It's Halloween weekend and you know what that means...pumpkin guts! But rather than toss the pulpy orange innards of this season's jack-o-lantern, why not cook it? Pumpkin is sweet and earthy and as much a part of autumn as falling leaves. If you've already carved your pumpkin, but still want to eat something festive, try picking up some sugar babies--smaller, sweeter, more flavorful pumpkins--from the farmers' market. And the best part? There are dozens of wines to complement pumpkin in every iteration, from sweet to savory to spicy. I asked around K&L for some of our staff's suggestions, and this is what they came up with. These recipes would all be at home on next month's Thanksgiving table, too. Happy Halloween!
"Pumpkin pie a la mode with the Kuchan Juglans Nigra Black Walnut Liqueur ($29.99)," says Chiara Shannon. "It would be SUPERB with pumpkin pie. So aromatic, full of candied nut, caramel and baking spice notes. Great viscosity and depth of flavor."
Of course, finding a pumpkin pie recipe that uses REAL pumpkin can be difficult. If you're ambitious, try tweaking the recipe for Pumpkin Pie with Pepita Nut and Ginger Topping from Bon Appetit or the Black Walnut Pumpkin Pie from Saveur to replace the canned pumpkin and let us know how it turns out.
Eric Story suggests Hungarian Tokaji, the original dessert wine--famous long before d'Yquem's Sauternes--which would bring out all the honeyed apple and spice notes of the Apple and Pumpkin Upside Down Cake from La Tartine Gourmande.
You don't have to use the squid ink in Tony Tahhan's Witch Hat Pumpkin Ravioli, but they're so darn festive you might just want to. Anne Pickett suggests pairing the ravioli with a Friulano and our offerings from Ermacora and Blason are among the best.
Spice up Martha Stewart's Harvest Pumpkin Soup and Steve Greer thinks you'd have a match for Vouvray that's as natural as witches and broomsticks. One of our favorites? The 2009 Pierre et Catherine Breton "La Dilettante" Vouvray Sec.
What's your favorite pumpkin and wine pairing?