Take time picking Thanksgiving wines-complicated meal pairs well with atypical wines
If you’ve been asked to bring wine to Thanksgiving dinner, please take time to consider this rather complex meal before picking out a bottle.
Cary Hogan, the wine buyer at Avon Liquor, offers tips on how to pick the right wine to go with all of the flavors that will be on the table that day.
“Many people just aren’t aware that the traditional Thanksgiving feast is a complicated meal to pair with wine,” Hogan said. “No matter how you cook it, turkey is a dry bird, there’s not a lot of fat. Then there are lots of side dishes like stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and some sweet potatoes even have marshmallows on them. You have to think about all those flavors and come up with one or two wines that match all of them. It can be difficult.”
Difficult, but not impossible. Hogan has a variety of whites and reds you can bring to compliment the meal that your host has slaved for hours to make.
If there will be appetizers at the event, Hogan says start with bubbles. “Champagne or sparkling wine goes with a variety of flavors and stimulates the appetite.”
For the main meal, try a gewurztraminer or a riesling. You may be thinking those white wines are too sweet, but that’s not the case if you opt for the dry type. As for reds, stick to something like a bright pino noir or a gamay from the Beaujolais region. Rose wine can also work well with the meal. “Rose has the crispness of a white but the complexity of a red, so it goes well with turkey,” Hogan said.
If you still have room for dessert after the big meal, Hogan suggests bringing out the bubbles again or a little muscat de Beaumes de Venise to go with the pumpkin pie. “Some people may forgo the pumpkin pie and go for the dessert wine,” Hogan said.
“When you have the right wine with the right food, it’s a synergistic thing, it comes up with a different flavor. So it really adds to your guests’ experience when you take the time to buy the right wine. It’s just a whole, beautiful experience.”
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