While sitting here, creating a Thanksgiving wine list to help my fellow novices, I came across a blog I follow. www.Grapefriend.com has summed up everything for me: “Drink whatever the (beep) you want!!” You are so right!!! I am a believer in that for all meals; drink whatever you like. However I do get asked, often, on what wines to pair with what foods. Now, I have taken the class so I know technically how wines pair with food. But, I am also in the mind set of just drink whatever wine pleases you. Yes, artichokes and asparagus can make your wine taste more acidic/metallic (*hint, you can lesson the hassle by adding additional fat or sweetness to mask the acidity of asparagus and artichokes), but if you love your California Cab and want to drink that with an artichoke pasta, then by all means do it.
So there you go, I am not going to list every single wine to drink with your Holiday meal. I will give you my favorites for this holiday, but to quote Grapefriend again “Drink whatever the (beep) you want!!”
1. Bubbles (refer to my past blog) – these would be perfect to start the night off with. However, they can pair nicely with most of the food groups you will be consuming.
2. Chardonnay- I would suggest an unoaked chardonnay. But that could be just me. I am not a fan of overly oaky, buttery chards. A clean, crisp chardonnay will taste brilliantly with anything that has butter, cheese, crab/lobster (if going the unconventional route of Thanksgiving), turkey and vegetables.
3. Riesling- Another versatile wine that will pair nicely with most Thanksgiving menu items. I know it’s an America holiday, but a nice German Spatlese, Austrian Riesling or an Alsatian wine would taste lovely!! If you go with a sweeter Riesling, save that for dessert. (PS German and Austrian Rieslings tend to be lower in alcohol, so you can keep your wits about you if you drink too much of it!).
4. Pinot Noir – This red wine is light (although can be full - bodied) and has a nice complexion of fruit, minerality and alcohol to complement your table. I prefer a Burgundy, however my bank account doesn’t always agree. Check out California (especially from Carneros) and Oregon. Or take a walk on the wild side and grab a New Zealand Pinot Noir. I was pleasantly surprised with the one I tried!
5. Cotes De Rhone- A medium-bodied, French Rhone red that I think would be a hit at your gathering. It has some dark fruit on the palate and moderate tannin structure. Will go nicely with white meat dishes as well as vegetables, cheese and mushrooms (think earthy foods).
6.Beaujolais Nouveau – Ah, yes the coveted Beaujolais. The wine everyone clamors for during this time of year. Yes, pick up a bottle and yes enjoy it with your Thanksgiving meal. Not my favorite, but many of my friends love it. And it seems nostalgic….
7. Zinfandel - especially a fruity one. Zin’s can actually be a very versatile wine, because of it’s spice, berry and pepper flavors. Most meats pair perfectly with this wine.
8. Port, bubbles, Eiswein, Sherry, Muscat – all perfect dessert wines to end your perfect night. For the pumpkin pie – do with Port or Sherry.
** Don’t forget the bubbly water, cucumber water and coffee for guests who need a wine break!**
There you go.. a simple list. Stick with two or three of these wines and you will have a happy crowd (just don’t forget to pick up the beer for your non-wine drinking brother)!!
PS check out Grapefriend’s blog. It’s fantastic! http://www.grapefriend.com