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.
On the nose, I found plum and blueberry with sweet spices and an underlying dark soil and chalk note that kept it rooted in the earth. On the palate, it was full-bodied with velvety textures, showing excellent balance with a mix of cherry and cranberry, herbs and bitter dark chocolate. The finish showed plums, green pepper and saline minerals with a slight tug of tannin reminding me of its fine structure. (92 points)
Merlot—yes, I said Merlot. Merlot is usually fruity, round and soft on the palate, yet there’s still enough acidity and structure to allow it to pair beautifully with roasted turkey. What’s more, most Merlot has a savage side with earthy, almost animal tones, and I find that it’s a great pairing against the aromas of potatoes with gravy.