|Choosing Wines for Thanksgiving Feast! Oct. 08|
Choosing Wines for Thanksgiving Feast Ivan’s Tips
Thanksgiving is the promise of spending quality time with family and friends, great conversations, and great food and wines. But wines have a hard time at Thanksgiving. In addition to pairing wine with the turkey, you must consider the side dishes, salads and desserts. My advice as a winegeek and foodie is to find good juice to bring out the flavors of your cuisine.
Here are some of my suggestions.
will be great before or after a traditional Thanksgiving meal. With such a diverse range of flavors on the holiday table, some that are rich or slightly sweet, a sparkling wine that is not completely dry will please almost everyone. French Champagne or California sparkling wine, are the driest and are just a little softer, with fuller fruit flavors. Another good choice will be a Cava from Spain these wines offer fresh and luscious fruit flavors that harmonize well with all of the traditional Thanksgiving delights.
One of the best pairings for Turkey, and many of the traditional side dishes, is Riesling, a wine with a touch of sweetness specially from Germany or Alsace but, do not ignore the ones from NY State, they are also great. Slightly more crisp wines that also go well with the traditional meal are Sauvignon Blanc and Albarino, with their bright fruit acidity and character. They complement the many spices in the stuffing and side dishes. California or Bordeaux for the Sauvignon Blanc and Spain for the Albarino.
It is true that dry rose wines go well with almost any combinations of foods, and with so many flavors on the table at Thanksgiving, rose can be a great choice. If your taste runs to drier wines, a rose from Provence or the Cotes du Rhone regions in France will be light, crisp, and flavorful, but won't overpower the meal. A dry rose from California or South America made from grape varieties such as Grenache or Malbec will also nicely pair with holiday dishes and they will be less dry.
Red Wines: A spicy and aromatic red wine such as Pinot Noir fits right in and adds its own unique appeal. Generally light in body, with soft texture as a counterpoint to its lovely aroma, Pinot Noir is easy to love, especially among the many flavors of Thanksgiving and is a new favorite after the movie “Sideways”. For those who like their red wines hearty and full of flavor, a Malbec, Syrah or Zinfandel will nicely balance even the most flavorful and spicy Thanksgiving fare. Whether from Argentina, the Rhone Valley in France or California, or Australia (where they are called 'Shiraz') they offer great depth of color and flavor, with a decidedly peppery and plumy note that many find delicious. Similarly, the American Zinfandel is a juicy red wine with lots of spice on its own to satisfy the hunger for lots of flavor to go with the meal.
I love sweet sherries like Olorosos. They offer great variety; from rich, heavy and sweet to light and dry. The darker the wine the sweeter and longer it has been aged. They feature warm, rounded aromas which are both complex and powerful, with predominantly nutty bouquet of walnuts, with toast, vegetable and balsamic notes reminiscent of wood, tobacco and autumn leaves. They are great with Pecan pie, pumpkin pie and many more desserts.
Also, this is the time to serve your wines 'family style, the same way you serve your meal. Just open your selections and let your guests help themselves to the tastes they like.
Billecart Salmon NV, France $49.99
D’abbatis Brut 2005, California $25.99
Cava Cuvee Henry NV, Spain $10.99
Riesling Cattin 2005, Alsace France $21.99
Riesling Urban 2007, Mosel Germany $12.99
Riesling Maddalena 2007, Monterey $15.99
Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Napa $20.99
Albarino Nessa 2007, Spain $18.99
Rose Chateau du Seuil 2006, Provence France $15.99
Rose Don Prospero 2007, Uruguay $11.09
Pinot Noir William Fevre Gran Cuvee 2006, Maipo Chile $17.99
Malbec Daniva Reserva Roble 2003, Mendoza Argentina $22.99
Shiraz Wakefield 2006, Clare Valley Australia $17.99
Zinfandel Perry Creek 2005, California $17.99
Oloroso Lustau Dry oloroso Don Nuno, Jerez Spain $23.99