Impossible food wine pairings: sweet potato with marshmallows!


It’s Thanksgiving time. And you know what that means: crazy side dishes!

One of the craziest of them all is candied yams–sweet potatoes imbued with maple syrup and butter, topped with marshmallows.

What’s your suggested wine pairing for this oddball food that goes with Butterball? Comments are open!


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25 Responses to “Impossible food wine pairings: sweet potato with marshmallows!”

  1. “Sir, are you diabetic? … well you are now!”

    Nitpick alert: Yams and sweet potatoes are technically not the same thing. Yams are from a morning glory plant, if I recall correctly.

    To your question: The challenge is finding something that goes with the super-sweet side dish and also the other parts of the meal. But if I were to sit down with just a big bowl of candied yams or sweet potatoes, I’d probably want a crisp white to take the edge off the sweet. Maybe not something as steely as a Sancerre, but perhaps a dry Alsatian pinot gris or riesling.

  2. True enough to point out the differences, Mark. However, in my defense, I’d venture to say most home cooks use sweet potatoes and yams interchangeably. But perhaps they shouldn’t?! And who knew you were the Uber Tuber Wonk!?!

  3. A drier sherry or Madeira , the nuttiness and saltiness I think would play well with the sweetness of the dish, totally hypothetical though.

  4. If you are talking about the dish just by iteslf, two suggestions:

    10 Year Tawny

    Clos Pepe Late-Harvest Chardonnay–had this with apple pie this weekend, and the apple pie / a la mode was too powerful, but I think the less-sweet sweet potato with the hint of marshmallow has a lower sweetness factor that would complement this nicely.

    But as far as the overall Thanksgiving pairing, if it were to include this dis, well, I would say almost anything goes–at least for me since I mix it all up into one big glob and eat it.

  5. Hey Doc,

    Forget the wine, just have a big glass of Vodka with plenty of ice to cut the marshmellow!
    Then have some meat with a good Cabernet?

  6. People eat that?!

  7. Are you f***ing serious. you guys seriously eat that crap. And I thought my opinion of America couldn’t get any lower (I’m kidding, I love you guys). I quite like the Alsace theme but am going for something a little bit weird – Zind Humbrecht CSU Pinot Gris – bone dry with refreshing acidity to cut through the richness of the dish but super rich itself. I’m also thinking Aussie Sparking Shiraz (Sepplets is a great starter) – a little bit of sweetness and ripe round fruit but with the freshness that the bubbles give it.

  8. How ’bout an Extra Dry sparkler of some sort – nothing too expensive or mindboggling, because that marshmallowy (sp?) goodness will overpower pretty much anything. Except maybe Coca-Cola. I’m thinking a Limoux cremant or a non-brut California sparkler.

  9. I think a nice Yquem should do the trick on this one.

  10. damn, reading your blog just makes me so homesick! I’m craving a thanksgiving meal like crazy! anyways, I think I would choose a sparkling wine too, or a nice bottle of unoaked gamay from geneva or a cru beaujolais. wodka is not a bad idea either… lol…. many greetings from zÜrich, switzerland to all the readers

  11. I would say a Vintage Port or a Red Zin, preferrably from Dry Creek. Yeah Zin, definitely ZIn.


  12. I don’t know about anyone else but that dish, as “classic” and “American” as it is supposed to be is absolutely disgusting. I don’t think I have ever been to a thanksgiving dinner up here in the pacific northwest where somebody served that.

  13. Sounds like a dish that goes with turkey .. therefore, I’d be drinking CdP.

  14. Thunderbird
    The American Classic
    Serve Cold

    I’m pretty sure that this is the precise pairing served each year on Tracy Island.

  15. Forget sweet wines, that’d be overkill. How’bout a Torrontes? Lots of flavors and crisp acidity to match…

  16. I would definitely pair it with a high acid white. Since you are most likely sharing it with family members that are, shall we say kindly, at the beginning of their wine journey, stick with the basics. I would pick a sauv blanc, but avoid the grassy style NZ wines. I might also bring a bottle of Viognier to see how the floral notes in the wine would work with the marshmallow and maple syrup.

  17. I’m with Jamie. I’ve never heard of such a thing and I’ve lived in the US all my life. It looks disgusting. I’m guessing people who eat that would probably pair it with Mad Dog or some other white trash beverage.

  18. Lavradores de Feitoria “Tres Bagos” – the dark fruits should play nicely off the overt, more “bright” sweetness of the dish, and there’s a little acidity to cut through the starchiness.

  19. This is such a vulgar concoction that it should be paired with something to make one immediately drunk to the point of utter inebriation.

  20. For those of you who have not tried this combo, it is quite good. As for pairing, though it is not ideal for a wine match because of the intense flavors I would look at a ripe and expressive red that remains balanced. The Betts and Scholl California Syrah 2005 would be amazing and so would either the Betts and Scholl Grenache OG or the Grenache ‘Chronique’. For more on both visit

  21. […] about what to serve with a meal whose flavors range from a neutral turkey to the crazy sides of candied yams and cranberry […]

  22. I suspect people who serve this side dish aren’t worried about wine pairing. I’d try a sweet sparkling Moscato.

  23. Amontillado

  24. It’s a Deeply southern dish I am from Texas and never heard of it until I moved to Dixie for a few years (Alabama). There it is considered a vegetable dish believe me it is a desert. Most of the ones I tasted use brown sugar rather than maple syrup. Also another versions uses pecans rather than marshmallows which I hate. Love pecans.
    So in summary it is sweet potato pie filling made with brown sugar and white sugar, canned milk, vanilla flavor, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter with the addition of pecans. Too rich and fattening to have more once or twice per year, and never with marshmallows. I think a dry white basic wine.

  25. […] I’m not a soul who craves sweets. As you know, I could live on bread, butter, charcuterie, wine and the like, with asparagus or broccoli thrown in occasionally. Probably wouldn’t live long but I’d enjoy it. So a dish drowning in brown sugar isn’t going to do it for me. Photo Source…gag. […]


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