The holidays are upon us. Perhaps quicker than we would have liked! It seems that once October gets here, it is one mad rush towards Christmas, with Halloween and Thanksgiving Day squeezed in between.
But turkey day! The one day of the year that has become almost wholly dedicated to seeing exactly how much food the human body can actually consume before exploding. A hectic time of the year to be sure, and a time when lots and LOTS of wine is used while cooking. Some of it even goes into the foods being prepared!
Let’s say now your food is on the table and your guests are gathering. What are you pouring into their waiting glasses? There is an old adage which states, “If it grows together, it goes together.” That is not always the truth. But, the idea is that climate determines what goes together.
The best wines for Thanksgiving are, of course, a matter of personal preference. Even though a lovely red might be the best pairing, if a crisp white is your preference, then no amount of pairing advice will change that. So, take the following as the best suggestions for a meal and wine pairing that will please the most discerning guests.
Sparkling wines have become an increasingly popular pairing for holiday foods. The sparkling wines add just a touch of elegance to any meal. There is a particular acidity that improves the pairing potential of the sparkling wines. Some top of the line sparklings to try come from Wedding Oak Winery, Messina Hof, and Becker Vineyards.
As far as the best whites for Thanksgiving, Albariño or Viognier both top the list. They are maybe not as well-known as some of the others, but provide just a little something different than the more commonly used Chardonnay. McPherson Cellars bottles a great Albariño grown in the High Plains area at Castaño Prado and the Diamante Doble Vineyard Viognier is one of the best around. Becker, Flat Creek Estate, and Blue Ostrich Winery have some fine choices to try.
A Gewürztraminer is always a good choice for a flavorful white that can go easily with turkey and dressing. This wine is highly aromatic with touches of warm spice. Lost Oak Winery, Messina Hof, Fredericksburg Winery, and Becker Vineyards all bottle some truly great Gewürztraminers. (If you have trouble with the pronunciation, just remember “Girls are meaner.” That is courtesy of the mind of Jet Wilmeth of Diamante Doble Vineyard.)
The Rieslings provide a white that can be sweet on the palate or just a bit dry. The Rieslings go easily with most Thanksgiving dishes from appetizers to dessert. The subtle flavors of apricot, honey, and a touch of apple gives Riesling a great flavor that matches up with whatever is on your menu. Here again, you can’t go wrong with Lost Oak or Messina Hof.
Other choices are Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio.
The best reds are a tough call. Reds are always a favorite wine to serve with your Thanksgiving best.
The Syrah or Shiraz has that spicy undertone that brings a definite difference to the palate when served with the variety of foods found on the American Thanksgiving table. These wines will go remarkably well with the flavorful herbs of the stuffing to either the dark or white turkey meat. The McPherson Les Copains Red is a wonderfully flavorful Syrah blend to try.
You can never go wrong with a Zinfandel. This is a heartier wine with a full-bodied flavor and pairs well with any of the side dishes on your holiday table. Some of the best Zinfandels come from the High Plains and are bottled at Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards and Flat Creek.
And don’t forget to try a Dolcetto from Diamante Doble Dos!
A Pinot Noir is a good choice for someone wanting something just a bit lighter in the red family. A little softer taste makes it just the right wine to pair with the heavier fare of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
A rosé is always a good choice for balance. A bit lighter than some of the other offerings, a rosé can offer a bit more of a fruity balance and will pair well with any part of the Thanksgiving fare. Look for the Becker, Messina Hof, or Los Pinos labels when looking for a great Thanksgiving rosé!
No matter which wine you choose to pair with your family feast, don’t forget to give thanks for the bounty of the land that allows us to enjoy such delectable treats!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!