Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for many. Cooking a large dinner for some could be considered a daunting task in modern times. For others, it is simply ‘dealing’ with family on various levels.
For me it has always been wine. Turkey isn’t exactly the easiest meat to pair with wine. Many ‘winos’ tell us that White Zinfandels or Roses work best. And I can see why, but for someone like me who likes wine drier than a dessert, it isn’t the easiest meal to pair with. However, I have a bag of ‘tricks’ to help EVERYONE find a wine we can all raise a glass to for thankful meal.
Identify Your Meal Palette
Think about the overall flavor of your meal. If your family tends to cook side dishes on the sweet side (yams, squash, root veggies, etc) then you actually would want a sweeter wine with dinner. Even if you don’t like sweet wines, it won’t taste sweet since turkey is considered a ‘sweeter’ meat and paired with the sweeter sides, the wine will not appear as such. A sweet wine will actually balance all that sweetness and you will taste the other (better) qualities of the wine. Go for a French Dry Rose or a moscato. Reislings and Geurtweimers are also AMAZING choices- german types are easiest to get, but if you can get your hands on a Finger Lakes, go with a Herman J. Weimer!!!!!
If your palette is more savory, then stick with a lighter red, such as Pinot Noir. That wine will not over power your turkey, and it still shine amongst the other dishes, like stuffing, creamed onions or green been casserole. SInce I grew up in a very Italian American neighborhood, I know many families often do ham and pasta dishes. Pinot Noir is still a good choice, but you can go a little darker with a cab/merlot blend. I’d even do a full Cabernet Savignon if your food is very rich.
Dessert is simple- PORT PORT PORT! What says Thanksgiving more than a slice of pie (mince meat with hard sauce) and a nice red port???? Jersey Devil Port is my personal choice. You can order some here http://valenzanowine.com if you’re intereseted.
Wines I’ll be drinking today:
Villa Milagro-Grasias and Feliz Navidad (http://www.villamilagrovineyards.com/Holiday-wine-release.html)
Knapp White Cab Franc http://www.knappwine.com
Jersey Devil Port
Whatever you drink this Thanksgiving, be thankful to share it with the ones you love. We are all so blessed with so many things, my hope is that we all see that…especially at troubled times. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!