It’s just about turkey time again for our friends to the south and as such we thought it would be fitting throw down some Thanksgiving wine and food pairing ideas.
The classic turkey dinner is as complex and interesting as the characters gathered around the table. From crazy uncle Hal who interrupts the enjoyment of your mashed potatoes with assurances the government is monitoring the conversation, to bratty little Betty who insists on text messaging during grace and throwing a fit when she spills gravy on her Miley Cyrus tube-top, every family has their characters.
Here are the Vine Arts top picks for turkey dinner:
1. Alsacian Whites – The area of Alsace, located along the German border in Northeast France, produces some of my favourite white wines. Having gone back and forth between French and German control for centuries, Alsace has a unique culture all its own and produces some very distinct wines. The whites from this area tend to be drier than their German counterparts and have a trademark richness that makes for great pairings with rich and complex foods. Try a racy Riesling, rich Pinot Gris or a spicy Gewürztraminer to make your turkey sing!
2. Rose – Although the sea of cheap, sweet and often low quality white Zinfandel that flooded the market in the 80’s put many people off of rose wine, the truth is that classic European rose’s are some of the most food friendly and enjoyable wines in the world. There are now delicious dry rose’s being produced all over the world, but for an authentic experience it’s worth hunting down an example from the area of Provence in the South of France. At their best these wines have an intriguing spice that plays well with turkey dinner as well as refreshing acidity to cleanse the palate. There are also some delicious rose’s from France’s Rhone Valley, from areas such as Tavel that will also hit the spot!
3. Pinot Noir – Light in body but heavy on character, it’s no wonder Pinot Noir has become so popular! If you want a red wine with your bird, a Pinot from Oregon or California might be just what the doctor ordered.
4. Grenache – Why not hit your g spot this Thanksgiving and pick up a delicious and spicy red wine from the Grenache grape. Naturally low in tannins, these reds tend to be soft and velvety with a classic peppery spice that sings with turkey and stuffing! The classic examples come from the Southern Rhone Valley in France and can be great value. Pick up a Cotes-du-Rhone from a good producer such as Perrin & Fils, Guigal or Domaine de la Janasse just to name a few…your guests will thank you for it!
5. Beer! – A great beer, such as the classic abbey ales of Belgium, can be an outstanding partner with food and rival a good wine in complexity and depth. The richness and body found in the suds from classic breweries such as Chimay, d’Achouffe and Rochefort can stand up to the most intense turkey feast…plus their made by monks…which rules!
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your path to Thanksgiving success. Also, I recommend picking up a decent Calvados (apple brandy) from Normandy! I always like a little Calvados at the halfway point of the meal to help with digestion…or to drown out crazy Uncle Hal!