Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday. It lacks the pressure of gifts, it’s not overly marketed or commercialized. If you are really lucky you’re able to spend the day and share a meal with those that are closest to you, giving thanks for all that you have. To me, it is the perfect holiday, and I cherish it each year.
My family celebrates Thanksgiving very traditionally. We don’t deep fry a turkey, we don’t cook a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken; we simply roast a turkey and serve it with the most simple but wonderful sides, stuffing, carrots, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole…and the list goes on…yum! So what wine goes with such a sumptuous meal? Well the truth of the matter is whatever wine you like. However that is a big cop out, so here is what will be on our table on Thanksgiving Day.
We generally like to start with champagne or sparkling wine. Not only is it festive, it’s delicious and is a fabulous way to start the fun. We happen to like Schramsburg Blanc de Noir, 2007. It’s creamy, with a great mouth feel, a touch of vanilla along with the delicate hint of Raspberries and Strawberries. It goes great with the saltiness of nuts and a shrimp cocktail, about $27.00.
When dinner arrives we generally serve two wines, a white and a red. For white wines Rieslings are a really good call. Shoot for something not overly sweet with enough acidity to balance the fruitiness. This year we will go with Poets Leap 2008 Riesling about $20.00. It is not overly sweet, has a bright acidic side and matches nicely with the turkey. Additionally, it has a hint of grapefruit, pear and honey which really compliments the side dishes that tend to lean toward the sweeter side, I love this combo.
Last but not least, my favorite… the red. Flat out, no question; go with a Pinot at Thanksgiving. It simply knocks it out of the park. I love Burgundy but it tends to be expensive and as we have a tendency to move through a lot of it during the day we will go with something a bit less excessive. Shea Wine Cellars, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir about $32.00…and well worth it! What a wow this Oregon Pinot packs. Absolutely scrumptious! To me it’s a Grand Cru Burgundy from Oregon at an 80% discount! You can look this particular wine up on the internet and get a million descriptions and ratings. I will simply say it’s fabulous. It is not an up-front fill your mouth with fruit type Pinot. It’s a deep, dark and brooding if wine can be that. It fills the back of your mouth with Black Cherries, Blackberries and a hint of spice and finishes forever. Oh my gosh is it good. Overwhelm your turkey? Maybe, if you simply eat white meat end of story, but if you dare to be adventurous and add a dollop of dressing to your fork or dabble with the dark meat you will be blown away, what a match.
Regardless of what wine, if any, you select on Thanksgiving Day; Have a blast, revel in the joy of those that you care about, raise a glass to the gift of the day and… Happy Thanksgiving.
Enjoy the wine.