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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner wine

Come November every year people want to know what kind of wine they should serve with the Thanksgiving feast.

Of course, the food is what matters when selecting wine so I'm assuming the traditional turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.  All of that falls into a similar savoy flavor. It gets a bit more difficult when you add things like sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

The other thing to keep in mind is what will Uncle John and Aunt Mary like?
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Often the recommendations are for everything from Gewurztraminer to Zinfandel.

I like an off-dry, a Brut style, sparkling wine. Bubbly goes well with lots of foods from salty to spicy to acidic.

Other options are Chardonnay as they tend to be a bit soft (lower acids) and maybe a bit buttery just like the stuffing and potatoes. These Chardonnays will match with everything mentioned except the cranberry sauce.

Another is a drier Rosé as these have pleasant fruit flavors and nice acidity (the good ones do anyway) plus the bright fruits and festive color will please your auntie.

Some recommend Pinot Noir but I haven't had a lot of luck finding one that's a good match. I think you'd want something softer and lower alcohol than most California Pinots such as a Beaujolais. Zinfandel?  I just can't see this as a match to a turkey dinner.

Some Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris may work pretty well. Most have a crisp acidity helps cut through some of the buttery, fatty flavors of the meal.

I'd recommend an off-dry sparkling wine or a dry to off-dry Rosé.

Now what about the pumpkin pie? I'd go for a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc ( as a Sauterne) or a Muscat-based dessert wine.

Oh yeah, remember to sit up straight at the dinner table so you can eat more!