THANKFUL FOR WINE ~ GOBBLE IT UP
The table is set, candles lit. The kids are seated and Dad has his mustard at the ready. Scents of green bean casserole, cranberries, sweet potatoes and stuffing permeate the air complementing the perfectly carved turkey that spent the last few hours in the oven. Is there truly a wine that can handle this meal?
Is Thanksgiving possibly trending more towards normal this year? No matter what, we owe it to ourselves to at least drink good wine! Here are a few quick tips and suggestions to guide you in pairing the perfect wine to go with your feast.
Generally speaking, and I can’t really stress this enough- I always like to lead with, “drink what you like, and don’t overcomplicate or overthink it.” If you are strictly a white wine person, let’s find a great white. Only satiated by reds? No problem. Once these parameters are set, you are ready to delve into the task of matching a wine to go with the food at hand. Match acidic foods with acidic wines, creamier and richer foods with weightier and richer wines. This is true for whites and reds alike. Also, don’t forget a dry finishing rosé can be quite a tasty treat to pair with turkey too. Now, speaking of that dinner…
Thanksgiving dinner typically offers a vast range of light to rich dishes. Finding wines to complement both can be tough, but not impossible. If white wine is your fancy, Chablis, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay will be your best options. All are great because neither is heavy or sweet, but have enough “oomph” or “courage” as my colleague Thom likes to say, to carry the meal. Chablis (a northern Burgundy) is crisp, lean and loaded with an unmistakable minerality and complexity. Pinot Gris, especially those from Oregon, tend to exude a touch of creaminess while maintaining crispness and finishing dry. Chardonnays with a little bit of oak will enhance buttery and roasted notes, making the mashed potatoes and basted turkey scream for another glass!
Reds more your style? Your options here include the light to medium bodied Pinot Noir, Burgundy and Beaujolais. Pinot Noirs are great matches for lighter, leaner fare like turkey, and tend to have more of an earthy-mushroomy characteristic perfect for roasted root vegetables or that Sherry-Mushroom bisque. Red Burgundy is primarily made from pinot noir grapes, exhibiting solid raspberry and strawberry notes with great balance and complexity. (Pass the cranberries please!) They also tend to be a bit more elegant than our domestic counterpart. Beaujolais (technically the southern region of Burgundy) is made from gamay grapes. They offer a light and refreshing more fruit forward style. These three red wines, by and large, are higher in acid and lower in tannin, creating perfectly balanced wines for food.
Save room for dessert! Finish dinner off with a Sauterne or Port. Both can pair well with the tartness of a freshly baked apple pie or the spiciness of pumpkin chiffon pie. (Don’t forget a scoop of French vanilla ice cream too!)
And most importantly, truly, drink what you like! Happy Thanksgiving!
2018 Agnes & Diddier Dauvissat Chablis $23.99
2020 Thurston Wolfe PGV $13.99
2019 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran $19.59
2017 St. Innocent Momtazi Vineyard $39.99
2017 Girardin Vieilles Vignes $23.99
2018 Romuald Petit Saint Amour $20.99
2020 Chateau Barbebelle Provence $14.99
NV Ramos Pinto Tawny $15.99
2020 Domaine la Florane Cotes du Rhone Villages
Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen + Bar and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His monthly column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers and share his knowledge and experience in the wine world. Check out the latest at www.LeschiMart.com or to request to be added to email updates at firstname.lastname@example.org.