Recipes for Thanksgiving Desserts Paired with Sauternes and Tawny Port

Think outside the wines at Thanksgiving; pair your port with pie

Pairing port with a Port and Chocolate Pecan pie, perfect for Thanksgiving.

For the past few years, Aline Baly, the engaging, American-educated co-manager and owner at Château Coutet, an estate which makes the lovely sweet sauternes in France’s Bordeaux region, has been touting how well the rich, but well-balanced wine goes with that American standard, butter-glazed Thanksgiving turkey.

And she is right. The baked, buttered, savory flavors of the stuffed big bird are just right for the honeyed tastes of the complex sauternes balanced by a fine acidity in the finish.

This year Baly asked chef Sarah Scott to come up with a great Thanksgiving menu. It includes turkey with chestnut and leek stuffing, sweet potato pomme dauhphine, blue-cheese soufflé with quince compote, and a pumpkin crème brûlée (recipe below), each paired with a different vintage of coutet.

As I am a fan of both crème brûlée and of Château Coutet, I agree with Baly’s suggestion to pair the crusty dessert with her 2009 vintage.

But don’t go away just yet.

Think about the rich yet mellow flavors of a tawny port, then think about that Thanksgiving favorite from America’s South — pecan pie. That’s what the folks at Taylor Fladgate did with this recipe from pastry chef Eddy Van Damme for port and chocolate pecan pie that really is a great match for their Taylor Fladgate 10-year-old or 20-year-old tawnies.

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Click here for the recipe for the Pumpkin Crème Brûlée, and the recipe for the Port and Chocolate Pecan Pie.