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.

7. Layer Cake South Australia Shiraz (2010)

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Average price: $13.99 from 123 stores
The nose showed blackberry jam on toast, vanilla, sweet spices and a hint of pine. On the palate, it was soft with vibrant acidity, ripe wild berries, cola and pepper assaulting the senses, which turned to sour blackberry on the finish.

 

Shiraz may not be the first thing you’d think of to pair with Turkey, but it sure does an amazing job around the table; and let’s not forget that it’s actually the same grape as Syrah.  I think the trick is not trying to pair an overly extracted bruiser of a Shiraz (of which there are many coming out of Australia) with turkey.  What sold me on this pairing, the first time, was with a sausage and mushroom stuffing—talk about a perfect pairing.  (For a really interesting twist, try a dry, sparkling Shiraz.)

 
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