Pumpkin pie has a creamy texture and a hint of spice.  Madiera (Malmsey) is amazing with this dish.  It's reputation as a cheap cooking wine has done it a great injustice.  Madiera comes from the Portuguese Islands of Madiera.  Its made in a range of styles from dry (almost no sugar) to sweet.  Malmsey is the richest, sweetest style.  The wine has great natural acidity, helping to cut through the creaminess of pie, and an inherent spiciness that mirrors the flavors in the dish.  What's better, is that an opened bottled of Madiera lasts nearly forever due to it's exposure to heat & oxygen during the wine-making process.  Other wines to try with pumpkin pie are tawny Port, Sauternes, sweet Riesling, Tokaji Aszu and sweet Sherry.