My Thanksgiving Wine Picks
Ah, Thanksgiving - one of my absolute favorite holidays. There are so many reasons to love this rich American tradition. The house is full of wonderful smells. Family and friends gather for a full day of food, drink and merriment. I especially enjoy watching The HUSBAND work his magic in the kitchen. Each year, he seemingly tries to outdo himself from the year before.
As for me, I usually play the role of Sommelier. It's always exciting for me to pick out what we are going to drink from our cellar. Sometimes, days before Thanksgiving, I'll find myself day dreaming about what magical wines we should select. In my view, there are never any wrong choices. I've read countless articles about what does and does not pair well with turkey and the traditional accompanying side dishes. For me, it's simply about pulling corks and setting out the bottles for everyone to enjoy.
I am a self-admitted bubbles person all the way on Thanksgiving. My absolute favorite champagne of all time is Billecart-Salmon, a medium-sized Champagne house in Mareuil-sur-Ay, France. It's one of the few remaining family owned champagne houses left in France. I suppose I feel a sort of kinship with them. Not to mention, The HUSBAND and I have enjoyed several bottles during magical moments in our 28 years of marriage. When the bubbles are gone, I move on to a glass of white or perhaps a red Â whatever tickles my fancy. We always have our wine on the table too Â usually a bottle of Dry Chenin Blanc and one of our deliciously fruity Zins, one of my favorite Turkey/cranberry sauce/red wine pairings. (Caution: be sure to avoid Zinfandels high in alcohol.) But there are other wines too. Pinot Noirs from the Russian River and Anderson Valley are my favorite. We might have something unusual like a Riesling from Germany or a Cotes du Rhone from France. Perhaps Spain might even show up on the dinner table. We're not country biased - everyone gets their fair share! This is a particularly good time to open any magnums or large format bottles that might be collecting dust in your cellar. What are you waiting for?
Try not to worry about the perfect marriage of food and wine. If you keep one simple tip in mind, you'll be fine. Think fruity with fruity. In other words, the sweeter tendencies of traditional Thanksgiving fare such as cranberries, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, etc. naturally lend themselves to fruitier styles of wines. Just be sure there's a good backbone of acidity so the wine isn't overly sweet or cloying.
The bottom line is be bold. Pull what you enjoy - something you've been thinking about opening for a long time and share it with your close friends and family. After all, that's the best way to enjoy wine - in the company of those you love.
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