There are many wines that pair well with cheesecake. A sparkling wine is a nice option as is a rich, robust Tawny Port. I prefer a Tawny Port over a Ruby Port with cheesecake because the rich caramel and nuttiness pairs incredibly well with the graham cracker crust. The notes of pumpkin, pecans and caramel in the cheesecake are mirrored by the exquisite flavors in the Tawny Port.
Ruby Ports are red, with loads of berry aromas and typically sweeter than their Tawny counterpart. The main difference is the amount of time the wine is aged. As it ages longer in oak casks, the red color turns into a paler, brown hue and develops more nutty, caramel, toffee, cinnamon and chocolate characteristics. When shopping for a Port, you will often find 10, 20, 30 & 40 year Ports, in addition to Vintage Ports. Vintage Ports are extremely rare and tend to be very expensive. In fact, there are only typically 2 or 3 Vintage Ports produced per decade.
The dates (10, 20, 30 & 40) mean the average age of the final blend. I recently had a 100 year flight of Graham’s. The 10 and 40 were my personal favorites. The acidity in the younger Port works incredibly well with the cheesecake. The richness and nuances that develop with age are better appreciated on their own. Serve Port slightly chilled for a perfect sip. A proper pour is 3 oz since it boasts a much higher alcohol content than table wine. It’s also customarily served in a port glass. Tawny Port is also spectacular paired with bleu cheese and cigars.