By Roger Wilcoâ€™s Wine Guy and Somm,Â Jimmy Quaile.
The long-standing rule of matching wine and food â€“ red wine with meat and white wine with fish â€“ actually has a scientific explanation. Then again, I doubt too many people eat meat or fish without a compliment of side dishesâ€¦especially on such a gastronomic feast asÂ Thanksgiving. Â So how do you pair the perfect wine for a meal thatÂ is a minefield of competing tastes and flavors? Eliminate the biggest one â€“ the turkey!
Turkey, being fairly neutral in flavor will pair nicely with a lot of different wines: red, white, and rosÃ©. The real struggle is withÂ the side dishes, andÂ ThanksgivingÂ dinner is more about the sides than the main dish (in my humble opinion). A simple way to go is to pick theÂ side with the most distinct flavor sinceÂ that will influence the rest of the food on the plate,Â and matchÂ that intensity with the intensity of the wine. Another idea is to look at the whole plate. For example, sweetÂ potatoes, cranberry sauce, and chunks of apples in the stuffing all have sweet elements that can make dry wines taste thin and bitter. The answer: a white wine with a touch of residual sugar or a low-tannin red wine. Now I know what youâ€™re thinking; â€œYou Sommeliers over-think this whole wine and food pairing thing!â€ â€“ and you may be right. You certainly can drink your favorite wine and leaveÂ it at that. But with just a little research or a few recommendations you have the chance to make even the wine something to be thankful for.
What to serve your guests from their arrival to dessert on Thanksgiving:
Guests Arrive â€“ Sparkling RosÃ©
Try the Gustave Lorentz CrÃ©mant Brut RosÃ©
This Sparkling RosÃ©Â from the Alsace region begins with aromas of red fruit and hints of spice, followed by vibrant acidity and tastes of strawberries. Seriously delicious!
Appetizers â€“ Sauvignon Blanc
Try the Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Delightfully aromatic with tropical fruit flavors of gooseberry and melon, this wine ends with a surprisingly creamy finish.
Soup & Salad â€“ California Chardonnay
Try the Gallo Signature Series Russian River Valley Chardonnay
With aromas of sweet vanilla and freshly baked bread,Â this wine has bright flavors of crisp apple, lemon meringue, and ginger on the palate.
Main Course â€“ Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir
For white wine, try the Domaine Du Petit MÃ©tris SavenniÃ¨res (100% Chenin Blanc)Â
White peach andÂ anÂ almond nose, withÂ a mouthful of baked apples and honey comb. Whatâ€™s not to like! For red wine, try the Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Dried cranberry aroma with a light smoky undertone, followed by spicy cherry and a silky smooth finish. Classic Pinot!
Dessert Pies â€“Â Port
Try the Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Ruby Porto
Perfect for all fruit-based pies. Try theÂ Warreâ€™s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Porto
GreatÂ for sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan, and candied walnut pies. Learn about Port.
Curious to try our recommendations? You can find any of these bottles at Roger Wilco, Pennsauken!