Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

Jamie ArkingNovember 15, 2016
By Roger Wilco’s Wine Guy and Somm, Jimmy Quaile. The long-standing rule of matching wine and food – red wine with meat and white wine with fish – actually has a scientific explanation. Then again, I doubt too many people eat meat or fish without a compliment of side dishes…especially on such a gastronomic feast as Thanksgiving.  So how do you pair the perfect wine for a meal that is a minefield of competing tastes and flavors? Eliminate the biggest one – the turkey! thanksgiving-wineTurkey, being fairly neutral in flavor will pair nicely with a lot of different wines: red, white, and rosé. The real struggle is with the side dishes, and Thanksgiving dinner is more about the sides than the main dish (in my humble opinion). A simple way to go is to pick the side with the most distinct flavor since that will influence the rest of the food on the plate, and match that intensity with the intensity of the wine. Another idea is to look at the whole plate. For example, sweet 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 you’re thinking; “You Sommeliers over-think this whole wine and food pairing thing!” – and you may be right. You certainly can drink your favorite wine and leave 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 – Sparkling Rosé

Try the Gustave Lorentz Crémant Brut Rosé This Sparkling Rosé 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 – 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 – California Chardonnay

Try the Gallo Signature Series Russian River Valley Chardonnay With aromas of sweet vanilla and freshly baked bread, this wine has bright flavors of crisp apple, lemon meringue, and ginger on the palate.

Main Course – Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir

For white wine, try the Domaine Du Petit Métris Savennières (100% Chenin Blanc)  White peach and an almond nose, with a mouthful of baked apples and honey comb. What’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 – Port

Try the Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Ruby Porto Perfect for all fruit-based pies. Try the Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Porto Great 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!