Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

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.

3. Ridge Zinfandel Lytton Springs (2009)

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Average price: $33.99 from 118 stores
The nose showed red wild berries, a dusting of cinnamon sugar, hints of minerals and herbs, and a whiff of dark baker’s chocolate. On the palate, it was beautifully balanced and elegant with a firm start and juicy finish. Ripe red and blue fruits went from sweet to tart as it flowed across the palate. The finish was long and spicy. (92 points)

 

Zinfandel can be your ace in the whole.  Red Zinfandel is a perfect match for the holiday table.  Its ripe berries and spice complement the majority of side dishes; and Zins go great with turkey.  What’s more, most of your guests will likely be surprised by how good Zinfandel can be (so you get to play the smart sommelier).  The better Zinfandels will have juicy acidity and enough structure to really shine in the glass and at the table. 

 
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