Thanksgiving is a week away! To us, the right selection of wines for your feast is just as important as nailing the Turkey - and with the help of one of our catadores and the tips in this piece - quite a bit easier to pull off!
An easy trap to fall into with pairing for Thanksgiving is to worry too much about finding a “turkey-wine.” In fact, as a general rule, worry less about pairing to the protein of the meal thank you’ve probably been told. Instead, focus on the sauces and side dishes, where most of the flavor actually comes from. Turkey offers a pretty blank canvas. The gravy you smother it with, though? It can be light and fresh or deep and rich, and anything in between, and should be very flavorful, most likely with herbs. Pair accordingly.
Notice how we said “selection” in the lead off paragraph. That’s your best bet for Thanksgiving, to offer an array of wines, none of which will clash with anything, and a few of which that pair perfectly to a particular dish. So ask yourself, “does anyone usually bring a truly standout side dish?” Something that everyone looks forward to each year? Make sure you have a wine that will pair well both texturally and flavor wise to dishes like that.
Don’t forget about dessert! A beautiful port or late harvest sweet wine with classic thanksgiving desserts will turn a few heads, in a good way!
To sum up, here’s what we suggest:
Have options, and don’t go too heavy or too light. Dry riesling, a nice chardonnay, and viognier are all great options for whites. Someone at the table will undoubtedly want a heavy red, so have something nice for them. Any kind of pinot noir, carmenere, and a favorite of ours, Chilean Pipeño, are the types of reds you’ll want to focus on.
Pick a crowd favorite side dish and pair to it with a wine that has either similar or complementary flavors and texture. Let’s say an Aunt makes a killer green bean casserole. A sauvignon blanc from the Casablanca Valley in Chile will have the right balance of acidity, weight and herbal flavors to elicit a chorus of “oooos” and “ahhhhhs!”
It’s a celebration, so enjoy dessert alongside a dessert wine! You can’t go wrong with tawny port or cream cherry, but if you want to really knock it out of the park, we have a late-harvest torontel from 2010 by Erasmo that will pair perfectly with pumpkin pie!
So stock up, enjoy time off from work with family and friends, and stop by the shop for help picking the right selection for your table!