Ah, thanksgiving. That joyous time of year when we are expected to count our good fortune in life and to try not to make a scene at the dinner table. Whether your drinking for enjoyment or to make your family more tolerable, here are some ideas for booze to garnish your Thanksgiving feast.
St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale – This delicious brew hails from Montreal, Quebec and manages to deliver outstanding depth of flavour without coming across as artificial or over the top sweet. More spice than pumpkin, this seasonal ale’s medley of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and just a hint of pumpkin goodness make it the perfect pairing with a turkey dinner or pumpkin pie!
Michel Jodoin Sparkling Rose Cider – Cider is like the middle child, often overlooked and never quite getting the attention it deserves. When produced with care using quality ingredients, a cider can be wonderfully refreshing and make an excellent partner with food. Michel Jodoin produces a range of outstanding ciders, my favourite of which is this rose. This cider boasts a beautiful salmon colour which is naturally drawn from the skins of the red Geneva apples used to produce it. A great alternative to wine if you’re in the mood for something different. Available at Metrovino Wine and J Webb Wine Merchants here in Calgary.
Rose – Many people shy away from rose wine fearing it will be sickly sweet, or perhaps due to a lingering memory of a terrible hangover following some white Zinfandel fuelled underage drinking. The reality is that there is a host of dry, fresh rose’s from around the world that are a perfect pair with turkey dinner. Rose’s relatively un-hip status means you can get dynamite wine for a reasonable price and its refreshing acidity and bright flavours make it the perfect compromise between red and white. Some of my favourites include Domaine Houchart (Provence, France), Haywire (BC, Canada), Domaine Lafond Tavel (Southern Rhone, France) and Artazuri Rose (Navarra, Spain).
Pinot Noir – If you’re yearning for a red with your Thanksgiving feast then Pinot Noir can be a perfect pick. Whether it’s a lighter and fresher example from France, a bolder, spicier pick from Oregon or a zippy number from New Zealand, Pinot Noir has plenty of character without being too heavy or rich.
Chateau de Montifaud Cognac – There’s nothing that helps settle a belly full of bird like a wee tipple of Cognac! A spirit made from grapes and produced in the Cognac region of France (just north of Bordeaux), Cognac gets its trademark rich copper colour from extended aging in oak barrels. This barrel aging also gives it flavours of roasted nuts, burnt sugar and caramel. The longer a Cognac sits in barrel, the more depth and complexity it acquires. A Cognac will also lose its rough edges, becoming smoother with age. Although the big brands like Courvoisier and Hennessy get all the hype, smaller producers like Chateau de Montifaud can provide outstanding value. The Montifaud Cognac’s are available at most specialty shops.
These are just a few of the many examples of turkey friendly pairings.
Whatever you choose to drink with your bird I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with good friends, food and laughter.