Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wines for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the time when family and friends gather to stuff their faces with those holiday treats that we love so much. Traditionally there are three main dishes served on this special occasion, Roast Beef, Ham and of coarse Turkey! The most asked question I answer during this time of year is what pairs best with any of these entrees.

When pairing wine to Roast Beef or any beef entrée you want to focus on wines that will not be over powered by the beef itself. For this reason I lean towards big full-bodied reds like the Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel ($21/750ml) that offers an intense plum flavor coupled with hints of baking spice. For those who prefer a softer red should turn to areas such as Bordeaux, France. The Chateau Paveil de Luze Margaux ($25/750ml) exhibits a softer more elegant side of Cabernet Sauvignon not typically seen by their Californian counterparts.

With Ham I prefer a Syrah or Shiraz mainly due to the hint of bacon fat found within the varietal. The Peter Lehman Shiraz ($16/750ml) from the Barossa Valley of Australia pairs perfectly with its blueberry and blackberry flavors that counteract the saltiness of the ham, along with that hint of bacon fat that helps the flavors mesh sublimely. Since not everyone enjoys red wine, here is a white that will pair nicely as well. The Batterieberg Detonation Riesling ($14/750ml) is an exceptionally dry Riesling, which can be a tough thing to find in Germany, but has flavors of crisp granny smith apples with a pleasant mineral backbone.
I saved the best for last, Turkey! Turkey has soft and subtle flavors that make pairing difficult. I my experience you do not want anything to overpowering otherwise you can’t taste that delicious bird. So for your red drinkers the Adelsheim Oregon Pinot Noir ($28/750ml) is lovely, its soft, has flavors of cherries paired with a dusty earthiness but most importantly it does not overpower the turkey. When pairing whites look for something ever so slightly sweet with a bright acidity. The Domaine Pichot Vouvray ($14/750ml) made of 100% Chenin Blanc explodes with flavors of pear and green apple followed by a nice crisp acidity that cuts through sweetness experienced in your first taste. These wines will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving no matter the entrée. Enjoy!