The Thanksgiving family event always consists of a combination of family fun, exciting conversation, diverse cooking styles, and personal preferences. Typically each family member will be held responsible for their specific specialty. This year let the wine be your specialty. You can't always guarantee the quality of others cooking, and certainly can't guarantee other's tastes in wine but here are a few suggestions and guidelines to go by when choosing a perfect pairing for your bird.
When choosing a wine for a holiday event there are a few key factors you need to take into account; a. the meal, and b. your family's tastes. These are times when picking a crowd pleasing wine is best, you may want to save your all out wine geek for a different occasion where the wine can play a central role, because these days its all about the turkey.
So, as expected we'll be focusing on wines that pair well with white meat and all the trimmings. Typically, I'd recommend sticking with white wines that could be considered off dry, or something that has sweeter notes, like a Reisling or Chenin Blanc. However, if you've got a family of red wine drinkers (like myself), stay with lighter, earthier red wines such as Pinot Noir or Beaujoulais so that won't the taste of the wine won't overpower your dinner. Remember, it's all about balance.
Here are some suggestions that will pair nicely with the any thanksgiving meal.
Billecart Salmon NV Brut $48
A great way to start any meal; let your family shake off that first uncomfortable moment of silence with some celebratory sparkles, from the top privately owned Champagne estate. The blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier for the NV Reserve has remained unchanged since 1945: grapes from three different years from the best sites of the Marne.
Huet 2006 Vouvray Le Mont Sec $37
Vouvray is an underappreciated wine, made from Chenin Blanc, Vouvray has flavors of vanilla and melon so will satisfy the sweet wine drinker. Specifically the Le Mont lies on the slopes of the Loire, and the soils are very stony, which creates a mineral driven undertone to satisfy the serious wine drinker.
Lafarge, M. 2005 Passetoutgrain L'Except $26
Made in Burgundy of Gamay and Pinot Noir, Burghound suggests that “There is a bit more of everything here including aromatic refinement with equally ripe red berry fruit and earth notes that continue onto the rich, full and velvety flavors that are a bit rustic on the backend” In other words this wine will agree with your family not just the meal.
Chateau Thivin 2006 Cote de Brouilly $21
If there is a wine that screams fall and Thanksgiving dinner it's Beaujolais. Cote de Brouilly is one of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais, and will offer fresh red berry and cherry pit aromas that are complicated by tangy minerals and a subtle spice. A linear, brisk, classic Beaujolais that would be good with a light chill.
Have a wonderful holiday.
New York Wine Co. in Manhattan. So far so good!