Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

http://theviptable.blogspot.com/
Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

Thanksgiving Pairing Guide

Does anyone else feel like this Thanksgiving really snuck up on us?  Especially living in New York City, where Super-Storm Sandy has been the first thing on all of our minds for the past few weeks.  However, this morning, it all became a reality as my wife wanted to discuss what I’m doing for Thanksgiving.

 

Of course I’m making a turkey with all the trimmings.  She really didn’t need to ask.  But what I really started to think about is what wines I’d be serving with Thanksgiving.  The reality is that a Thanksgiving dinner can be a little difficult to pair with, because there are so many diverse flavors on the table.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes (some sweeter than dessert), mashed potatoes, corn—the list goes on and on.

 

Luckily, I’ve had a lot of experience pairing wine at Thanksgiving, and trust me; I’ve been let down plenty of times.  However, we learn from our failures, and the list below is my list of wines that are sure to succeed.  Each one should be versatile enough to handle an array of traditional and unique side dishes, and of course, will pair perfectly with turkey.

1. Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast (2009)

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Average price: $25.99 from 4 stores
The nose was highly expressive with a bouquet that showed sweet cherries, pine nettles and dark soil notes. On the palate it was silky smooth yet juicy, with pure dark cherry fruit, hints of herbs, and a crack of pepper. The finish followed suit, as it’s red fruit and earthy profile slowly melted away from the palate. (91 points)

 

Pinot Noir is probably the most regularly recommend wine for Thanksgiving, and there’s good reason why.  No matter what style of Pinot you choose, they are usually softer and more feminine than most reds.  With French style Pinot (Burgundy), you can expect a lighter frame, more acidity and a mineral core.  While the new world examples give more fruit and spice, each style manages to accentuate the flavors of turkey, gravy and stuffing (especially with mushrooms). 

 
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